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North Dakota Leaders Celebrate Dakota Prairie Refinery

North American Pipelines Business BreifsSeveral hundred North Dakota business and government leaders recently celebrated the success of the first greenfield fuels refinery built in the U.S. in nearly 40 years.

The Dakota Prairie refinery, which began operating on May 4, is capable of processing 20,000 barrels per day (bpd) of Bakken crude oil. It is supplying about 7,000 bpd of diesel fuel to help offset North Dakota’s need to import nearly two-thirds of its diesel supply.

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The refinery is a joint venture of MDU Resources Group Inc. and Calumet Specialty Products Partners.

“This facility will help improve the state’s diesel supply, and over time has the potential to be an important contributor to the economic growth of the local and state economy,” Dave Goodin, MDU Resources president and CEO, said at the refinery’s grand opening. “All of this is possible because of the support of local and state officials and agencies, and the economic development climate they have created in North Dakota.”

“The Dakota Prairie refinery is another example of the great progress we’re making in North Dakota to create good jobs, diversify our economy and to help meet the energy needs of our state and the nation,” said North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalyrmple. “The development of another fuel refinery in North Dakota has been a long-time goal, and I applaud MDU Resources and Calumet for this major achievement.”

The refinery took approximately 2.5 million man-hours to complete, with more than 800 workers on site during peak construction. Work was completed with an outstanding safety record that included no lost-time accidents. The facility is operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week with about 80 full-time employees.

“The Dakota Prairie diesel refinery is helping us process crude right in the heart of our state’s oil producing region,” said North Dakota Sen. John Hoeven. “This facility is a good example of the energy infrastructure that our nation needs to build a brighter energy future. We’ve worked hard to build the right business climate to attract good investments, like this facility. Now, we continue working to encourage investment in infrastructure to grow domestic energy production, create good jobs and help make our nation energy secure.”

In addition to diesel, the Dakota Prairie refinery is producing up to 6,500 bpd of naphtha, which is used as a diluent to transport heavy oil by pipeline and as a feedstock in gasoline, and 6,000 bpd of atmospheric tower bottoms, which can be used as a feedstock for lubricating oils and other refined products.

North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp said, “As North Dakota continues to be a national leader in energy development, we have to make sure we’re not only meeting the energy needs of today but also investing in the future. MDU Resources and Calumet have clearly taken a forward-looking approach by committing to this significant Dakota Prairie refinery project, showing that our state’s oil play in the Bakken is not just a short-term boom, but rather a valuable resource for North Dakota for decades to come. Building out our energy infrastructure is one of the most important ways we can help secure North American energy security and independence, and I’ll keep working to make sure we invest in a true, all-of-the-above energy strategy.”

“Once again North Dakota leads America’s energy renaissance with the successful completion of our nation’s first new oil refinery in 40 years. I congratulate MDU Resources Group and their partner Calumet Specialty Products Partners for their leadership in capitalizing on increased energy production in North Dakota while providing additional diesel fuel for the region’s market,” said North Dakota Rep. Kevin Cramer said. “The American ‘can-do’ attitude and willingness to risk capital for an opportunity to make money continues to make North Dakota a place where dreams can happen. Thank you once again, MDU and Calumet, for your willingness to take a risk in North Dakota.”

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