Al Anderson Clean Sustainable Energy Authority director

Al Anderson

The North Dakota Industrial Commission has approved a 12-page set of guidelines to govern grant and loan awards for the Clean Sustainable Energy Authority and named Al Anderson as its director.

CSEA was created by the 2021 legislature to support research, development, and innovations for large-scale development and commercialization of projects that can help the reduce environmental impact and increase the sustainability for North Dakota’s energy sectors, including fossil fuels like oil and gas and coal.

Anderson was North Dakota Commerce Commissioner under former governor Jack Dalrymple from 2011 to 2016. He also oversaw refining for Tesoro’s northern Great Plains Region and managed the Mandan oil refinery. He has 30 years of experience in the energy industry.

CSEA will be governed by a board of eight voting members and eight advisors. It has been charged with selecting emerging technologies that can change the game for North Dakota’s energy industry and ready the sector for a low-carbon world. Their recommendations will go to the North Dakota Industrial Commission for final approval.

During the most recent biennium, North Dakota lawmakers allocated up to $275 million in either grants or loans or loan guarantees for CSEA to work with.

Anderson said he will pursue an aggressive schedule and expects the first recipients of the money allocated to CSEA by the legislature could be chosen by the end of the year. Anderson also told North Dakota Industrial Commissioners that interest in the program is so high that the funds may be exhausted by the end of the second grant round early next year.

The CSEA website is online at http://www.nd.gov/ndic/csea-infopage.htm.

Oasis, QEP extend date for Williston Basin purchase

The closing date for Oasis Petroleum’s acquisition of Williston Basin assets from QEP, a wholly owned subsidiary of Diamondback Energy, has been extended to Oct. 27.

The transaction is expected to close within the next few weeks, pending government approvals, Oasis officials said, and both Oasis and Diamondback remain committed to the exchange.

The assets are worth $745 million, with an effective date of April 1, 2021, according to an Oasis press release. The final consideration will be reduced by a $75 million deposit paid in the second quarter of 2021. There will also be the usual purchase price adjustments that are related to free cash flow generated from effective date to close.

MDU hearing for transmission line

Now that the Heskett Units 1 and 2 coal-fired generating stations north of Mandan are closing, MDU will need to build a $1.3 million transmission line.

A hearing for that line will be held 9 a.m. Oct. 7 at Mandan City Hall in the Ed “Bosh” Froehlich Meeting Room, located at 205 Second Avenue NW in Mandan.

The 230-kilovolt line will have three segments — an existing .4-mile segment and two new line segments that make up the remaining 1.1 miles. The line will start at the Heskett Transmission Substation and end at the Mandan Transmission Substation.

Public Service Commission hearings can be viewed live online at www.psc.nd.gov.

ETP gets award for dual drive technology

Energy Transfer Partner’s dual drive technologies have been recognized with an Environmental Excellence award from GPA Midstream Association.

The company’s dual drive system features both a natural gas engine and an electric motor, allowing the drive to switch between them to better manage both greenhouse gas emissions and use of the electric grid.

ETP installed its first dual drive in East Texas in 2000, and has since added 450,000 dual drive horsepower to multiple services, including field gathering, transmission, and cryogenic plant installations.

Thanks to dual drives, Energy Transfer has reduced its carbon dioxide emissions by more than 630,000 tons in 2020, according to a media release.

The GPA award is not the first recognition for Energy Transfer’s dual drives. EPA awarded them with the Best Available Control Technology for emission reductions in the gas compression industry in 2012. In 2009, Energy Transfer also received the Innovative Technologies Award from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

North Dakota, Montana get pipeline safety funds

The Department of Transpiration has announced pipeline safety awards for states including North Dakota and Montana totaling $967,064.

North Dakota’s grant total is $639,414 for three awards as follows:

— North Dakota State University was awarded $377,830 to promote safety of gas gathering pipelines.

— North Dakota Public Service Commission got $212,653 to support state pipeline safety programs and it got $48,931 to improve the One-Call notification systems, a pipeline safety program.

Montana, meanwhile, received $327,650 in grants that will enhance pipeline safety across the state. The funds will be used to help counties develop emergency response plans and to provide specialized training to first responders.

Industrial natural gas use predicted to rise to near record levels

The Energy Information Administration expects U.S. consumption of natural gas to rise in both 2021 and 2022.

The agency’s September Short-Term Energy Outlook predicts industrial sector natural gas consumption will rise above pre-pandemic levels in 2021 and continue rising in 2022 to an average 23.8 billion cubic feet per day.

That amount, If realized, would be more than the previous record set in the early 1970s.

Industrial natural gas consumption is relatively insensitive to short-term price fluctuations, due to the fact most industrial process have few alternatives to use for fuel or feedstock.

Events, hearings, comment periods & more

— Public meeting, hearing for change of ownership of Coal Creek Station was held Oct. 5 at the DEQ Training Center in Bismarck. Comment period ends Oct. 15. Online at https://deq.nd.gov/wm/PublicNotices/default.aspx.

— Public comment period open for ONEOK’s Grasslands Gas Plant in McKenzie County until Nov. 5. Online at https://deq.nd.gov/AQ/PublicCom.aspx#ONEOKGL.

— EPA has released a draft of its strategic plan for climate change and advance environmental justice. The plan was published in the Federal Register and is now available for public comment through Nov. 12. Online at https://www.epa.gov/planandbudget/strategicplan.

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