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Oneok Continues Building Out Bakken Infrastructure

Tulsa-based Oneok Partners LP is planning to start up a new natural gas processing plant late this month in the heart of the Bakken Shale play in McKenzie County, ND, and that is just the beginning of a series of infrastructure additions slated for the area by the end of next year.

Oneok's 200 MMcf/d Lonesome Creek gas processing plant is set to start operations at the end of November, a company spokesperson told NGI's Shale Daily on Tuesday. By the end of next year, the company plans to have additional processing and pipeline infrastructure in place, bringing to a close a multi-billion-dollar, six-year effort to meet demand for new takeaway capacity in the Williston Basin (see Shale DailyMay 20, 2014).

Related to the Lonesome Creek facility, Oneok has begun construction of a second expansion of its Bakken natural gas liquids (NGL) pipeline, a $100 million addition to boost the pipeline's total capacity to 160,000 b/d. It is scheduled to be completed in the second quarter.

The Bakken NGL pipeline was originally built as a 60,000 b/d conduit and last year was expanded to 135,000 b/d, but additional capacity was needed to handle NGL volumes envisioned from Lonesome Creek.

A year ago, Oneok established a $480-680 million program for infrastructure additions in North Dakota and Wyoming, capping a six-year $7.5-8.2 billion capital expenditure program to keep pace with the U.S. domestic oil/gas boom (see Shale DailySept. 23, 2014).

Before the end of this year, Oneok plans to complete additional gas compression to "take advantage of additional gas processing capacity at our Garden Creek II and III and Stateline I and II processing facilities by a combined 100 MMcf/d," the spokesperson said. The additional compression will be in place later this year.

Also set to be completed in this quarter are the Stateline de-ethanization facilities, which will have the ability to produce approximately 26,000 b/d of ethane.

Finally, Oneok has a new 80 MMcf/d gas processing facility, Bear Creek, and related infrastructure in northwest Dunn County that is scheduled for completion in the third quarter of 2016.

Early this year, Oneok suspended plans to build a trio of gas processing plants in the Bakken and two other shale basins in three states as part of a revised capital spending budget in response to the crude oil price crash (see Shale Daily,Feb. 24). That included suspension of construction of the Demicks Lake facility in the Williston Basin in North Dakota.

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