ND linked to oilA pipeline that will stretch across western North Dakota may reduce truck traffic, officials said Friday.
By: April Baumgarten, The Dickinson Press
A pipeline that will stretch across western North Dakota may reduce truck traffic, officials said Friday.
The 122-mile long BakkenLink Pipeline will start in Beaver Lodge, where semis will be able to unload crude oil into the channel. Truck receipt points will be located at six sites, including Dunn Center and Belfield. Up to 100,000 barrels per day will flow down the pipeline to Fryburg, where it will be to be transported throughout the country.
Houston-based BakkenLink Pipeline LCC, who proposed the project, is expected to begin construction in spring. The pipeline is estimated at $126.46 million.
The BakkenLink Pipeline was to connect to the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline, said Justin Kringstad, the North Dakota Pipeline Authority director. Delays in the development of the Keystone XL have forced BakkenLink officials to rethink the structure of the pipeline, including scaling back the pipeline from 250 miles to 122 miles. Until the Keystone’s future is determined, the BakkenLink Pipeline will hook up to a rail loading facility near Fryburg.
“(BakkenLink) is going to continue to watch the Keystone XL to see if it will be feasible for them to move on,” Kringstad said.
Without pipelines, oil must be transported by semi or railroad. Kringstad said the project will solve two problems: It will reduce semi traffic and get oil to other markets faster, making transportation more efficient and less expensive.
“The biggest challenge we have seen in the past for the Williston Basin is having adequate transportation out of the region,” he said. “It’s a great example of a highbred project that can solve two different problems at once.”
The Bureau of Land Management in Dickinson said it hasn’t received any comments on the pipeline’s construction. BLM Field Manager Lonny Bagley said the bureau will also conduct an environmental analysis to see if the pipeline will have any impact on the areas around the pipeline.
He added that the pipeline could open North Dakota to other markets in the nation, including Texas and Oklahoma.
“I think it’s more to provide that potential for development,” Bagley said.
Kevin Cramer, a North Dakota Public Service commissioner, said the pipeline should not have any environmental issues. He added the company has done a good job at respecting the environment while taking oilfield traffic off the roads.
“One of the pieces that the BakkenLink demonstrates more than anything is that care for our very precious national treasures — like Theodore Roosevelt National Park and the National Grasslands,” Cramer said. “This project demonstrates as much as any that this balance is important.”
BakkenLink Pipeline LCC was unavailable for comment.