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Published May 30, 2013, 03:53 PM

WBI Energy proposes pipeline to move Bakken natural gas to eastern ND, MN and WI

BISMARCK, N.D. - WBI Energy Inc., the pipeline and energy services subsidiary of MDU Resources Group Inc., announced plans today for a proposed natural gas pipeline stretching from far western North Dakota to western Minnesota where it would connect with Viking Gas Transmission Company's pipeline system.

By: WBI Energy, Prairie Business Magazine

BISMARCK, N.D. - WBI Energy Inc., the pipeline and energy services subsidiary of MDU Resources Group Inc., announced plans today for a proposed natural gas pipeline stretching from far western North Dakota to western Minnesota where it would connect with Viking Gas Transmission Company's pipeline system.

This project would increase pipeline takeaway capacity out of the Bakken to accommodate rapidly growing natural gas production in the region. "It's exciting to think that the proposed pipeline could provide a new transportation route to bring Bakken-produced natural gas directly to industrial customers and commercial and residential utility customers in eastern North Dakota," said David L. Goodin, president and CEO of MDU Resources. "Through interconnecting pipelines, the proposed pipeline could also serve Minnesota, Wisconsin and Midwest U.S. markets."

The pipeline has been initially designed to transport approximately 400 million cubic feet per day of natural gas and, depending on user commitments, could be expanded to more than 500 million cubic feet per day. The project investment is estimated to be between $650 million and $700 million.

The currently proposed route for the pipeline would stretch from approximately 20 miles southwest of Williston, N.D., to an interconnection with Viking Gas Transmission northeast of Moorhead, Minn. The majority of the proposed 400-mile system would be comprised of 24-inch diameter pipeline and the project would include two new compressor stations.

"Since 2010, we have invested over $150 million in energy development projects in North Dakota including our acquisition of midstream assets near Belfield and the Dakota Prairie Refining diesel plant currently under construction near Dickinson," said Steven L. Bietz, president and CEO of WBI Energy. "This project would be the largest single pipeline construction project in our company history. This project, combined with other recent and ongoing projects, would bring our total Bakken-related investment to nearly $1 billion."

Long-term capacity commitments on the proposed pipeline will be sought during an open season expected to begin in late summer. Following receipt of capacity commitments and necessary permits and regulatory approvals, construction on the new pipeline would begin in early 2016 with completion expected by late 2016.

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