$350 million Dakota Prairie Refinery at Dickinson to begin producing fuel in December

Energy Associated Press

Construction is wrapping up on an oil refinery near Dickinson that is expected to start producing fuel next month.

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Bismarck-based MDU Resources Group Inc. and Indianapolis-based Calumet Specialty Products Partners are building the $350 million Dakota Prairie Refinery. Construction started in March 2013.

"We've been at this for a year and a half or so. Hiring the employees, getting them trained, following the construction process," plant manager Dave Podratz told KXMB-TV (http://bit.ly/10DYVT1 ). "Now we're actively getting the plant commissioned, ready to start up, and we're really excited to be able to put our hands on the plant and start up the first new refinery in 40 years."

The refinery will help meet the need for diesel fuel in the booming western oil patch. About 90 people will work there full time, turning 20,000 barrels of crude from the rich Bakken and Three Forks formations in western North Dakota into 7,000 barrels of fuel each day. A barrel is 42 gallons.

"This refinery is designed to the most modern emission standards, very strict permit limits," Podratz said. "And it's going to be one of the most efficient refineries in the country."

The only refinery operating in North Dakota is the Tesoro Corp. facility at Mandan.

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Information from: KXMB-TV, http://www.kxnet.com