Bakken in the backyard: MDU Resources Group family of companies all busy in the Bakken

WBI Energy, the natural gas transmission pipeline unit of MDU Resources, recently exceeded the one-billion-cubic-feet level of capacity thanks, in part, to agreements to build and operate takeaway pipelines serving new natural gas processing facilities in North Dakota.

WBI Energy, the natural gas transmission pipeline unit of MDU Resources, recently exceeded the one-billion-cubic-feet level of capacity thanks, in part, to agreements to build and operate takeaway pipelines serving new natural gas processing facilities in North Dakota.

For more than 90 years, the group of companies that comprise MDU Resources Group have been busy in the Bakken. “We are built for the Bakken; it’s in our backyard,” says Bill Schneider, executive vice-president of the corporation’s Bakken development. “Even though we are spread out over most of the U.S., we come home to the Bakken.”

Schneider explains that MDU Resources essentially began its operations in the region back in the 1920s and now finds itself more active than ever in its home territory.

“Our group of companies presents a solid portfolio of valuable products and services in demand in the Bakken region,” Schneider says. “We have been especially busy over the past several years considering the uptick in activity and we’re not slowing down.”

The corporation’s work in the area is built upon a strong foundation of long-held development in the region, creating momentum to push the company ahead in 2013. “We are excited about the opportunities we are pursuing and are committed to continue growing our company with a capital budget of $3.8 billion between 2013 and 2017,” says David L. Goodin, president and CEO of MDU Resources.

Company-wide capital investments in 2013 are expected to be more than $800 million, Goodin states.

MDU Resources Group has created a unique website spotlighting the specific infrastructure available in the Bakken region.  To view the site, go to www.mdubakken.com.

MDU Resources Group has created a unique website spotlighting the specific infrastructure available in the Bakken region. To view the site, go to www.mdubakken.com.

Leading the way in the company’s Bakken development is the construction of a 20,000 barrel-per-day diesel topping plant in southwestern North Dakota near Dickinson. The facility, to be jointly owned by MDU Resources subsidiary WBI Energy and Calumet Specialty Products Partners, L.P., would process Bakken crude and market the diesel within the Bakken region. Construction is expected to begin this spring with a projected in-service date in late 2014.

WBI Energy continues to pursue facility expansion in the Bakken region, where it owns an extensive natural gas pipeline system. This unit offers the region natural gas transmission pipeline services, along with natural gas gathering and processing.

The company’s oil and natural gas production operations are part of Fidelity Exploration & Production Company. With approximately 127,000 net acres of leaseholds in the Mountrail, Stark and Richland counties, oil production is benefitting from improving drilling efficiencies. At year-end, Fidelity was operating five rigs in the Bakken.

The entry of the corporation into the Bakken region so many years ago was a function of the demand for residential and commercial electric and natural gas service. And in western North Dakota, electric and natural gas service is much more than a mere convenience; it’s a life-sustaining necessity and a buttress against the region’s bitterly cold winters.

Montana-Dakota Utilities Co. is a familiar brand to area residents and sits high atop the name-recognition scale since the company’s signs have hung from main street offices in several cities and towns in western North Dakota for decades.

In recent years, the tremendous growth of western North Dakota cities has enhanced the corporation’s utility operations, where they now serve more than 60,000 customers.

Rounding out the portfolio of energy services is the construction services segment. MDU Construction Services Group has 17 operating companies authorized to work in 44 states. Three of its companies—Hamlin Electric, Rocky Mountain Contractors and Energy Electrical Distribution—are currently busy in the Bakken.

Services offered include electric power-line construction, substation construction, and wiring services for industrial and commercial facilities.

Electrical supplies and power-line construction equipment also are available.
But the corporation provides more than just energy services. Knife River Corporation, the company’s aggregate and construction materials company, has been part of the business family since 1945. Starting as a lignite coal mining company near Beulah, N.D., Knife River is now a broad-based aggregate and construction materials company working in 17 states.

To respond to growing demand for aggregates for road-building, ready-mix concrete and asphalt in western North Dakota, Knife River opened operation centers in Williston, Minot, and Tioga. These locations compliment existing Knife River operations in Beulah, Washburn, and Bismarck.

“We know the Bakken,” Schneider says. “It’s our backyard. We have developed the resources and relationships that come from 90-plus years of business. Our full-service energy, construction and utility company provides a single storefront for a wide variety of Bakken-area needs. We produce oil and we build pipelines and transport natural gas. We construct roads, oil pads and subdivisions. We sell construction materials and electrical supplies. Think of us as the infrastructure provider for a wide variety of applications.”

New CEO at MDU Resources

presidentWith the New Year came a new president and CEO for MDU Resources. David L. Goodin, a 30- year company veteran and previous CEO of the corporation’s utility division, took over for retiring Terry D. Hildestad on Jan. 4. Hildestad announced retirement plans in August 2012 after a 38-year career with the company. Goodin, 51, also was selected to a position on the corporation’s board of directors. Goodin served as president and chief executive officer of MDU Resources’ four utility businesses that collectively serve nearly one million customers—Montana-

Dakota Utilities Co., Great Plains Natural Gas Co., Cascade Natural Gas Corporation and Intermountain Gas Company.

Goodin is no stranger to western North Dakota. He began his career with the company in 1983 as an electrical engineer in the company’s Dickinson, N.D. office. He also worked for the company in Glendive, Mont., and Williston, N.D. Goodin served in several positions of increasing responsibility before being named president of Cascade Natural Gas in 2007. He became president of Montana- Dakota Utilities, Great Plains Natural Gas and Intermountain Gas in 2008.

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