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Williston Basin Interstate Pipeline Pitches New Bakken Pipe

Another project was added to the recent spate of pipeline proposals last week when WBI Holdings Inc. subsidiary Williston Basin Interstate Pipeline Co. (WBIP) announced plans to develop the Bakken Pipeline, a 100-mile pipe designed to transport gas from the fast-growing Bakken Play in northwestern North Dakota and northeastern Montana to an interconnect with Alliance Pipeline.

The proposed 16-inch diameter pipeline would originate at an interconnect with Williston Basin's existing pipeline system in Mountrail County, ND, and would run northeasterly to interconnect with Alliance in Bottineau County, ND, WBIP said.

The pipe is expected to have an initial capacity of approximately 100 MMcf/d with the flexibility to expand to 200 MMcf/d. It is projected to be in service in mid-2010, subject to shipper commitment and regulatory approvals.

"The Bakken Pipeline will provide producers who are active in the Bakken play the option to deliver natural gas to the growing markets served by Alliance Pipeline in the Midwestern and Eastern United States," said WBI Holdings CEO Steven L. Bietz. "This pipeline will be designed to transport rich, high-Btu natural gas and will provide producers the option to deliver certain natural gas liquids out of the Bakken Play. It may reduce gas processing requirements and provide market opportunities for natural gas liquids that do not exist currently for the Bakken Play."

Producers and government agencies have long touted the potential reserves of the Bakken Shale. A recently completed assessment by the U.S. Geological Survey said it believes the Bakken formation's undiscovered volumes include 3.65 billion bbl of oil, 1.85 Tcf of associated/dissolved natural gas, and 148 million bbl of natural gas liquids.

WBIP said the Bakken Pipeline offers a number of potential benefits to producers and Williston Basin shippers, including:

An open season on the proposed pipeline is to begin June 16 and will run through July 11. More information is available at www.wbip.com.

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