TULSA — ONEOK Partners LP intends to invest as much as $780 million in infrastructure serving North Dakota's oil-rich Bakken Shale by 2016, the partnership announced Tuesday.
ONEOK Partners plans to expand the capacity of its Bakken natural gas liquids pipeline for the second time and build a natural gas processing facility in McKenzie County, N.D. That plant will be the partnership's sixth new processing plant in the region since 2010.
“Production in the Williston Basin continues to increase with no signs of leveling off or slowing,” ONEOK Partners President Terry K. Spencer said. “The new Lonesome Creek plant and related infrastructure will be well-positioned to capitalize on existing ONEOK Partners assets and provide producers in the area with essential natural gas processing capacity.
“These investments are another example of ONEOK Partners' ongoing commitment to address natural gas gathering and processing constraints in the region and help reduce natural gas flaring in North Dakota.”
ONEOK Partners is the largest independent operator of natural gas gathering and processing facilities in North Dakota's Williston Basin, but the state needs additional infrastructure to handle its booming oil and natural gas production.
Producers have been forced to burn off natural gas because there is not sufficient infrastructure.
ONEOK Partners on Tuesday said it plans to spend as much as $390 million on the Lonesome Creek plant, which would be its largest in North Dakota with capacity to process 200 million cubic feet of gas a day. The partnership will invest another $230 million or more on related system expansions and upgrades.
ONEOK Partners also will invest an additional $100 million to boost the capacity of its Bakken NGL Pipeline to 160,000 barrels a day.
The 600-mile line originally had a capacity of 60,000 barrels a day, but an expansion to 135,000 barrels a day already is underway.
The initial expansion is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2014, with the next expansion eyed for the first half of 2016.