WBI Energy starts work on $260m gas pipeline extension
WBI Energy, a subsidiary of MDU Resources Group, has begun building a $260 million natural gas pipeline extension in North Dakota.
The North Bakken Expansion project, which includes construction of approximately 63 miles of 24-inch pipeline and 30 miles of 12-inch pipeline, as well as a new compressor station and additional associated infrastructure, aims to open by the year end.
It will connect WBI Energy’s Tioga Compressor Station near Tioga, with Northern Border Pipeline Company’s mainline at a new interconnection point south of Watford City.
David L. Goodin, president and CEO of MDU Resources, said WBI Energy transports more than 50% of the natural gas produced from the Bakken and this project will bring WBI’s total pipeline system capacity to more than 2.4 billion cubic feet per day while reducing natural gas flaring in the region by allowing producers to move more gas to market.
"Producers have reinforced their need for this additional capacity by committing to long-term transportation contracts with WBI,” said “We appreciate the support from state and federal officials who helped elevate the significance of this project for both its environmental and economic benefits."
More petroleum and natural gas was produced in the United States than in any other country during 2020 (a trend that began in 2014), according to latest EIA data.
US petroleum and natural gas output in 2020 totalled 66.9 quadrillion British thermal units (quads), which was more than both Russia’s 45.5 quads and Saudi Arabia’s 26.5 quads of petroleum and natural gas production.
Warren Buffett's company is abandoning its purchase of a natural gas pipeline from Dominion Energy because of uncertainty about whether the deal could get regulatory approval, according to Associated Press.
Berkshire Hathaway Inc. will receive a $1.3 billion refund on the proposed purchase of Questar Pipelines that was also supposed to include $430 million of Dominion's debt when it was announced a year ago.
University of Dresden constructs carbon concrete building
The Technical University of Dresden, in partnership with German architecture firm Henn, is constructing the first building to be made out of concrete and carbon fibre, rather than traditional steel.
The combination of materials, known as, “carbon concrete” has the same structural strength as its steel-reinforced alternative but less concrete is used, according to researchers at the university.
The building, called “The Cube” is currently under construction at the University of Dresden’s campus in Germany, and is believed to be the first carbon concrete building in the world. Strengthening the concrete, the carbon fibre yarns are used to create a mesh into which the concrete is then poured.
Unlike steel, the mesh is rust-proof meaning that the lifespan of carbon concrete is longer than that of the more typical steel-reinforced concrete. This also allows the layers to be much thinner than steel.
The design and shape of The Cube
According to the companies, the flexibility of carbon fibre allows the walls to fold up and become a roof. In a statement talking about the building’s design elements, Hen said: “The design of The Cube reinterprets the fluid, textile nature of carbon fibres by seamlessly merging the ceiling and walls in a single form, suggesting a future architecture in which environmentally conscious design is paired with formal freedom and a radical rethinking of essential architectural elements.
"The wall and ceiling are no longer separate components but functionally merge into one another as an organic continuum.” Displayed as a showpiece for TU Dresden’s major project, backed by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, The Cube aims to explore the potential uses of carbon concrete in construction.
"Carbon concrete could contribute to more flexible and resource-saving construction processes, and switching to carbon concrete could reduce the CO2 emissions from construction by up to 50%," Henn said in a statement.
Bio-based carbon fibre under development to reduce carbon footprint
While carbon fibre may be lighter and stronger than steel, it has a much higher carbon footprint. Describing the material’s impact on the environment, Dr Erik Frank, Senior Carbon Scientist at the German Institute of Textile and Fibre Research Denkendorf (DITF), said it is “usually very bad.” To reduce the carbon footprint, Frank is finding ways to make carbon fibre out of lignin, a common plant-based substance found in the paper manufacturing industry.