ONEOK Partners LP plans to invest $300-355 million in natural gas-related projects in the Bakken Shale through 2012 to accommodate growing production, the Tulsa-based partnership said Monday.

About $180-205 million is earmarked for the proposed Stateline I plant, a 100 MMcf/d gas processing facility, in Williams County, ND. Another $70-90 million would be spent to upgrade existing gathering and compression infrastructure. An additional $50-60 million is slated to be spent in 2011 and 2012 for new well connections adjacent to the Stateline I facility.

The Stateline I plant is scheduled to begin service in the second half of 2012. Stateline II, another gas processing plan being evaluated, could add another 100 MMcf/d of capacity if additional volumes become available for processing, the partnership said.

“Additional natural gas processing capacity and infrastructure are necessary as a result of increased natural gas and natural gas liquids [NGL] production associated with crude oil development in the Bakken Shale,” said ONEOK Partners COO Terry K. Spencer. “Since the beginning of the year, drilling activity has increased significantly in this region as a result of favorable crude oil economics and proven crude oil reserves,” he added.

When added to the Grasslands facility and along with the late 2011 start-up of the planned Garden Creek plant in eastern McKenzie County, ND, the Stateline I plant would increase the partnership’s gas processing capacity in the Williston Basin to about 300 MMcf/d, nearly tripling current capacity.

In July the partnership said it expected to spend around $700 million for NGL growth projects in the region (see Daily GPI, July 27). Included is the construction of an NGL pipeline that would be 525-615 miles long with capacity to transport 60,000 b/d of unfractionated NGLs from the shale play to the Overland Pass Pipeline.