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Grasslands Pipe Gives Bakken Shippers New Outlet

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A new joint pipeline project is helping move more natural gas south out of the Williston Basin to markets in the Rockies.


Kinder Morgan (KMI) and WBI Energy have teamed up on the 94 MMcf/d project. In the company’s 4Q23 earnings, KMI said Phase 1 of its Bakken xPress project began service in November 2023. The KMI project coincides with the start of the Grasslands South project on WBI Energy Transmission.


Grasslands South is a 15.3-mile pipeline running from ONEOK’s (OKE) Bear Creek natural gas processing plant to a newPicture1-Feb-01-2024-12-07-38-4737-AM interconnect with KMI’s Big Horn Gas Gathering in northeastern Wyoming. The gas delivered to the Big Horn system will travel south to KMI’s Fort Union Gas Gathering and then onto the Wyoming Interstate (WIC) system (see map).


While WBI spent the capital to build the lateral, WIC has executed 92 MMcf/d of leases on Big Horn and Fort Union to move volumes through those pipeline systems. The pathway provides access from the Bakken to the Cheyene and CIG hubs in the Rockies.


East Daley’s Bakken Supply and Demand Forecast includes impacts of the KMI/WBI projects on flows and egress. While WBI spent the capital to build the Grasslands lateral, WIC has executed 92 MMcf/d of leases on Big Horn and Fort Union to move volumes through those pipeline systems. The pathway provides access to the Cheyene and CIG market hubs in the Rockies. We believe the new Grassland South pipeline will help producers in the WillistonPicture2-Feb-01-2024-12-08-00-1206-AM and indirectly, Western Canada as well.


The November in-service of the projects can be seen in pipeline samples from the Bear Creek plant. The Grasslands lateral began sending gas to WBI Energy Transmission at the start of November. The new pipe had been flowing close to full capacity of 94 MMcf/d prior to the mid-January winter storm, when cold weather reduced volumes in the Williston. Flows have since recovered in late January (see figure). The joint projects provide more runway for Bakken production to grow and open new markets to sell gas. – Zach Krause Tickers: KMI, OKE.


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