Pipeline Lowers Propane Prices - KMOT.COM - Minot, ND - News, Weather, Sports

Pipeline Lowers Propane Prices

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During a very cold winter, many North Dakotans are being forced to conserve heat.

"Well, I'm letting my beard grow out a little longer. And then, I'm setting our thermostats down in the house and turning them down to sixty-two. If we're not home, we turn them down a little. The last one out of the house turns it down. And then, when you get home, you grab a blanket and sit in one of your chairs," says Bruce Lang.

Lang and his family use propane to heat their homes. And due to the recent shortage, they're doing whatever they can to salvage their supply.

"So, we're just basically holding off as long as we can and holding our tanks a little lower than what we should, but we're hoping it just comes down a little bit more," says Lang.

Last week, ONEOK reversed the flow of a pipeline to bring more propane to the Midwest. And another pipeline will be bringing more into our area. That should lead to much lower prices, although some companies may still have expensive product in their tanks.

"As a result of that, the consumer has held off on buying it. The retailers said just sit tight; we'll try to ride this thing out, so you don't have to buy another expensive round of product. And at this point, we're winning that battle. And if Mother Nature cooperates, we'll be fine. If Mother Nature doesn't, and we go into a real cold snap, we could definitely have some issues," says Mike Rud, North Dakota Petroleum Marketers Association.

Rud says a gallon of propane currently costs about $3.50 a gallon.

A similar shortage could happen next year if additional propane supplies can't be found. A pipeline that has supplied the state for years will no longer be bringing the fuel into North Dakota.

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