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North Dakota Refinery Almost Complete

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 10:28am
Associated Press

DICKINSON, N.D. (AP) — Construction of an oil refinery near Dickinson is about three-fourths complete, and most of the jobs that will be created there have already been filled.

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. The facility is slated to be operating late this year.

"We are roughly 75 percent complete with the project," senior vice president John Stumpf told KXMB-TV (http://bit.ly/10070grA8n ). "We've had a kind of rough patch of weather since we started construction. We are roughly two weeks behind schedule, but what we're going to do to get that back on track is in late August we'll probably start working two shifts — a night shift in addition to our 6-10-hour days we are working now."

The refinery will process crude from the rich Bakken and Three Forks formations in western North Dakota, helping meet an unprecedented need for diesel fuel in the booming oil patch.

The refinery will employ about 90 workers. About 70 of the positions already have been filled by people with a lot of experience in the industry, according to MDU.

While about two-thirds of the workforce will be North Dakota residents, "we've hired people from plants in Texas, in Minnesota, Florida, Washington, Montana, so we've got a pretty good cross section," plant manager Dave Podratz said.

The refinery on a patch of land covering about half a square mile will process up to 20,000 barrels of oil daily. It will be the first oil refinery built in North Dakota in more than 30 years. The only refinery in the state is the Tesoro Corp. facility at Mandan.

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