A solid investment in N.D.

Hess Corp.’s upgraded gas plant in Tioga is a welcome investment in North?Dakota, a decision that will pay dividends for everyone involved.

Obviously, it’s a solid investment for Hess, which will be able to reduce how much natural gas it flares from between 25 and 30 percent to between 15 and 20 percent. That’s good for the environment, too. The decision to upgrade the Tioga facility also represents an investment by Hess that will take the company well into the the future in western North Dakota’s oil fields.

According to statistics for March, North Dakota burned off 33 percent of its natural gas, down from 36 percent in December 2013. The national average is about 1 percent, according to the U.S.?Energy Department, which means the oil industry in North Dakota has a long way to go to build enough infrastructure to use the natural gas that is currently being wasted in flaring. The changes at Hess’ Tioga plant won’t solve that issue, but it definitely will have an impact given that Hess is one of the top producers in the Bakken, producing between 80,000 and 90,000 barrels of oil daily.

Certainly, Hess’ investment in upgrading the natural gas plant in Tioga is a good business decision for the company, but it will pay dividends for North Dakota, too.