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North Dakota Regulators Approve NGL, Oil Pipelines

The North Dakota Public Service Commission (PSC) last Thursday approved siting permits for two new pipelines -- one carrying natural gas liquids (NGL) and the other crude oil.

Oneok Bakken Pipeline LLC was granted a permit for its Bear Creek NGL pipeline project covering parts of Dunn and McKenzie counties, and Oasis Midstream Services LLC gained the second permit to construct and operate a crude oil pipeline and related storage facilities in McKenzie County.

Oneok's proposed 8-inch diameter NGL pipeline will be 37 miles long, carrying Y-grade NGLs (ethane, propane, butanes, iso-butane mix, pentanes and natural gasoline) produced at the 80 MMcf/d Bear Creek Plant now under construction in Dunn county (see Shale Daily, Sept. 23, 2014). The $45 million pipeline project will have 14,000 b/d NGL capacity.

The pipeline will start at the processing plant and head northwest, ending at an interconnection with Oneok's existing Targa Pipeline on the east side of Highway 85 in McKenzie County.

Part of the pipeline route will cut through what the PSC called "sensitive areas," including the Little Missouri National Grasslands and about 60% of the pipeline will be co-located with other pipelines to minimize environmental and other impacts.

The 10.75-inch diameter Oasis pipeline will stretch 18.3 miles with a 0.9 mile lateral operating at a maximum capacity of 75,000 b/d. As part of the $13 million project, Oasis plans to build three above-ground storage tanks at the Wild Basin gas processing and crude handling facility, providing 200,000 bbls of storage capacity.

In addition to the added storage and handling capacity, the project "builds a strategic connection" between oilfields in the Bakken and export pipelines, according to PSC Chair Julie Fedorchak. "The volumes being transported by this line would require 280 truck trips daily, burdening local residents and causing additional wear and tear on our road system," Fedorchak said.

The pipeline is planned to originate at the gas processing/crude handling facility near Watford City and extend southeast, ending at the Tesoro Johnsons Corner Station, nearly three miles east  of Johnsons Corner and near the recently approved interstate Dakota Access Pipeline (see Shale Daily, March 14).

PSC officials noted that the latest design, construction, operation and safety standards for pipelines will be applied to the crude line, including a sophisticated control system with isolation valves that can be shut remotely. "Oasis will prepare an emergency response plan prior to starting operation," a PSC spokesperson said.

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