Proposed gas plant good news for ND

Good news about the state’s lucrative oil and gas industry was announced Thursday.

Hess Midstream Partners and Targa Resources plan to build a $150 million gas processing plant near Watford City, as North Dakota produces record volumes of natural gas and approaches record high oil production.

Gov. Doug Burgum reacted this way, and we echo his comments:

“We are thrilled to welcome Hess’ significant investment, which underscores the company’s longstanding presence in North Dakota and commitment to our state. This processing plant will provide much-needed capacity at a time when North Dakota’s oil production nears record levels and associated natural gas production continues to climb. It’s a huge step in the right direction toward continuing to meet our flaring reduction goals and encouraging responsible energy development and infrastructure investment.”

That is exactly correct on a couple of fronts. To elaborate, we all know that energy had lost its momentum in North Dakota. But we are confident that the state has many more good days ahead, so NOW is the time to address such infrastructure. It was pointed out just this week that ND also needs additional pipelines to avoid having to ship crude by rail as production ramps up. Again, now is the time to get after it; we must not be caught flat-footed.

The state has been fortunate to have good partners within the oil industry who aren’t afraid to bet heavier on North Dakota’s oil and gas assets than other plays. We should do whatever we can to grease the wheels for these partners and sustain the positive economic climate we have worked so hard to build.

Sen. John Hoeven also recognizes that: “Private investments in infrastructure are essential to growing our economy, but in order for these projects to happen, we need to have the right kind of business climate. This is exactly why we’re working to provide tax and regulatory relief. Regulatory relief provides the certainty businesses need to make long-term plans, and tax relief helps them invest in their operations here at home. That means a stronger economy and good jobs, which are always a top priority,” Hoeven said.

The Little Missouri Four gas plant will process 200 million cubic feet of gas per day at Targa’s existing Little Missouri facility in McKenzie County, Hess announced. Completion is expected in the fourth quarter of this year.

Again, that is welcome news and we look forward to seeing how the project plays out.