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natural gas

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.

More natural gas processing plants are coming on-line in the Bakken.

State pipeline authority director Justin Kringstad said two are being completed this year, and four others are scheduled next year.

"The two plants in 2018 are scheduled to come on-line in the September-October time frame," Kringstad said. "They will add 400 million cubic feet (mcf) of gas processing."

Kringstad said the total investment in those two facilities is $300 million.

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

Natural gas service could be coming this fall to the Bobcat plant in Gwinner.

MDU Resources has been working to bring natural gas to Gwinner from the Alliance Pipeline.

"We expect to be using natural gas in September, although the line won't be completed until probably November," Rich Goldsbury said in an interview.

Goldsbury said he’s also excited about having a broader discussion with communities in that region who haven’t had natural gas service before.

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

The developers of a crude oil pipeline in western North Dakota have changed directions – and are proposing to convert it to transport natural gas liquids.

The BakkenLink Pipeline runs from Williams to Billings County. It's  124 miles long, and 12-inches in diameter.

"This crude oil line wasn't developed as planned," said Commissioner Julie Fedorchak. "It was originally planned to go under Lake Sakakawea, and take crude oil to the north of the lake, connecting with the Sandpiper Pipeline."

PSC formal hearing on MDU natural gas rate case

May 31, 2018
Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

The Public Service Commission is holding a formal hearing on MDU’s request for a natural gas rate increase.