WBI launches Dakota natural gas pipeline open season

WBI Energy Inc., a subsidiary of MDU Resources Group Inc., has launched an open season for its planned 375-mile Dakota natural gas pipeline running from western North Dakota to northwestern Minnesota. The pipeline’s proposed route will allow interconnection with pipelines operated by Great Lakes Gas Transmission LP, Viking Gas Transmission Co., and potentially TransCanada Pipelines Ltd. The interconnections would occur in northwestern Minnesota.

The Dakota Pipeline would use two compressor stations to transport an initial 400 MMcfd of Bakken shale gas through mostly 24-in. OD pipe. It could be expanded to more than 500 MMcfd if demand warrants. Pending sufficient market demand and regulatory approvals, WBI plans to begin building the pipeline in 2016 for a 2017 in-service date.

Dakota will cost roughly $650 million.

MDU last year announced construction of a 20,000 b/d North Dakota diesel refinery to process Bakken Crude (OGJ Online, Feb. 7, 2013). Construction began in March, with MDU expecting the refinery to come online late this year. MDU says the state’s diesel consumption has increased 74% over the past 4 years to more than 53,000 b/d and is expected to reach 75,000 b/d by 2025. North Dakota’s sole current refinery produces 22,000 b/d, according to MDU.

Contact Christopher E. Smith at chriss@ogjonline.com.

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