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With the proposed Bakken refinery, Belfield, North Dakota might soon be the site of the second new refinery built in the United States since 1976.
With the proposed Bakken refinery, Belfield, North Dakota might soon be the site of the second new refinery built in the United States since 1976.

New Bakken refinery could bring jobs to Dickinson area

The area west of Dickinson might soon get another diesel refinery, reports the Dickinson Press.

California-based Meridian Energy Group Inc. says its focus on the development of what it’s dubbed the “Davis Refinery” is a reflection of its commitment to operating in the Bakken oil patch “with a commitment to the future and an eye to the big picture.”

If plans for the refinery are approved, it would become the second new, or greenfield, refinery to be constructed in the United States since 1976. The first was the recently completed Dakota Prairie Refinery located outside of Dickinson.

According to the Oil & Gas Journal, the Davis Refinery would begin operations with a 20,000 barrel per day processing capacity, which would eventually be expanded to handle approximately 55,000 barrels per day, converting the raw crude into refined products. The Dakota Prairie Refinery is capable of handling an estimated 20,000 barrels per day, which is converted into diesel fuel, naphtha and other products.

The plant is currently in the design phase, and the company hopes to break ground on the 620 acre site outside of Belfield, North Dakota, in early 2016. On its website, Meridian states that the refinery will be a boon to the surrounding communities by creating permanent and high-paying jobs. The plant is being designed with high efficiency in mind and will be capable of producing diesel and jet fuel containing very low levels of Sulphur, years ahead of mandates the Environmental Protection Agency plans to impose.

Gaylon Baker, executive vice president of the Stark Development Corp, told the Dickinson Press he was pleased to see such a venture being planned in the area. He said, “It’s the kind of thing we’ve prepared for,” referring to the area’s infrastructure.

On its website, Meridian notes that the property is easily accessible with existing roads and is in close proximity to petroleum pipelines, rail loading facilities and BNSF railways.

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