Communities in N.D., are keeping fingers crossed that the stars might soon align to access natural gas service for the very first time. While the western part of the state is flush with midstream infrastructure to process and transport Bakken supplies, many eastern municipalities must rely on propane and electricity due to a lagging number of gas pipelines. The latest figures show that 70 N.D., communities have gas service compared to 360+ that do not. Limited fuel options also hamper industrial growth, especially in the quest to attract new manufacturers in smaller burgs like Rugby as well as larger areas like Grand Forks. Reese Energy Consulting today is following news out of N.D., where the years-long discussion to close the natural gas gap has taken a new turn. State lawmakers next week will gather to divide $1 billion in stimulus funds with a proposal to set aside an initial $150 million toward building a $1 billion pipeline. If the economics pan out along with the state’s capital commitment, pipeline developers like Tulsa-based ONEOK—which operates extensive midstream infrastructure in the Bakken—could find itself a change agent for millions of energy customers.

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