ONEOK Partners plans to invest $1.5 billion to $1.8 billion between now and 2015 to build a 1,300-mile crude oil pipeline with the capacity to transport 200,000 bpd, the company said on Monday.
The Bakken Crude Express Pipeline will transport light-sweet crude oil from the Bakken Shale in the Williston Basin in North Dakota to the Cushing, Okla., crude market hub.
"As producers continue to aggressively develop crude oil from wells in the Bakken Shale, more crude-oil pipeline takeaway capacity will be required," said Terry K. Spencer, ONEOK president.
"This proposed pipeline will provide producers with efficient and reliable transportation of their product directly to one of the largest crude-oil market hubs in the US.
"It also represents our entry into the crude-oil transportation business and utilizes our existing core capabilities of transporting and storing natural gas, natural gas liquids and refined petroleum products," he added.
"Many of the supply commitments under negotiation are with the same producers in the Williston Basin that we currently serve."
Supply commitments for the proposed pipeline are in various stages of negotiation.
Following receipt of all necessary permits and compliance with customary regulatory requirements, construction is expected to begin in late 2013 or early 2014 and be completed by early 2015, the company said.
Based on supply commitments prior to construction, the capacity can be further increased.
Additionally, the proposed pipeline route will be well-positioned to transport crude oil production from the Niobrara Shale, ONEOK noted.
The proposed pipeline route is expected to parallel more than 80% of the partnership's existing and planned natural gas liquids pipelines, according to the company, which says it will be designed, constructed and operated using proven technology, pipeline control systems and continuous safety monitoring.
A map of the proposed pipeline system can be viewed here.