North Dakota approves Hess' $500MM natural gas processing plant expansion

By Phaedra Friend Troy

The Public Service Commission in North Dakota granted Amerada Hess (NYSE:HES) permission to start a $500 million expansion project at its Tioga natural gas processing plant in the state, according to a report from local newspaper The Bismark Tribune.

With a current capacity to process 120 million cubic feet of natural gas per day, Hess is expanding the capacity of the Tioga plant to 250 million cubic feet per day, supporting increased natural gas production in the region due to the Bakken Shale.

The expansion will be located about a mile from the current Tioga plant in Williams County. For an investment of $500 million, the expansion will allow the plant o process ethane from natural gas, which is used as a refrigerant and in chemical manufacturing.

Construction is slated to begin in July 2011 and conclude in mid-2013. The construction project is expected to employ some 300 to 500 personnel, for which the company plans to provide temporary housing.

Hess has been operating in North Dakota for more than six decades. With operations throughout the state and extensive Bakken Shale developments, Hess is the largest natural gas producer and the third-largest oil producer in North Dakota.

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