Sen. John Hoeven dropped in on the construction progress for WBI Energy’s North Bakken Expansion pipeline, which has been underway since July.
The pipeline will transport up to 250 million cubic feet per day of natural gas from the Bakken. It’s a $260 million project that includes 63 miles of 24-inch pipeline and 30 miles of 12-inch, along with a compressor station and associated infrastructure.
“The North Bakken Expansion Pipeline is a win-win for affordable energy and the environment, while also supporting our state as an energy powerhouse,” Hoeven said “We need more pipelines to get energy to market. North Dakotans, along with the rest of the country, are facing skyrocketing energy bills, and this is just the type of energy development needed to help get utility bills under control.”
WBI’s project had stalled in the waning days of the Trump administration, and was potentially facing a new greenhouse gas review as part of changes the Biden administration has been making. Hoeven and other lawmakers pressed FERC to review the project without the new greenhouse gas protocol, which it did do in June. The agency issued a notice to proceed in July 8.
“WBI Energy transports more than 50% of the natural gas produced from the Bakken. This project will bring WBI’s total pipeline system capacity to more than 2.4 billion cubic feet per day while reducing natural gas flaring in the region by allowing producers to move more gas to market. Producers have reinforced their need for this additional capacity by committing to long-term transportation contracts with WBI,” David L. Goodin, president and CEO of MDU Resources said in July. “We appreciate the support from state and federal officials who helped elevate the significance of this project for both its environmental and economic benefits.”
Hess donates toy trucks to elementary schools in North Dakota
More than 6,700 Hess Cargo Plane and Jet kits are headed to elementary schools across North Dakota, as part of a STEM curriculum guide now in its fourth straight year in the state.
The Hess Cargo Plane and Jet is an impressive six-turbine engine, heavy-load transport aircraft, and is the largest Hess vehicle ever. Each kit donated by Hess contains a model of this impressive vehicle to be used in combination with the curriculum Fundamentals of Flight.
Hess has partnered with the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction to create this fun and engaging STEM project, which was designed by Baylor College of Medicine’s Center for Educational Outreach.
“These Hess toys and curriculum give our North Dakota elementary school educators another way to introduce STEM instruction to our young students. This is an excellent example of collaboration between our schools and private business that benefits students and their families,” said Kirsten Baesler, North Dakota’s state school superintendent.
All elementary schools in North Dakota are to receive kits, and the STEM curriculum is available for download or will be distributed electronically.
Brent Lohnes, General Manager for North Dakota said, “Hess’ mission is to be the most trusted energy partner wherever we operate and to make a positive impact in the communities where we live and work. We are proud to play a role in North Dakota supporting education and STEM.”
North Dakota starts long-truck pilot study
A 2021 legislative initiative directed the North Dakota Department of Transportation to study the impact of longer trucks on North Dakota roadways.
As part of that, the Department of Transportation is seeking applications for potential routes and truck configurations for the pilot study by Nov. 30.Details on truck routes and longer truck configurations and applications are available online at https://www.dot.nd.gov/lcv/.
Long trucks are considered to be a tractor-trailer combination with two or more trailers. The state’s current limit for them is 100 feet. The pilot study will look at lengths up to 130 feet.
“This is a great opportunity to work with our transportation partners and learn more about the long combination vehicle impact on the state highway system,” said Mike Kisse, Maintenance Assistant Division Engineer. “This legislation has the potential to benefit the North Dakota economy and the pilot program will collect data to help policy and decision makers determine the long-term feasibility of the new truck configurations.”
Upper Great Plains Transportation is assisting the North Dakota Transportation Department with the pilot study. They will document public safety as well as the economic and infrastructure impacts. Findings are to be reported to the legislature by Aug. 1, 2022.
Hydrogen infrastructure bill floating in Congress
A Texas Republican and Delaware Democrat have joined forces to float three pieces of legislation for hydrogen infrastructure.
Sen. John Cornyn, R-Tex., and Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., have introduced the bills to support hydrogen development for industries that will face particularly difficult challenges when it comes to decarbonizing their industries, such as airlines and shipping.
Two of the three bills create new grant programs that will support hydrogen-powered equipment for ports and large-scale demonstration projects. The thirds for a low-interest loan and grant program focused on hydrogen transport infrastructure.
The bills would also launch a study of hydrogen transport and storage, including an assessment of jurisdiction for siting and building hydrogen projects.
“Hydrogen is a versatile energy source, but we lack the infrastructure to reap its benefits for a wide range of industries,” Sen. Cornyn said in a media release. “This legislation would help make hydrogen more accessible and cost-effective so businesses and consumers can utilize this reliable energy resource.”
Text for the bills is online: