How To Turn Bakken Gas Into Plastic

By The Bakken Magazine Staff | December 08, 2015

Badlands NGL has formed an agreement with a Bakken pioneer, Continental Resources, for supply of ethane to produce polyethylene at a future North Dakota-based facility. The long-term agreement with Continental has helped the Badlands team progress on its planned $6.5 billion plant in more ways than one, according to William Gilliam, Badlands CEO. “The interesting thing is that the Continental announcement is leading to very serious dialogue with other producers in North Dakota. We are also pursuing very serious discussions in Canada,” he said.

In October, Badlands also announced it chose technology from Univation Technologies LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Dow Chemical Co., for four polyethylene reactor lines. Badlands chose the technology because of its production capacity. “Univation is the only technology licensor with demonstrated capability in plants larger than 600 kta in operation,” Gilliam said. “This was critically important to us given the size of our planned facilities.”

Polyethylene is the most common form of plastic in the world and is used in products ranging from bags to bottles.


1.   Raw materials pass through purification beds
2.   Mixture enters circulation loop
3.   Raw materials enter reactor and react with catalyst
4.   Gases leave reactor and pass through compressor
5.   Gases pass through heat exchanger
6.   Resin leaves reactor through discharging system
7.   Unreacted raw materials seperated from resin
8.   Unreacted raw material compressed
9.   Unreacted raw material cooled and liquified
10. Resin moves towards additive systems
11. Additives introduced into product
12. Resin mixture enters feed hopper towards extruder
13. Processed pellets to resin storage / loading facility