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Oneok Bakken Base Grows; $3.6B in Gathering, Processing

Tulsa, OK-based Oneok Partners LP footprint will continue to grow in North Dakota by another 400 MMcf/d of gas processing capacity now under construction to supplement an earlier 300 MMcf/d of new capacity at three separate locations, Oneok executives told NGI's Shale Daily at the Williston Basin Petroleum Conference, which began Tuesday in Bismarck, ND.

About half of Oneok's 2010 to 2016 investments companywide will be made in the Williston Basin, totaling about $3.6 billion, according to Kevin Burdick, vice president for gas gathering and processing. Oneok is providing these services to all of the major producers in the Bakken/Three Forks Shale plays.

The Williston investments include gathering/processing infrastructure, natural gas liquids (NGL) takeaway or fractionation capabilities to get the NGLs to market, Burdick said. "That is one way we slice our capital and the investment we are making in the Basin," he said

Given the continuing shale revolution in the Bakken, Burdick said "there are projections for upwards of 2 Bcf/d of gas in the Williston Basin in just a few years. From the gas perspective, we just passed 1 Bcf/d a few months ago (see Shale Daily, Oct. 15, 2013). As a result, the midstream industry has grown and we have expanded as well."

Oneok has recently completed three 100 MMcf/d processing plants and related pipeline gathering systems, and it has three more under construction, each set to come online between later this year and the end of 2015. The last one will be the 200 MMcf/d Lonesome Creek facility in McKenzie County.

"With each of the plants, we also invest in gathering pipe and compression infrastructure to get the gas from the wellhead to the plant," Burdick said. "It's not just the plants we bring up, but also all the steel infrastructure to get the gas to the plants."

Last year, Oneok announced some of this new natural gas infrastructure, offering hope that North Dakota’s chronic problem of flared associated gas can be mitigated more significantly in the months and years ahead. Senior executives of the company gathered with Gov. Jack Dalrymple at one point to outline plans for new natural gas processing and pipeline facilities, which are much coveted in the nation's second biggest oil-producing state, where production records for oil and gas have been broken almost every month over recent years (see Shale Daily, Nov. 21,2013).

Oneok has participated in the North Dakota Petroleum Council's flaring task force, which has outlined recommendations now being adopted by the state (see Shale Daily, Jan. 14).

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