Posted 8/05/14 (Tue)
By Neal A. Shipman
ONEOK Partners, the largest natural gas company operating in western North Dakota announced on Wednesday, July 30, that it intends to build yet another major natural gas processing plant project in McKenzie County.
Oneok Partners President Terry Spencer said construction of the new Demicks Lake Natural Gas Processing Plant, which will be complete in the third quarter of 2016, is estimated to cost between $515 million and $670 million, and will equal the size of the largest it has planned for construction in the state.
The Demicks Lake plant will be located approximately 15 miles northeast of Watford City near its Garden Creek complex. The plant is expected to create between 30 and 40 permanent jobs after construction is complete.
“This region is extremely important to our company,” Spencer said.
In addition to the new plant, Oneok plans on expanding its processing capacity at its existing plants in the state by 100 million cubic feet per day.
“ONEOK continues to make important investments in the Bakken region so that we can expand our ability to capture and process natural gas and reduce flaring,” stated North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple. “The state has established an ambitious goal to capture 90 percent of all natural gas within six years, and these types of investments by ONEOK and other leaders in the energy industry play a major role in meeting that goal.”
Since 2006, North Dakota has expanded its natural gas processing capacity six-fold, from 200 million cubic feet of natural gas per day to 1.3 billion cubic feet per day. By late 2015, new projects, including this project by ONEOK, will further increase the state’s natural gas processing to nearly two billion cubic feet per day.
“The growth in our natural gas processing capacity is remarkable,” stated Dalrymple. “But we know there is much work ahead to gather and process this rich natural resource and reduce flaring,”
North Dakota, according to the North Dakota Industrial Commission, is currently producing more than one million barrels of oil per day and one million cubic feet of natural gas per day,
However, the flaring of natural gas remains a problem in the areas of the Bakken region, like McKenzie County, which does not have adequate pipelines to transport the natural gas.
McKenzie County, according to Helms, has hundreds of wells burning off half their natural gas per month.
U.S. Sen. John Hoeven has called last week’s ONEOK announcement good news for the state because it will create jobs and capture more natural gas, while having desirable implications for the nation and its allies.
“The work ONEOK Partners is doing in North Dakota is an important part of our effort to build a national energy plan, which includes building the infrastructure we need to capture natural gas, bring it to market and reduce flaring,” stated Hoeven.
The new processing plant will be ONEOK Partners’ seventh to be constructed in the Williston Basin since 2010. ONEOK’s existing and planned projects will bring the energy company’s total investment in the Bakken to about $4 billion through 2016.
ONEOK is currently the largest independent operator of natural gas gathering and processing facilities in the Williston Basin, with a gathering system of more than 6,500 miles and about three million acres where production is dedicated to its systems.