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WBI Energy starts open season for pipeline to move Bakken gas output

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WBI Energy Transmission on Thursday launched an open season for the sale of long-term firm natural gas capacity on the planned Dakota Pipeline, which will connect Bakken Shale production to the Emerson hub in northwestern Minnesota.

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In a notice to customers posted on its website, WBI said it expects the pipeline to enter service on November 1, 2017. The open season is scheduled to end on May 30.

The interconnecting pipelines at Emerson may include Viking Gas Transmission, Great Lakes Gas Transmission and TransCanada Pipelines, WBI said. The primary markets served by those pipelines include those in eastern North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan and Canada.


WBI's initial design of Dakota Pipeline includes about 375 miles of new, high pressure steel pipeline, two new compressor stations and various measurement and interconnection facilities. The majority of the system will be 24-inch-diameter pipeline, according to the company.

Dakota Pipeline is expected to have a capacity of 400,000 Dt/d and could be expanded to more than 500,000 Dt/d with additional compression facilities, WBI said. The final design of the line may change based on the results of the open season, the company said.

WBI Energy said it will consider requests for new receipt and delivery locations along the Dakota Pipeline route, as well as receipt locations on WBI Energy's existing natural gas transmission system.

WBI said any party wishing to qualify as an anchor shipper on Dakota Pipeline must commit to a maximum daily delivery quantity of at least 100,000 Dt/d and sign up for a primary term of at least 10 years, or as mutually agreed, following the commencement of service of the pipeline.

The pipeline could help relieve significant flaring levels that have resulted from lagging infrastructure in the Bakken.

Platts unit Bentek Energy in December said nearly 27% of natural gas produced in the Bakken was being flared. Bentek estimated that roughly 300,000 Mcf/d was flared in September, up nearly 60,000 Mcf/d from September 2012 as total output from the Williston Basin rose to roughly 1.05 Bcf/d.

Bentek projects gas production; from the basin will increase by 200,000 Mcf/d this year.

--Patrick Badgley, patrick.badgley@platts.com
--Edited by Jeff Barber, jeff.barber@platts.com