Bakken Ethane Pipeline Gets State Department Approval

Vantage Ethane Pipeline Map
Vantage Ethane Pipeline Map

A pipeline that will move ethane from a Hess processing plant in Tioga, North Dakota, to Canada has been approved by the U.S. State Department.

The Vantage Pipeline will stretch 430 miles from Tioga, North Dakota, to Alberta, Canada, where it will deliver ethane to petrochemical plants. Approximately 80 miles of the pipeline will be located in North Dakota.

The pipeline will take several hundred thousand man hours and more than $300 million to build. Capacity is expected to be 40,000-60,000 b/d.

The Vantage Pipeline is another major piece of infrastructure that will help us build our North American energy security partnership with our closest friend and ally Canada. The project illustrates clearly how modern pipelines can create jobs, make us more energy secure, and do so with good environmental stewardship. It will enable us to reduce flaring in North Dakota and also reduce emissions where the natural gas is used by industry.
— Senator John Hoeven

Bakken Natural Gas Flaring Should Continue to Fall

Bakken Natural Gas Flaring
Bakken Natural Gas Flaring

Bakken natural gas flaring has risen over the past few years as drilling expanded across North Dakota and Eastern Montana. Flaring hit a peak at the end of 2008, declined through 2009, and has been increasing since that point. Currently, 30-35% of natural gas produced in North Dakota is flared.

Operators are focused on producing oil and have largely defaulted to waiting for infrastructure when it comes to natural gas. Oil accounts for approximately 90% of the production stream in a Bakken well and can be transported by truck or rail, in addition to pipelines. Natural gas, on the other hand, needs a pipe and in North Dakota it needs processing plants. Natural gas produced from the Bakken yields 8-13 gallons of NGLs per mcf (gpm).

Rich gas and a positive production outlook are why Oneok plans to add the Garden Creek III processing plant. When the plant is completed in 2015, the company will have almost 600 mmcfd of processing in the basin.