Producers in the booming Bakken Shale are getting their wish for more infrastructure with the announcement Friday that a unit of Plains All American Pipeline LP (PAA) will construct a cryogenic gas processing plant to serve them. Separately, Alliance Pipeline has filed for a FERC certificate for its previously announced Tioga Lateral project.
The need for infrastructure to serve Bakken Shale production is seen to be so great that North Dakota's Pipeline Authority recently ordered a study of existing infrastructure to determine its adequacy (see related story).
Plains Gas Solutions LLC (PGS), which was formerly known as CDM MAX LLC, plans to construct the plant with deep cut ethane plus recoveries and specification product fractionation capability at its multi-product Ross Complex near Ross, ND.
The Ross Gas plant is expected to be sized to process 50-75 MMcf/d and is scheduled to be in service in the spring of 2013. PGS has executed a letter of intent with an anchor customer to provide long-term natural gas supply for the plant, and is in active negotiations with additional potential customers to appropriately size the facility.
"The addition of gas processing and fractionation capability at our Ross Complex complements our expanding Bakken area crude oil and NGL [natural gas liquids] operations, strengthening PAA's ability to provide a wide range of services for hydrocarbons produced in the region," said PAA COO Harry N. Pefanis.
According to PAA, the Ross Plant will be capable of producing stabilized condensate, purity ethane, specification propane, as well as a butane plus raw-make NGL stream. It will deliver pipeline-quality residue gas into Williston Basin Interstate Pipeline Co's transmission system at the tailgate of the facility.
In addition to the gas plant, PAA's Ross Complex includes rail-loading and storage facilities. The NGL portion and the first phase of the crude oil portion of the rail facility were recently commissioned with a design capacity to trans-load 8,500 b/d of NGLs and 20,000 b/d of crude oil.
The second phase of the crude oil facility, which is targeted to be in service by the fourth quarter, will provide unit train loading capability of up to 65,000 b/d and will be served by a new 16-mile, 10-inch diameter crude oil pipeline extending from PAA's Robinson Lake pipeline near Stanley, ND, to the Ross Complex.
Also growing Bakken infrastructure is Alliance Pipeline LP, which on Wednesday filed at FERC an abbreviated application for its Tioga Lateral.
Last June Alliance Pipeline said it would develop the project and that Hess Corp. had contracted for capacity (see Shale Daily, Sept. 29, 2011; June 24, 2011; ). The 79-mile gas pipeline will run from the tailgate of a Hess Corp. gas processing plant in Tioga, ND, to an interconnection with the Alliance mainline near Sherwood, ND.
Alliance said in its filing at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission that its system is the only one in the region that is capable of carrying rich gas. "Alliance is uniquely situated to serve this growing natural gas production due to its ability to transport rich natural gas, which can then be processed at the Aux Sable Liquid Products extraction and fractionation plant located at the terminus of the Alliance pipeline system in Joliet, IL," Alliance said.
The $141 million Tioga Lateral project is planned to have capacity of 106,500 MMcf/d.