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A short pipeline project to move natural gas liquids from a gas processing plant under construction in McKenzie County to a pipeline interconnect would reduce traffic by 95 truckloads per day, according to Oneok Bakken Pipeline LLC.

Members of the North Dakota Public Service Commission approved the proposed $6 million Lonesome Creek NGL Pipeline, saying it would help reduce natural gas flaring in the oil patch. The Wednesday vote on the project was 2-0; Commissioner Brian Kalk was absent.

Tulsa, Okla.-based Oneok is planning to build a 4-mile, 8-inch diameter pipeline in McKenzie County from its Lonesome Creek Gas Plant to an interconnect at its Garden Creek NGL Pipeline south of Arnegard.

“It’s a small but important piece of infrastructure,” commission chairwoman Julie Fedorchak said.

Oneok explained in its application that the purpose is to ship NGLs from the plant to the pipeline so it can be sent by pipeline or rail to various markets. The company says the pipeline could move as many as 30,000 barrels per day of NGLs.

“Without this piece, they’d have to transport with trucks,” Fedorchak said.

A company official says the 200 million cubic feet per day Lonesome Creek Gas Plant is expected to be online by Dec. 1 and the pipeline to be built and ready before that.

Flaring in the state was at 18 percent in May, the most recent numbers available.

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(Reach Nick Smith at 701-250-8255 or 701-223-8482 or at nick.smith@bismarcktribune.com.)

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