Presidential permit approved for Vantage Pipeline

WASHINGTON – A presidential permit has been approved for the Vantage Pipeline, which will connect a natural gas processing plant in Tioga, N.D., to pipelines in Canada.

The 430-mile pipeline will transport ethane from Hess Corp.’s processing plant to a pipeline network near Empress, Alberta, with a flow rate of 40,000 to 60,000 barrels per day.

Justin Kringstad, director of the North Dakota Pipeline Authority, said the pipeline will add value to natural gas produced in the state, which is rich in natural gas liquids such as ethane. Ethane is used by the petrochemical industry to produce plastics, rubber, detergents and other consumer products.

“Right now there are limited options for that ethane,” Kringstad said.

The North Dakota portion of the pipeline is about 80 miles. Construction of the pipeline will be ongoing in conjunction with the expansion of the Hess natural gas plant, which is expected to be complete this year, Kringstad said.

The Vantage project is estimated to require 400,000 man hours to construct and cost $300 million.

U.S. Sen. John Hoeven and U.S. Rep. Kevin Cramer, both R-N.D., issued statements Tuesday applauding the decision and calling for the president to also support the Keystone XL Pipeline.

“It is good to see President Obama and the State Department recognizing the value of applying free trade to our vast energy and industrial resources, and we can only hope they will apply this logic to other projects including Keystone XL,” Cramer said.

Hoeven noted that the Vantage Pipeline was approved in three years, while the Keystone XL has been delayed for five.

“The Vantage Pipeline is another major piece of infrastructure that will help us build our North American energy security partnership with our closest friend and ally Canada,” Hoeven said. “The project illustrates clearly how modern pipelines can create jobs, make us more energy secure, and do so with good environmental stewardship. It will enable us to reduce flaring in North Dakota and also reduce emissions where the natural gas is used by industry.”

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