9-25-21 Energy Matters Hour 2

Every Saturday Energy Matters brings you the latest in energy and technology advancements and the people behind them.


 Steve Holen, Superintendent of McKenzie County Public School District 


 Steve Holen


 Public Service Commission - Brian Kroshus joins us to talk about higher natural gas prices 

During our segment 3 weeks ago, we spoke about the upcoming heating season and upward movement in the price of natural gas. I also spoke about the need for more pipeline infrastructure, something I've been advocating for since joining the commission over 4 years ago.


To expand on that:

Natural gas prices continue to surge upwards

NG pricing in the U.S. is up 100 percent this year

NG pricing in Europe, is up 280 percent this year

Upward pricing pressure is due to increased demand, lower inventories, and decreased production

Consumers and businesses alike will likely experience higher heating costs this winter

Long-term solutions:

Moving more low-priced natural gas from the Bakken to eastern ND

That will require:

Quicker processing of permits at the federal level, the FERC in particular

Companies willing to make investments in new projects

Interest and cooperation from the financial community 

New project for North Dakota

WBI recently announced its Wahpeton Expansion project - moving gas from western ND to eastern ND

Cost to construct is $75M

The expansion will help address the issue of getting more gas to the Wahpeton area, gas coming in from the east from the Viking pipeline is maxed out and can no longer meet demand in that area

Gas coming in from the west, delivered from the Wahpeton Expansion project will be sourced from the Northern Border pipeline, which is in part Canadian gas, but also has the potential to move Bakken natural gas to eastern ND

Kindred which is currently unserved, will also be a part of the expansion which is welcome news to those in and around the Kindred area. Walcott is also currently unserved, and could also see new, natural gas service

The FERC is responsible for approving the pipeline expansion project, and the ND PSC will review and approve the distribution network expansion for the towns mentioned

One question I frequently get, is "why don't we just use Bakken natural gas for Fargo, Grand Forks, etc.?" 

The answer is that the ND production levels we're seeing today out of the Bakken, thanks to fracking for oil, wasn't envisioned that long ago. The gas is associated gas, made possible because of oil drilling activity in western ND

Few could have predicted the level of gas ND currently produces and because of that, we've been forced to rely on Candian gas and gas from the Permian Basin in TX to meet natural gas needs in eastern ND for decades. Pipeline infrastructure placement at the time was driven by where the supply was originating.  

It will take time to unwind that, but again, there is certainly the potential to move more, lower-priced gas to eastern ND in the future and the WBI project is another step in the right direction


 Delta Constructors CEO joins Energy Matters 


Delta Constructors provides a wide range of services throughout North America, including;






Original Air Date: 
Saturday, September 25, 2021