Williston diesel-naphtha refinery proposed

By OGJ editors

Dakota Oil Processing LLC, Williston, ND, is seeking financing and permits to build a $200 million, 20,000 b/d topping refinery in Williams County 16 miles southwest of Williston to produce mainly diesel to support the Bakken oil play and other local markets.

A 2011 design study indicates that the project would involve a 20,000 b/d atmospheric tower distillation unit and associated boilers, desalters, and other equipment, an 8,000 b/d distillate hydrotreater and associated hydrogen generator for producing ultralow sulfur diesel, a naphtha stabilizer, 667,500-bbl of tankage, and related facilities.

Two middle distillate products, kerosene and diesel, are to be blended to maximize the production of diesel fuel, the primary product for which the plant is designed. At capacity the plant could produce as much as 8,000 b/d a day of ultralow-sulfur diesel.

Light and heavy naphtha, about 30% of the output stream, most likely would be shipped by rail to Canada to be used as a diluent for bitumen, the company said.

Feedstock would be Bakken 41.9° gravity sweet crude and locally produced natural gas. The plant would be on 50-100 acres and take at least 18 months to construct. Operation could begin as early as late 2013, it added.

The nearly 200 drilling rigs working in the Bakken play consume an average of 1,500 gpd of diesel, hundreds of trucks serve drilling, casing, fracturing, pipeline, and other support operations, and diesel locomotives pull unit trains that ship Bakken crude south from North Dakota and Montana.

Dakota Oil Processing said Bakken oil production is approaching 500,000 b/d and is growing by as much as 10%/month.

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