The North Bakken pipeline expansion project currently under construction in North Dakota, US will transport associated natural gas from the Williston Basin to a new interconnect with Northern Border Pipeline Company’s existing mainline in McKenzie County, North Dakota.
WBI Energy, a subsidiary of MDU Resources Group, is the owner and operator of the North Bakken pipeline expansion project, which will have the capacity to transfer up to 250 million cubic feet of gas a day (mcfd).
WBI Energy started construction of the North Bakken expansion project in July 2021 after it received approval from the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in the same month.
The North Bakken expansion project will enable the transportation of associated natural gas from the Bakken and Three Forks formations in the Williston Basin to a new interconnect with Northern Border Pipeline Company’s existing mainline in order to serve the Midwestern US markets.
Estimated to cost approximately £188.8m ($260m), the pipeline expansion is expected to start operations in December 2021.
The North Bakken expansion project is located in Burke, McKenzie, Mountrail and Williams counties of North Dakota, US.
The North Bakken Expansion project includes the construction of multiple natural gas pipelines totalling an overall length of approximately 150.5km, the installation of a new compressor station and modification to an existing compressor station, along with the installation of block valves and pig launchers.
The project also includes the construction of the Northern Border Interconnect and the Norse Transfer Station, as well as upgrade works at receipt stations of the Norse, Robinson Lake and the Springbrook plants.
The project will provide infrastructure for the transportation of associated natural gas produced during oil production in the Williston Basin. The export of associated natural gas will lead to the reduction in gas flaring.
A 101km-long, 24in-diameter gas pipeline will be constructed from new facilities at the Tioga compressor station near Tioga, Williams County to the new Elkhorn Creek compressor station to be located southeast of Watford City, McKenzie County. The pipeline will enable bi-directional flow and will have maximum allowable operating pressure (MAOP) of 1,480 pounds per square inch gauge (psig).
A 480m-long, 24in-diameter natural gas pipeline with the same MAOP will also be laid from the Elkhorn Creek compressor station to a new interconnect with Northern Border’s mainline southeast of Watford City, McKenzie County.
New interconnect facilities will be constructed at the Northern Border pipeline to handle natural gas transported by the North Bakken expansion project.
A 32.67km-long,12in-diameter loop pipeline will be constructed between the Tioga compressor station and the new Norse transfer station in Burke County.The pipeline will allow bi-directional follow and will have an MAOP of 1,098psig.
As part of the project, WBI Energy will uprate approximately 28.3 miles of the existing 8in-diameter Line Section 25 which currently has an MAOP of 700psig.
A 15.45km-long, 12in-diameter Line Section 30 loop will be laid from the existing Nesson Valve Setting to the Tioga compressor station in Williams County. The pipeline enabling bi-directional flow will have an MAOP of 700psig.
Lastly, the 800m-long, 20in-diameter Tioga Compressor Lateral, with an MAOP of 1,480psig, will be constructed from the Tioga Plant receipt station to the new facilities at the Tioga compressor station.
Compressor station details
The existing Tioga compressor station will be modified to meet the design requirements of the North Bakken expansion project.
It will include the installation of three new compressor units to provide 11,250hp of additional compression capacity, and the installation of a new transfer grid to tie-in Line Sections 7, 25, and 30, and the Tioga-Elkhorn Creek pipeline, the Line Section 25 and 30 Loops, and the Tioga Compressor Lateral.
The 3,750hp-capacity Elkhorn Creek compressor station will be constructed approximately 12.9km southeast of Watford City, in McKenzie County.
The new compressor station will be connected to the Tioga-Elkhorn Creek pipeline and the Elkhorn Creek-Northern Border pipeline.