By Amy Dalrymple / Bismarck Tribune

BISMARCK—Two major oil and gas projects approved Wednesday by the North Dakota Public Service Commission aim to improve pipeline safety, meet local demand for diesel and reduce natural gas flaring in the state.

Commissioners approved a project from Cenex Pipeline LLC that will upgrade a portion of a refined fuels pipeline in northwest North Dakota that was built in 1960. However, the company does not have easement agreements to begin construction along 22 percent of the pipeline route.

Also Wednesday, commissioners approved the Arrow Bear Den gas plant near Watford City to process growing volumes of natural gas in the core of the Bakken.

Commission Chairman Randy Christmann said the two projects combined total more than $250 million in economic activity for the state.

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