Oneok Partners LP on Monday launched plans to build $595-730 million of natural gas liquids (NGL) projects between now and 2013, with most of the funds directed to the Williston Basin of North Dakota.

The biggest chunk of money, $450-550 million, would be used to build the Bakken Pipeline, an NGL pipe that would be 525-615 miles long. The pipeline would transport unfractionated NGLs from the Williston Basin to the Overland Pass Pipeline, a 760-mile NGL pipe that extends from southern Wyoming to Conway, KS.

Williams Partners LP and Oneok Partners jointly own Overland Pass Pipeline Co. LLC.; last Friday Williams announced that it would take its option to increase ownership in the pipe to 50% from 1% (see Daily GPI, July 26).

"As producers continue to aggressively develop NGL-rich natural gas production from crude oil-producing wells in the Bakken Shale and Three Forks formations, natural gas liquids takeaway capacity is required," said Oneok Partners COO Terry K. Spencer.

Oneok Partners plans to spend $35-40 million for related capacity expansions for the Overland Pass Pipeline to allow it to transport the new NGL volumes. Another $110-140 million would be used to expand the partnership's fractionation capacity at Bushton, KS, by 60,000 b/d, which would increase its capacity to 210,000 b/d. The fractionator was expanded to its current capacity two years ago.

The proposed Bakken Pipeline initially would transport NGLs from the partnership's gas gathering and processing assets in the Bakken Shale and from third-party gas processing plants south through western North Dakota and eastern Montana to Wyoming, where it would connect to the Overland Pass Pipeline near Cheyenne, WY. The volumes then would be delivered to existing NGL infrastructure in the Midcontinent. Additional pump facilities would increase the new pipeline's capacity to 110,000 b/d, the partnership said.

Supply commitments for the Bakken Pipeline would be anchored by the partnership's NGL production "and from third-party processors, which are in various stages of negotiation," it said. Once all of the necessary permits are received, construction of a 12-inch diameter pipeline could begin by mid-2012, with completion in the first half of 2013.

The Bakken Pipeline project and related expansions come after Oneok Partners in April said it would commit more than $400 million for new growth projects in the Bakken Shale (see Daily GPI, April 22). Included in its growth plans is the construction of the Garden Creek Plant, a 100 MMcf/d gas processing facility in eastern McKenzie County, ND, to double its processing capacity in the region.

In May MDU Resources Group Inc.'s Williston Basin Interstate Pipeline Co. announced plans to expand its gas pipeline capacity in the Bakken Shale by one-third, adding up to 30 MMcf/d of capacity for delivery to Northern Border Pipeline (see Daily GPI, May 20). The targeted in-service date is November 2011.

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