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natural gas

New oil production record for ND

Dec 13, 2019

North Dakota's October oil and gas numbers are looking very good.

"It should be a very happy holiday for the state of North Dakota," said North Dakota Mineral Resources Director Lynn Helms, as he released his October "Director's Cut" report. "We set a new record in oil production -- first time ever over 1.5 million barrels a day. That's a 5 percent increase."

Helms said natural gas production was up 4 percent. But the percentage of goas being flared remained the same, due to the production increase.

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

The state Industrial Commission has given its okay to a pilot enhanced oil recovery project in Mountrail County.

The project would use natural gas.

Hess Corporation would be involved in an oil field near Ross.

State mineral resources director Lynn Helms told the Commission Hess was involved in an earlier pilot – that failed because of a lack of natural gas. He said Hess will also be injecting a foam along with the gas.

Discussions are underway about having the Northern Border natural gas pipeline carry only North Dakota-produced gas.

Right now, the pipeline carries some Canadian gas.

But it's not that way.

"If we're going to take over 100 percent of the capacity of the Northern Border pipeline, and make it a North Dakota natural gas export pipeline, we're going to have to de-ethanize our gas," said North Dakota Mineral Resources Director Lynn Helms.

That would mean taking the "ethane" out of the gas.

UND’s Energy and Environmental Research center will be studying how the chemical composition of natural gas liquids from the Bakken and Three Forks formations could change over the life of a well.

The study was requested by North Dakota Pipeline Authority Executive Director Justin Kringstad. It was approved by the state's Industrial Commission.

The director of the North Dakota Pipeline Authority wants the Energy and Environmental Research Center at UND to look at how the chemical makeup of natural gas liquids changes over the life of an oil well.

"It's very high or rich in propane, butane and ethane," said Authority director Justin Kringstad.

In North Dakota’s Bakken and Three Forks formations, natural gas is a byproduct of oil drilling.

Kringstad said the question exists on whether this gas chemistry will change over time.

It's been dubbed the "North Bakken Expansion Project."

WBI Energy is proposing to build a 60 mile long, 20 inch diameter natural gas pipeline from WBI’s Tioga Compressor Station to an interconnection with the Northern Border Pipeline south of Watford City.

The division of MDU Resources plans to build a new natural gas compressor station near that interconnection, and it plans to construct 20 miles of 12 inch diameter pipeline from the Tioga station to a receipt station.

Drayton to soon receive natural gas service

Dec 14, 2018
Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

Drayton will soon receive natural gas service.

Dakota Natural Gas will be bringing gas from the Viking Pipeline in Minnesota to that city. It’s a $3.2 million project. And the Public Service Commission says that will give residents a choice to stay with propane or sign up for natural gas.

The PSC has set rates for the new gas service.

The project was driven by American Crystal Sugar, who will convert from Powder River coal, shipped in from Wyoming, to natural gas for its sugar beet processing.

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

The North Dakota Public Service Commission has approved the expansion of a natural gas processing plant near Watford City.

But there are some conditions.

The Roosevelt gas plant will undergo a $150 million expansion. It will go from processing 50 million cubic feet of natural gas per day – to 150 million cubic feet. The extra 100 mcf will be processed into natural gas liquids.

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

The North Dakota Industrial Commission has approved some amendments to its Guidance Policy on gas capture.

The changes will give industry some flexibility, based on the availability of gas processing plants and pipeline technology. But for now, the Commission has not changed the gas capture goals' timing – pending further work.

MDU and Otter Tail customers will see benefits from the lower taxes those utilities are now paying, due to federal tax cuts.

The corporate tax rate was lowered from 35 percent to 21 percent. And the investor-owned utilities are giving some or all of those savings back to customers in terms of one-time bill credits or lower utility rates.