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A delegation of state officials toured several petrochemical facilities in Alberta, Canada, on Wednesday as North Dakota looks to build up a similar industry that makes use of the Bakken's natural gas supply.

The group, led by Gov. Doug Burgum, visited the province's Industrial Heartland, where more than 40 companies operate in petrochemicals, oil, gas and advanced manufacturing. The region is not far from Alberta's oil sands.

"Gaining a better understanding of how Alberta developed its petrochemical industry will help us choose the right path for processing North Dakota gas at home," Burgum said in a statement.

The trip comes after the state Department of Commerce in June announced it would invest $200,000 in the company Bakken Midstream, which aims to build infrastructure that will help North Dakota get more value out of its gas, which is often transported to markets out of state or flared off.

State lawmakers earlier this year passed a bill adding a sales tax exemption for certain natural gas processing facilities involved in producing ethane and other natural gas liquids used by the petrochemical industry in areas such as plastics manufacturing.

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(Reach Amy R. Sisk at 701-250-8252 or amy.sisk@bismarcktribune.com.)

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