Posted 5/05/10 (Wed)
By Tina Foreman
Farmer Staff Writer
As the oil companies continue tapping into the Bakken Formation, it’s likely that McKenzie County will continue to expand, with the most recent expansion being a new gas plant southeast of Watford City.
ONEOK Partners, L.P., will invest approximately $405 million to $470 million between now and the end of 2011 for projects in the Bakken Shale, with a large portion of the investment going into the Garden Creek natural gas processing plant which will be located near ONEOK’s Grasslands plant.
“These investments are intended to enable ONEOK to meet the rapidly growing needs of the producers in this area,” says Brad Borror, ONEOK company spokesman. “We chose to add this plant in the Watford City area because there has been a big increase in activity there and it’s in the middle of our existing gathering area.”
ONEOK Partners, L.P. is the largest independent operator of natural gas gathering and processing facilities in the Bakken Shale region, with a gathering system of more than 3,500 miles. In March 2009, it completed a $46 million expansion of its Grasslands natural gas processing facility in McKenzie County and since 2007 has invested more than $80 million in new well connections and related infrastructure upgrades to existing natural gas gathering systems in the region.
The new Garden Creek Plant, a 100 million cubic foot per day natural gas processing facility is estimated to cost between $150 million and $210 million. The new plant will double the partnership’s natural gas processing capacity in the Williston Basin.
“This is a big investment, but adding 100 million cubic feet of natural gas per day is a good amount, so the investment is worth it,” adds Borror. “There is a lot of natural gas going to waste as new wells get tapped. This new plant will allow us to get more of that gas to consumers.”
ONEOK is in the process of acquiring permits and getting the final details in order with hopes of completing the plant toward the end of 2011.
“I don’t know how many jobs the plant will create, but it is easy to assume that there will be jobs added during the construction phase and once the plant is open,” says Borror.
In addition to the construction of a new natural gas processing plant, ONEOK Partners’ natural gas gathering and processing segment will invest an additional $200 million to $205 million during 2010 and 2011 for new well connections, expansions and upgrades to its existing natural gas gathering system infrastructure in the Bakken Shale.