May 29, 2013

PSC approves new gas plant near Watford

By Neal A. Shipman
Farmer Editor

The North Dakota Public Service Commission has approved the siting of a new 100 million cubic feet per day (mmcfd) natural gas processing plant near Watford City.
The $160 million plant, named Garden Creek III, will be run by ONEOK Rockies Midstream, LLC, and will be located on the same 80-acre site where the company is constructing another natural gas processing facility, Garden Creek II.
The site is also adjacent to ONEOK’s Garden Creek I plant, which is in operation. When completed all three plants on the location will have a combined natural gas processing capacity of 300 mmcfd.
“This project is another important step in reducing the flaring and waste of North  Dakota’s abundant natural gas resources,” states Commissioner Julie Fedorchak, who holds the siting portfolio. “It’s another significant investment in our state’s infrastructure that will serve the long-term needs of this growing industry, improve our environmental stewardship and put this product to productive use for American people.”
In an informal hearing during the permitting process, the company discussed its emergency response procedures, outlined the safety features of the project, and provided documentation that the project meets all the state and federal environmental, cultural and safety requirements.
North Dakota currently has 18 gas processing plants and five new plants or expansions are under development.
North Dakota is the second largest oil producing state with current production of 720,000 barrels per day from 188 rigs. Additionally, the state produces 846 mmcfd of natural gas as a byproduct of oil production. Data gathered by the North Dakota Pipeline Authority indicates the state will have the capacity to process up to 1400 mmcfd of natural gas by 2015 when the current announced expansions are complete.
The Public Service Commission has sited more than $13 billion of energy-related investments in North Dakota since 2005.
ONEOK Rockies Midstream, formally known as Bear Paw Energy, is based in Denver, Colorado, and currently operates eight natural gas processing plants in North Dakota.