MDU begins work on Bakken gas pipeline expansion


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A subsidiary of MDU Resources Group Inc. has begun construction of nearly 100 miles of a new pipeline and other infrastructure that would increase the capacity to transport the Bakken Shale in northwestern North Dakota.

On July 8, FERC gave the green light to WBI Energy Inc. to begin work on the North Bakken 250 MMcf / d expansion project. The expansion would bring the total capacity of the company’s pipeline system to more than 2.4 Bcf / d. The project includes approximately 63 miles of 24-inch diameter pipeline and 30 miles of 12-inch diameter pipeline, as well as a new compressor station and additional associated infrastructure.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved the pipeline expansion in June.

WBI, which transports more than half of the natural gas produced in the Bakken, said the project would reduce natural gas flaring in the region by providing producers with an additional outlet to get the molecules to market.

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“Producers have reinforced their need for this additional capacity by entering into long-term transportation contracts with WBI,” said David Goodin, CEO of MDU Resources.

The project is expected to be commissioned by the end of the year. At an estimated cost of $ 260 million, the expansion is expected to employ up to 450 people at the peak of construction.

Last month, North Dakota Pipeline Authority Director Justin Kringstad said WBI’s pipeline expansion “frees up capacity for more drilling and associated oil and gas production north of Lake Sakakawea, a particularly congested area and physically beyond the capacity of the interstate gas pipeline today ”.

The pipeline, he said, would open the door to further investment in gas capture and more gas residue to take away.

By 2023, more investment will likely be needed to meet the state’s gas capture targets, according to the state’s mineral resources department.

MDU is expected to release its second quarter 2021 results on August 5.

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