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Bakken briefs for Wednesday, April 20

Bakken briefs for Wednesday, April 20

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Pipelines characterized as ‘spaghetti’ at Tioga open house

Harold Schmidt lives south of Tioga amid a vast network of pipelines.

“There’s so many of them, if they weren’t covered up it would look like spaghetti,” Schmidt said at an open house held by TransCanada to discuss a proposed pipeline that would run through Williams and Burke counties and into Canada.

Still, he is comfortable with the project plans, though it could be another year before specifics are developed and easements are negotiated.

His brother, Richard Schmidt, has more reservations about it.

“There are so many pipelines, they can keep them,” he said.

TransCanada officials explained the project and its safety features to a full house at the Tioga meeting, and to crowds at similar meetings in Williston.

Sen. David Rust, R-Tioga, said the public meetings were reflective of a changing attitude on the part of pipeline companies.

“I think the companies learned that they need to talk to landowners and the people,” Rust said.

— Tioga Tribune

Construction underway for Thunder Butte Oil Refinery near Makoti

Despite some bumps in the road, the Thunder Butte Oil Refinery project is moving forward.

Construction has begun on an administration building at the refinery site near Makoti, according to Richard Mayer, CEO of Thunder Butte Petroleum Services.

The building being built on the site will contain offices, shop space and a laboratory. It will be the permanent home for the tribally owned company’s headquarters, now located in Parshall.

Work is also proceeding on a truck loading and unloading station that will allow the company to use the large tanks built on site as a crude oil storage facility.

Mayer said plans for a rail spur have been delayed until the engineering is finished on the refinery complex. However, the company plans to start leasing the oil tanks on the site for crude oil storage this summer.

“We will still be a transload facility,” Mayer said. “It will just be that we will be unloading and loading trucks instead of rail cars.”

— Mountrail County Record, Parshall

Steve Andrist is the former publisher of newspapers in Crosby and Tioga. Send email to


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