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ND Oil Refinery $50M Over Budget But Still On Track For December Startup

The Dakota Prairie Refining facility under construction four miles west of Dickinson will process 20,000 barrels of oil per day to supply diesel fuel and other products for MDU Resources and project partner Calumet Specialty Products LP.

U-tube heat exchanger

John Stumpf, senior vice president of business development for WBI Energy Inc. a subsidiary of MDU Resources, said they initially thought they might build the plant for $300 million, but the ultimate cost can crude oil exporting countries be around $350 million.

Construction started in March 2013, and the plant is about 60 percent completed, crude oil exporting countries Stumpf said. Thirty-nine of the 40 plant operations jobs have been filled, as have four of five shift supervisor positions and the senior management positions, he said.

“Today, things are looking good, so I’m smiling for the primary time in months, myself,” Stumpf said.

Lynn Helms, director of the North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources, noted the plant will likely be the primary greenfield refinery built within the United States since 1976.

It should produce about 7,000 barrels of diesel fuel per day that might be marketed locally, said Todd Borgmann, Calumet’s vice president of business development. Western North Dakota has seen a surge in truck traffic with oil and gas development, and Borgmann said he’s confident the refinery will find a marketplace for all of its No. 2 diesel.

“We’ve got quite a bit of interest out there,” he said.
The refinery also will produce about 6,500 barrels per day of naphtha, which will likely be shipped to Canada by railcar to be used as a diluent for heavy Canadian crude oil, Borgmann said.

Naphtha is a generic term used to explain refined or partly refined light distillates from petroleum. They’re blended or mixed with other materials to make high-grade gasoline or jet fuel and likewise are used as solvents, based on the U.S. Energy Information Administration.