Western ND pipeline proposal scaled backBISMARCK (AP) — A proposed oil pipeline in western North Dakota has been scaled back because of the uncertain construction schedule of a second pipeline that it was intended to feed, state regulators said Wednesday.
BISMARCK (AP) — A proposed oil pipeline in western North Dakota has been scaled back because of the uncertain construction schedule of a second pipeline that it was intended to feed, state regulators said Wednesday.
BakkenLink Pipeline LLC was intended to carry up to 100,000 barrels of oil from oil truck unloading stations and a pipeline gathering system in three North Dakota counties to Baker, in southeastern Montana.
In Montana, the line was to link up to TransCanada Corp.’s proposed Keystone XL pipeline, a 1,700-mile project that is intended to deliver oil from Canada’s Manitoba province to locations in Oklahoma and Texas.
The Keystone XL project has drawn opposition from environmental activists, and the U.S. State Department has ordered more time for public comment. State Department permission is needed for the project to go ahead, because the pipeline crosses the U.S. border.
North Dakota’s Public Service Commission said Wednesday that BakkenLink now intends to build its pipeline to a rail loading station that is being developed near Fryburg, about 30 miles west of Dickinson in southwestern North Dakota.
The length of the proposed line is being reduced from 250 miles to about 144 miles, and the project’s cost is now estimated at $126.5 million, roughly half the cost of the original plan, Public Service Commissioner Kevin Cramer said.
“It still allows them some access to markets,” Cramer said.
The commission on Wednesday scheduled a public hearing on the proposed changes for 10 a.m. Sept. 1 at the McKenzie County courthouse in Watford City.
The BakkenLink project will be designed to ship oil in either direction along its length, depending on whether better prices could be had by using another pipeline to transport the oil east, or by sending it to the Fryburg terminal to be loaded onto a train, state regulators said.
Pipeline development is important to the state because shipping oil by pipeline is the most economical and safest way to transport crude, Cramer said.