Posted 1/18/12 (Wed)
By Kate Ruggles
Farmer Staff Writer
On Jan. 10, 2012, ONEOK Partners announced that its new 100 million cubic feet per day natural gas processing facility located northeast of Watford City, the Garden Creek Plant, is open and operational.
“The Garden Creek Plant is the latest example of ONEOK Partners’ ongoing commitment to bring much needed natural gas gathering and processing infrastructure to the highly productive Bakken Shale region,” said Terry K. Spencer, ONEOK Partners president. “The completion of this facility is a positive step toward reducing flaring activities in North Dakota.”
The issue of flaring has become all too familiar to western North Dakotans, and though the elimination of flaring events is a long way off and may never completely occur, the opening of ONEOK Partners’ Garden Creek Plant and their continued businesses in the Bakken Shale region will significantly reduce flaring events now and in the years to come.
According to Brad Borror, ONEOK Partners media contact, between now and 2014 ONEOK plans to invest approximately $1.5 to $1.8 billion for natural gas gathering and processing and natural gas liquids (NGL) businesses in the Bakken Shale.
“When oil is fracked, the natural gas comes out of the ground in liquid form with the oil,” Borror states.
Those natural gas liquids are sent to local processing plants, i.e. the Garden Creek plant in McKenzie County, for separation and refinement, via gathering pipelines.
For every well that ONEOK Partners has an agreement with, a gathering pipeline must be connected in order to collect the NGL. Part of their investment plan is the laying of these gathering pipelines.
In addition, ONEOK Partners will open two additional gas processing plants of the same size as the Garden Creek Plant in western Williams County. The Stateline I Plant should be operational in the late fall of 2012, and the Stateline II Plant is slated to open in the first half of 2013.
Also, the construction of the Bakken Pipeline, an approximately 500-mile NGL pipeline, which starts in Sidney, Mont. and transports natural gas liquids from the three local processing plants to another facility where they are further refined and separated, should be completed by the first half of 2013.
ONEOK Partners specializes in gathering, processing and transporting natural gas and natural gas liquids. They are headquartered in Tulsa, Okla., and are the largest independent operator of natural gas gathering and processing facilities in the Williston Basin, with a natural gas gathering system of more than 3,500 miles and acreage dedications of more than 1.9 million acres.
The Grand Opening Ceremony for ONEOK Partners’ Garden Creek Plant will be held on Friday, Jan. 20, at noon. Gov. Jack Dalrymple and other dignitaries will join members of ONEOK Partners’ management team to commemorate the completion of this, their first of three, NGL processing facilities.