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Grasslands Pipeline to Reach Full Capacity

MDU Resources Group subsidiary Williston Basin Interstate Pipeline Co. (WBI) will expand firm transportation capacity on its Grasslands Pipeline by 54%, the company said.

Placed in service in December 2003, Grasslands runs 253 miles from the Powder River Basin in northeastern Wyoming to western North Dakota, where it connects with Northern Border Pipeline (see NGI, Dec. 15, 2003). The expansion will add an additional 75 MMcf/d to its existing capacity of 138 MMcf/d.

Bismark, ND-based WBI conducted an open season in July (see NGI, July 7a). Strong customer demand pushed the project to full capacity of 213 MMcf/d, the company said. The expansion is expected to cost about $28 million and, pending regulatory approval, is expected to be in service by next August.

Grasslands had an initial capacity of 80 MMcf/d and was originally designed with an ultimate capacity of 200 MMcf/d.

"We built the Grasslands Pipeline with future expansion in mind, and we are more than pleased to have reached full capacity on the pipeline in just over five years," said MDU Resources CEO Terry D. Hildestad.

The expansion is one of four projects WBI has under way at Williston Basin. The others are:

Earlier this year MDU expanded its customer base by half when it agreed to acquire Intermountain Gas Co. from privately held Intermountain Industries Inc. in a cash-for-stock transaction (see NGI, July 7b). The completion of the acquisition is expected in the fourth quarter. When the transaction is completed, Intermountain will become an indirect subsidiary of MDU Resources, continuing to operate as Intermountain Gas Co. Intermountain will join Montana-Dakota Utilities Co., Great Plains Natural Gas Co. and Cascade Natural Gas Corp. as MDU Resources utility business units.

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