BISMARCK, ND (AP) – A proposal to use $ 150 million in federal stimulus funds to build another pipeline to transport natural gas from the Bakken region to eastern North Dakota will be on the table as state legislators will meet on Capitol Hill.
Lawmakers plan to split $ 1 billion from U.S. federal bailout legislation in the special session, which opens Monday, and the money leaders hope to set aside for pipeline subsidies could make the prospect of such a project more attractive to developers.
“There has been a long-standing desire to see more North Dakota gas being used in the state,” Justin Kringstad, director of the North Dakota Pipeline Authority, told the Bismarck Tribune.
The Bakken region in western North Dakota produces significant amounts of gas alongside oil, and some is burned unnecessarily in flares at well sites rather than being used as fuel due to lack of infrastructure.
Some communities in eastern North Dakota have gas service because they are near a limited number of pipelines that extend to that part of the state, but many do not. . Much of the gas produced in North Dakota is transported to markets in other states.
Cost appears to be the main obstacle to building another pipeline. The economy tends to work better to send gas through existing pipelines to other states rather than building a new project from scratch, Kringstad said. He said the state may need more than $ 150 million to make a project viable.
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