PSC member concerned about having enough natural gas liquids for petro-chemical development in ND

Jan 16, 2018

Credit Submitted photo

A member of the North Dakota Public Service Commission said while she’s glad OneOK is planning to build a new natural gas liquids pipeline to carry Bakken NGLs, she’s a little concerned that there may not be a supply for any potential petro-chemical industry development in North Dakota.

One OK is planning to build the $1.4 billion, 900 mile Elk Creek pipeline from eastern Montana to Kansas.

"When these pipes go in, they get long-term commitments," Fedorchak said. "It makes it hard for anyone who want to build a facility in North Dakota to actually have the ethane to do it."

Fedorchak said she appreciates One OK’s commitment. But she saids she hopes there isn’t a “point of no return” for any NGLs to be available for North Dakota.

"I appreciate the commitment, and I know it's necessary to find an off-ramp for these products," Fedorchak said. "But once the infrastructure is in place, I fear there is a point of no return, where the product is all going to be gone, and we won't have the opportunity to develop the industry in this state."

ND Pipeline Authority director Justin Kringstad.
Credit Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

"As we look forward to North Dakota's petroleum development, I believe there are enough natural gas liquids," said Pipeline Authority director Justin Kringstad.

Kringstad told reporters the new pipeline is a necessity.

"As we sit today, the production level (of NGLs) is above our pipeline capacity," Kringstad said. "We're utilizing trucks and rail cars in order to move all the NGLs to market."