Construction of natural gas plant on holdThe final OK for a natural gas plant slated for construction near Watford City has been delayed after the state’s Public Service Commission tabled review of the application during a meeting in Bismarck Friday morning.
The final OK for a natural gas plant slated for construction near Watford City has been delayed after the state’s Public Service Commission tabled review of the application during a meeting in Bismarck Friday morning.
Bear Paw Energy LLC, a subsidiary of ONEOK Partners, LP, is vying to construct a $150 million to $175 million natural gas processing facility eight miles northeast of Watford City.
Dubbed the Garden Creek Gas Plant, the facility would process gas developed from the Bakken Formation in eastern McKenzie and southwestern Mountrail counties, with the capability of recovering about 25,000 barrels of natural gas liquids a day, according to a letter of intent filed with the PSC.
Gas would travel through a low-pressure gas gathering system and compressor stations where it is then routed to the Garden Creek Plant to be processed for natural gas liquid extraction, according to the letter.
The product would then be transported via pipeline to Bear Paw’s Riverview rail terminal near Sidney, Mont. for further transport via railcar or pipeline to various facilities for further processing.
The PSC was slated to make a final vote on Bear Paw’s application Friday, however a Montana-Dakota Utilities Co. rate hearing took twice as long as anticipated.
“While we didn’t receive approval today from the Public Service Commission, we are optimistic that we will receive the approval soon,” said Brad Borror, ONEOK’s supervisor of external communications, according to an e-mail.
PSC Commissioner Brian Kalk said while he doesn’t anticipate any issues with the application, it is a matter of needing more staff time to review the documents before votes are cast.
“Once we would vote on that they’ve got the green light to start construction,” Kalk said. “We’ve got to make sure we just do everything right in these cases so we don’t rush anything, but we want to be sensitive to construction timelines too.”
By North Dakota standards, the proposed Bear Paw plant is of substantial size, Commissioner Tony Clark said in August.
Growth associated with the plant coupled with the gas gathering system could result in 25 jobs, Megan Washbourne, ONEOK media contact said in August.
A letter of intent filed with the PSC in August, anticipated construction to begin in September.
“We anticipate commencing construction shortly after receiving the commission’s approval and expect the Garden Creek natural gas processing facility to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2011 as previously reported,” Borror said in an e-mail.
Kalk said the application will be revisited during a regularly scheduled PSC meeting on Nov. 24 at 9 a.m. Mountain Time in Bismarck.