Oneok Partners Proposes Bakken-Cushing Pipeline (OKS, OKE, EEP, ENB, TRP)

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Oneok Partners LP (NYSE: OKS) this morning announced that it plans to build a 1,300-mile pipeline from the Bakken shale in North Dakota to Cushing, Oklahoma, at a cost of $1.5-$1.8 billion. The pipeline is slated to transport 200,000 barrels/day of Bakken crude oil to Cushing once it is completed, now projected to be in early 2015.

Oneok Partners is 43.5% owned by Oneok Inc. (NYSE: OKE), which also owns the general partner interest in Oneok Partners. Both companies have been focused on natural gas transportation and production and this marks their first foray into the crude oil transportation business.

A competing pipeline, proposed by Canada’s Enbridge Energy Partners LP (NYSE: EEP) and parent Enbridge Inc. (NYSE: ENB), would move the oil directly east out of the Bakken or north into Saskatchewan before being sent to eastern Canada or Chicago.

Neither of these plans is as grand as the 1,700-mile, 1.1 million barrel/day TransCanada Corp. (NYSE: TRP) proposal for the Keystone XL pipeline. However both follow existing rights of way and neither transports oil from Canada into the US, a major sticking point on the Keystone XL project. And the Oneok plan is the first major US pipeline to plan on hauling a substantial amount of Bakken crude to the major US trading hub.

A large map showing the route of the Oneok Partners’ Bakken Crude Express Pipeline is available here.

Paul Ausick