PSC approves ONEOK's conversion of a pipeline from handling natural gas to natural gas liquids

May 1, 2018

Public Service Commissioners Brian Kroshus (i); chairman Randy Christmann; and Julie Fedorchak.
Credit Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

The Public Service Commission has approved ONEOK’s plans to convert an existing pipeline from natural gas to natural gas liquids.

The 45 mile, 12-inch diameter Cherry Creek pipeline runs from the Lonesome Creek gas plant to the Stateline gas plant. It will carry 50,000 barrels of the natural gas liquids daily.

Commissioner Julie Fedorchak said this will help companies reach their flaring reduction goals. And she said transportation by pipeline is safer than using trucks or rail cars.

"This is pretty volatile stuff," Fedorchak said. "This is the best way to do it."

Fedorchak said the Bakken will need to see more of this type of infrastructure.

Commission chairman Randy Christmann agreed.

"This is part of a bigger puzzle," Christmann said. "I think it's a well-designed plan, and I feel good about it meeting our environmental and safety standards."

The existing pipeline goes under the Missouri River. Fedorchak said it is drilled 118 feet below the river bed at the crossing. She said ONEOK still needs a permit from the Army Corps of Engineers before it can make the conversion.