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natural gas

The Public Service Commission has okayed Basin Electric Power Cooperative’s plans to add two more 45-megawatt natural gas turbines to its Lonesome Creek station near Watford City.

That brings to 135 megawatts the amount of power from that station. It’s a “peaking” plant – that will not be running all the time, but will kick in as needed.

WBI continues work on natural gas pipeline

Jan 31, 2014

A subsidiary of Bismarck-based MDU Resources Group says it is beginning the next phase in a big natural gas pipeline project.

The Dakota Pipeline would be a 375-mile line that would run from McKenzie County to eastern North Dakota, just south of Emerson, Manitoba. It will carry 400 million cubic feet of processed natural gas each day. It will cost $650 million.

Agreement reached in MDU natural gas rate case

Dec 31, 2013

The Public Service Commission and MDU have reached an agreement on how much the utility can raise its natural gas rates – but there’s still work to be done on the actual rates themselves.

The PSC approved the agreement.

MDU had asked for $6.8 million, or a 6.4 percent increase. Under the agreement, customers will pay another $4.2 million, an increase of just under 4 percent. Commissioner Julie Fedorchak says it may seem strange to customers – that MDU is looking to raise rates when the cost of natural gas has gone down.

Dalrymple: We're solving the flaring problem

Dec 27, 2013

Gov. Jack Dalrymple says North Dakota has made significant progress in solving the problem of natural gas flaring.

The gas is a byproduct of oil development in the Bakken.

The state used to flare about a third of that gas. Now flaring is under 30 percent – and Dalrymple says as gas processing plants expand and more gathering systems are built, flaring will further decrease. He says the challenge is keeping up with development.

"Every day, there's a new well that comes in," said Dalrymple. "It's a chase."

The Public Service Commission has approved the siting for a 6 and a half mile natural gas pipeline in Divide and Burke Counties.

The twist is – this pipeline already exists.

The line is owned by Hiland Operating. It was built in 2009, and went into service in 2010. Public Service Commissioner Julie Fedorchak says Hiland originally thought it didn’t need to go through the siting process. But she says the company learned after-the-fact that it did have to go through that process.

Flaring task force report delayed

Dec 17, 2013

A task force report on the flaring of natural gas will be delayed until the end of January.

The task force is looking at ways to reduce flaring. It was supposed to report to the state Industrial Commission this week. But state mineral resources director Lynn Helms says the report will be given January 29th.

"They took on a bigger task than they anticipated," said Helms. "When they held the summit in September, they expected one or two dozen people to show up. They had over 60. It really sized up the problem for them."

OneOK to build new, bigger natural gas plant

Nov 20, 2013
Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

A company that has invested billions of dollars to collect and process natural gas in the Bakken has announced plans for another processing plant.

ONEOK Partners says the new Lonesome Creek plant -- to be built in McKenzie County, near Watford City -- will process 200 million cubic feet per day. ONEOK already has five processing plants on line or under construction in the Bakken. IN addition, the company will again expand its Bakken NGL pipeline, to ship liquefied gas to market.

New natural gas pipeline 'open for business'

Oct 30, 2013
Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

An 80 mile long, $170 million natural gas pipeline is now ready for gas.

It’s called the Tioga Lateral Pipeline – and it will connect the Hess gas plant in Tioga with the Alliance Pipeline. It’ll move the Bakken gas to Chicago. And it will move both regular gas and liquefied natural gas. The line will have a capacity of 126 million cubic feet of natural gas each day.

Alliance says the new line will help reduce the flaring of natural gas.

The Public Service Commission will be looking at a settlement agreement – reached between Montana-Dakota Utilities and PSC staff – on MDU’s latest request for a natural gas rate increase.

MDU had filed for a 6.4 percent increase – or about $6.8 million. It also filed for interim rates – in the amount of 4.5 million dollars.

The settlement agreement says MDU will get a $4.25 million rate increase.  And because the interim rates have NOT yet been implemented, MDU agrees to hold to that figure for the interim rates, until the PSC makes the final ruling.

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

An oil and gas industry task force has been meeting to find ways to reduce the amount of natural gas being flared in the Bakken.

About 30 percent of the natural gas is being flared. Industry leaders say the problem used to be a shortage of natural gas processing plants.

Task force member Lance Langford -- an executive with Statoil -- says that issue is being solved. But he told the state Industrial Commission there's a different problem now.

"Now today, the major problem is gathering," said Langford. "Gathering the gas and moving it to the processing plants."