MDU Resources Group Inc. said subsidiary WBI Energy Inc. plans to build a 67-mile natural gas pipeline and associated infrastructure to connect the core of the Bakken Shale in western North Dakota to an interconnection with the Northern Border Pipeline.

The North Bakken Expansion Project, estimated to cost $220 million, includes construction of a 20-inch diameter pipeline and two compressor stations, and as currently designed would provide 200 MMcf/d of transportation capacity. The project would begin near Tioga, ND, and connect with the Northern Border Pipeline in McKenzie County.

WBI said an open season "resulted in long-term transportation commitments from natural gas production, gathering and processing companies." The project could be expanded to 375 MMcf/d with sufficient customer demand.

"We are working with our customers to meet these needs as the industry focuses on reducing natural gas flaring while growing production volumes," said WBI CEO Trevor Hastings.

WBI said it plans to begin the pre-filing process for FERC approval by the end of the first quarter. Specifically, the company said it would look to satisfy the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act for the project.

With approval, construction could begin in early 2021 and be completed later that year, depending on when the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issues permits for the project and transportation agreements are finalized with customers.