BISMARCK Gov. Jack Dalrymple and executives from ONEOK Partners announced Wednesday the energy company's plans to build a natural gas plant capable of processing 200 million cubic feet of natural gas per day.
Dalrymple and Terry Spencer, ONEOK Partners' president and CEO, announced the project during a news conference in Bismarck.
ONEOK plans to build the Demicks Lake Natural Gas Processing Facility in northeast McKenzie County.
The burn off flame of natural gas lights up the night sky in Williston in June. On Wednesday an announcement was made in Bismarck for the construction of another gas plant in western North Dakota.
Construction of the processing plant and related infrastructure are expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2016 at a cost of between $605 million and $785 million.
Dalrymple and ONEOK Partners also announced that the Oklahoma-based energy company plans to build additional natural gas compression infrastructure at existing ONEOK plants in the Bakken region to increase the company's total processing capacity by additional 100 million cubic feet of natural gas per day.
"ONEOK continues to make important investments in the Bakken region so that we can expand our ability to capture and process natural gas and reduce flaring," said Dalrymple.
"The state has established an ambitious goal to capture 90 percent of all natural gas within six years and these types of investments by ONEOK and other leaders in the energy industry play a major role in meeting that goal," he said.
Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., said, "ONEOK Partners' announcement today is good news for North Dakota because it will create jobs and capture more natural gas, but it is also good news for the nation at a time when our allies in Europe and Ukraine need natural gas to resist Russian aggression."
Hoeven, who serves on the U.S. Senate Energy Committee, recently introduced legislation with Senators John McCain, Lisa Murkowski and John Barrasso that would cut the red tape holding up energy production and infrastructure development, reduce flaring and expedite liquid natural gas exports to America's allies.
He said opening world markets to North Dakota and U.S. gas production and exports will create jobs, boost our economy, raise our standard of living and help strengthen America's national security.
"The work ONEOK Partners is doing in North Dakota is an important part of our effort to build a national energy plan, which includes building the infrastructure we need to capture natural gas, bring it to market and reduce flaring," Hoeven said.
The new processing plant will be ONEOK Partners' seventh to be constructed in the Williston Basin since 2010. ONEOK's existing and planned projects will bring the energy company's total investment in the Bakken to about $4 billion through 2016.
Since 2006, North Dakota has expanded its natural gas processing capacity six fold, from 200 million cubic feet of natural gas per day to 1.3 billion cubic feet per day. By late 2015, new projects, including Wednesday's announced project by ONEOK, will further increase the state's natural gas processing to nearly 2 billion cubic feet per day.
"The growth in our natural gas processing capacity is remarkable, but we know there is much work ahead to gather and process this rich natural resource and reduce flaring," Dalrymple said.
ONEOK Partners is the largest independent operator of natural gas gathering and processing facilities in the Williston Basin, with a natural gas gathering system of more than 6,500 miles.