May 18, 2011

Bear Paw Energy to build a 62-mile natural gas pipeline

By Neal A. Shipman
Farmer Editor

With the Garden Creek natural gas plant scheduled to go on-line by the end of 2011, ONEOK Partners of Tulsa, Okla., was in Watford City last Wednesday to discuss their plans to build a 62-mile liquid natural gas pipeline through McKenzie County.
The proposed 10” coated steel pipeline would connect the Garden Creek plant, which is being built northeast of Watford City and will have the capacity to process 100 million cubic feet of natural gas per day, to a facility near Sidney, Mont.
“We are in the process of securing all of the needed right-of-way for the pipeline right now,” stated Mick Urban, Government Relations Manager for ONEOK. “With the exception of having the right-of-way approval from the U.S. Forest Service, all of the rest of the right-of-way has been acquired.”
According to Urban, the pipeline, which will be pressurized to 1,110 pounds and will be buried four feet under the surface, will initially carry 30,000 barrels per day of liquid butane, propane and isobutane.
“We’re going to be turning off the flares from the wells and turn that natural gas into a commodity that is currently being wasted and move it to the marketplace,” stated Urban. Natural gas unless processed, according to Urban, is one of the byproducts of the oil industry.
The pipeline project, which according to Dick Vande Bossche, ONEOK’s director of operations, is projected to be completed by November if all of the right-of-way can be obtained.
“We anticipate that there will be 400 temporary jobs that will be associated with the construction of the pipeline,” stated Vande Bossche. “We are estimating that we will have 250 temporary workers hired in the next two to three weeks. The pipeline project will ramp up quickly with the majority of the workers gone by November.”
To house the temporary workers, Vande Bossche said that the company has already secured temporary housing arrangements for 300 of the needed workers in the Watford City area with the balance of the workers to be housed in Williston.
During the summer and fall, ONEOK will also be constructing compressor stations southwest of Watford City and in the vicinity of Tobacco Gardens, Keene and Arnegard that will bring the natural gas from producing wells to the Garden Creek plant.
“We are going to be gathering gas from producer’s oil wells to bring to the Garden Creek plant,” stated Vande Bossche. “We plan to have all of the compressor stations done by November or December.”
Once the Garden Creek plant and the new pipeline are completed, Vande Bossche estimates that 40 full-time jobs will be needed to support the processing plant and the pipeline.
“We currently have 10 full-time jobs in McKenzie County,” stated Vande Bossche. “When everything is done, we will have 40 long-term, stable jobs in the community.”
In addition to the Garden Creek processing plant and the natural gas pipeline in McKenzie County, ONEOK Partners is investing approximately $1 billion in the Williston Basin. Once the improvements have been made, the company will have the capacity to process approximately 400 million cubic feet of natural gas a day.