A new refinery in North Dakota is the first greenfield fuel refinery built in the United States in nearly 40 years.

Joint owners MDU Resources Group, Inc. and Calumet Specialty Products Partners, L.P. held a grand opening ceremony for the Dakota Prairie refinery on Monday.

The facility, which started operating on May 4, 2015, is capable of processing 20,000 barrels per day of Bakken crude oil. It is currently supplying about 7,000 barrels per day (bpd) of diesel fuel, helping to offset North Dakota's need to import nearly two-thirds of its diesel supply.

"This facility will help improve the state's diesel supply, and over time has the potential to be an important contributor to the economic growth of the local and state economy," commented Dave Goodin, MDU Resources president and CEO.

"The Dakota Prairie diesel refinery is helping us process crude right in the heart of our state's oil producing region," added North Dakota U.S. Senator John Hoeven.

In addition to diesel, the Dakota Prairie refinery is producing up to 6,500 bpd of naphtha, which is used as a diluent to transport heavy oil by pipeline and as a feedstock in gasoline. It is also producing 6,000 bpd of atmospheric tower bottoms, which can be used as a feedstock for lubricating oils and other refined products.

The refinery has about 80 full-time employees and operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.