Oil Driller Invests in Midwest Carbon-Capture Pipeline

The $250 million project would gather carbon dioxide from ethanol plants and pump it underground.

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BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota’s biggest oil driller said it will commit $250 million to help fund a proposed pipeline that would gather carbon dioxide produced by ethanol plants across the Midwest and pump it underground for permanent storage.

Billionaire oil tycoon Harold Hamm’s Continental Resources was scheduled to make a formal announcement of the investment into Summit Carbon Solutions’ $4.5 billion pipeline Wednesday morning at an ethanol plant in Casselton. The plant is one of 31 ethanol facilities across Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska and the Dakotas, where emissions would be captured and piped to western North Dakota and buried deep underground.

The pipeline developer's vice president Wade Boeshans said the project could move up to 12 million metric tons of carbon dioxide a year. That's equal to removing the annual carbon emissions of 2.6 million cars.

Boeshans said the involvement of Hamm likely will help raise capital for the project. Hamm's company helped lead a renaissance in the U.S. oil industry through the use of horizontal drilling to free oil trapped in shale rock.

Summit also may explore other options for the gas, including injecting it into old oil wells to boost production, Boeshans said. But that process has been largely unsuccessful so far in North Dakota.

Continental officials said they have no plans to use the gas for enhanced oil recovery.

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