North Dakota Extends Deadline For Gas Pipeline Proposals

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A panel that regulates North Dakota’s energy industry voted Monday to extend the deadline for proposals to build a natural gas pipeline from western North Dakota’s oil patch to the eastern part of the state.

The three-member, all-Republican North Dakota Industrial Commission headed by Gov. Doug Burgum moved the deadline for proposals to Aug. 15 after no applications were received by the deadline this month.

The North Dakota Legislature in November set aside $150 million in federal coronavirus aid to help construct such a trans-state pipeline for natural gas, which is a byproduct of oil production. The idea, pushed by Burgum, was to help cut down on the wasteful flaring at well sites and pipe it to communities in the gas-poor eastern part of the state, hoping to spur industrial development.

Despite the promised subsidies, no applications were submitted for the pipeline.

WBI Energy, a subsidiary of Bismarck-based MDU Resources Group, said the project is not viable due to regulatory uncertainty, limited in-state demand and rising construction, labor and land-acquisition costs. MDU resources is North Dakota’s only Fortune 500 company.

WBI Energy owns and operates more than 3,700 miles of transmission and storage pipelines in the Dakotas, Minnesota, Montana and Wyoming.