OneOK to build new, bigger natural gas plant

Nov 20, 2013

A company that has invested billions of dollars to collect and process natural gas in the Bakken has announced plans for another processing plant.

ONEOK Partners says the new Lonesome Creek plant -- to be built in McKenzie County, near Watford City -- will process 200 million cubic feet per day. ONEOK already has five processing plants on line or under construction in the Bakken. IN addition, the company will again expand its Bakken NGL pipeline, to ship liquefied gas to market.

ONEOK says it plans to spend between $650 and $780 million on those projects. ONEOK president Terry Spencer says that will bring the company's investment in the Bakken to more than $6 billion.

Spencer told Bismarck reporters this will also help solve some of the problems with flaring. Nearly 30 percent of Bakken gas is flared.

"By our own estimates, we expect the flaring to go from 29 percent on our dedicated acreage in our footprint to that 10 percent range," said Spencer. ONEOK estimates about half the natural gas produced in the Bakken is in its footprint.

Gov. Jack Dalrymple says the new plant will be a step in the right direction in reducing the amount of flaring in the Bakken.

"This is going to be a continuing, on-going challenge," said Dalrymple. "No one is going to declare 'mission accomplished' here today. We're going to hope that other companies, as well as ONEOK Partners, continue to play a significant role in this effort."

The new plant should be completed by the end of 2015.

ONEOK president Terry Spencer announcing new natural gas processing plant at a Capitol news conference.
Credit Dave Thompson / Prairie Public