Public hearing held for proposed carbon dioxide pipeline

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Tyler Schilke (front, center) responds to questions from Casey Jacobson (far right) as NDPSC commissioners (back, from left) Randy Christmann, Julie Fedorchak, and Brian Kroshus, and court reporter Stephanie Smith (to Schilke’s right) listen.

The North Dakota Public Service Commission (NDPSC) held a public hearing in Beulah, North Dakota, on July 12 to consider a carbon dioxide pipeline being proposed by Dakota Gasification Company. The Dakota Carbon Pipeline would be used to carry carbon dioxide captured at the Dakota Gas' Great Plains Synfuels Plant to well sites for underground sequestration. Dakota Gas is seeking a Certificate of Corridor Compatibility and Route Permit from the NDPSC.

Carbon dioxide is a product of the facility’s coal gasification process. Approximately two-thirds of its production is being captured and sent via pipeline to Canada for enhanced oil recovery. Tyler Schilke, Basin Electric supervisor of mechanical engineering and project manager, said the 6.8-mile pipeline is part of a project under review by Basin Electric that would facilitate the capture and sequestration of additional carbon dioxide. He said the project would be a step toward the state’s goal of being carbon neutral by 2030. It would also provide a path to the Internal Revenue Service’s 45Q tax credit for carbon sequestration projects.

Schilke said the pipeline would cross land currently impacted by coal mining and reclamation activities and other utility development. Land in the proposed corridor is owned by Basin Electric and The Coteau Properties Company, which operates the Freedom Mine. Pending permitting, pipeline construction would begin in early fall of 2021 and be completed by the second quarter of 2022.

Basin Electric and Dakota Gas project team members provided testimony about the pipeline and answered questions from the NDPSC. Witnesses included: Schilke; Kevin Solie, Basin Electric senior environmental compliance administrator; and Claude O’Berry, Dakota Gas pipeline superintendent. Casey Jacobson, Basin Electric senior staff counsel, served as legal counsel for the project at the hearing.

A storage facility permit from the North Dakota Industrial Commission will be required for the proposed injection well sites at a later date. A test well is being drilled on The Coteau Properties Company’s land to gather more information for the well permit application.

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Test well drilling began the end of June and is located on The Coteau Properties Company’s land. Test well results will be used for information within the class VI well application and is part of the 45Q tax credit effort.

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