Dickinson Refinery Begins Producing Fuel From Bakken Crude Oil

The jar is soon to develop into a keepsake. It accommodates a few of the primary diesel fuel created from Bakken crude oil on the refinery facility west of Dickinson.

After more than two years of construction and testing, the approximately $425 million refinery — the primary greenfield refinery built in the United States since 1976 — started making product over the weekend and is now storing it in preparation on the market.

“It has been a long course of,” stated Podratz, the refinery’s plant supervisor.

Construction on the power, which is jointly owned and operated by MDU Resources Group and Calumet Specialty Products Partners, began March 26, 2013, with a groundbreaking on the 318-acre site about four miles west of Dickinson.

Podratz mentioned the refinery plans to steadily ramp up its manufacturing of diesel fuel, naphtha, atmospheric bottoms and a small quantity of pure fuel liquids. The refinery was operating at about half capability Monday and Podratz mentioned he hopes it is producing at full capacity by the end of Might.

“It is historic. Obviously, it hasn’t been carried out in forty years,” Podratz mentioned. “To be able to be a part of it from the start — from scratch — to place the group collectively has been phenomenal.”

Gov. Jack Dalrymple, in a press release, known as the refinery’s startup “good for North Dakota and for the nation.”

The refinery will process 20,000 barrels of Bakken crude oil each day, which will produce 7,000 barrels of diesel gas.

Diesel gross sales are expected to start this month and nearly the entire gas will keep in a 50-mile radius of Dickinson. Podratz mentioned the native agriculture, railroad and vitality industries will benefit most from the refinery. North Dakota’s diesel demand was at about 70,000 barrels a day in 2014. The Tesoro refinery in Mandan produces about 20,000 barrels a day.

“It reinforces that our state isn’t simply creating power now, however making ready for the future wants of our state,” Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., mentioned in a press release.

Orifice rippleNaphtha and atmospheric tower bottoms are being loaded into rail cars near the refinery. Up to six,500 barrels per day of naphtha, a diluent to transport heavy oil by pipeline or as a feedstock in gasoline manufacturing, and as a lot as to 6,000 barrels per day of atmospheric tower bottoms, that are used as a feedstock for lubricating oils, are expected to be produced every day. About 300 barrels of NGLs produced every day might be trucked away.

In whole, of the 20,000 barrels of crude oil being refined each day, round 19,800 barrels of product will probably be produced.

“You realize, obviously we’re thrilled, but there’s still some work to do here,” Podratz stated. “The first little bit of diesel gasoline going into the tank is obviously a milestone. For that, we’re thrilled. However there’s nonetheless a lot of labor to do right here. That diesel gasoline has bought to be tested.”

Podratz can be around to get the refinery running, however will then be shifting again to Calumet’s facility in Superior, Wis. He was employed to oversee development and startup, and stated he will likely work by way of June. He’ll then step aside and hand off operations to incoming plant supervisor Mary Trost.

Trost starts Could 18. She is coming after serving as operations supervisor of BP’s Cherry Point Refinery in Blaine, Wash.

“She had an impressive expertise background that fits precisely what we’re doing here,” stated Tim Rasmussen, public relations supervisor for MDU Resources.

The refinery had seventy three full-time employees as of Monday, plus about 20 contracted upkeep and security workers. More than 800 workers have been on site at peak development, Rasmussen mentioned. Podratz estimates about a hundred and twenty whole employees are still on site.

“We need to spend money on our nation’s power infrastructure,” Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., said in an announcement. “The Dakota Prairie Diesel Refinery is a good instance of the sort of infrastructure investments that can help guarantee a vibrant power future for North Dakota and our nation. We’re pleased to see production underway on the refinery.

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