Biggest Oil Pipeline Yet Approved in North Dakota

The biggest capacity crude oil pipeline proposed for North Dakota won approval this week by North Dakota regulators. The $3.8 billion line, stretching 1,150 miles across four states, would move nearly 600,000 barrels daily from the Bakken oil patch to Illinois.

It’s the brainchild of Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners which applied 13 months ago and eventually won approval from the North Dakota Public Service Commission. Two members of the commission voted to approve the line, saying it would reduce truck and oil train traffic, cut natural gas flaring and create more jobs for the state.

Officials with Energy Transfer Partners indicated they hope to finish the pipeline by the end of the year. The longest portion of the line runs 360 miles through North Dakota at a cost of $1.4 billion. The pipeline has already been approved by regulators South Dakota and Illinois but not in Iowa. It also has to win approval by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers because the line would cross under the Missouri River at locations in North Dakota.

Pipeline company officials say they’ve obtained easement agreements on 85 percent of the properties along the path which crosses 50 counties. Energy Transfer says it will use eminent domain if it cannot reach agreement with the remaining landowners.


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