BISMARCK, N.D. — Gov. Jack Dalrymple and Alliance Pipeline on Tuesday announced the completion of an 80-mile pipeline to carry natural gas from Tioga to Sherwood, where it connects to the company’s natural gas line in northwest North Dakota that carries the gas to Chicago. The Calgary-based company said construction on the $170 million project began a year ago and was completed last month. The 12-inch pipeline is capable of transporting more than 126 million cubic feet of natural gas and natural gas liquids daily. Natural gas produced from the Bakken and Three Forks formations also is rich in liquids that can be converted into fuels such as butane, propane and methane. Dalyrmple called the project “a very significant pipeline with very significant capacity.” The governor said it could be ” extremely helpful” in curbing natural gas flaring in North Dakota, where about one-third of natural gas production in the state is being burned off as byproduct of oil production, compared to less than 1 percent in oil fields nationwide.
Alliance Pipeline CEO Terrance Kutryk said New York-based Hess Corp. has signed a long-term agreement for half of the pipeline’s capacity. He declined to comment on other potential customers. Hess has said it is planning a $325 million expansion of its natural gas plant in Tioga, in western North Dakota. The company said the project will increase the plant’s natural gas process capacity from 100 million cubic feet daily to 250 million cubic feet. Hess General Manager Steve McNally said the expansion is slated to be completed soon but would not give specifics. The Hess plant was built three years after the company’s predecessor, Amerada, Corp., first struck oil on a Tioga wheat farm in 1951.