Oil to flow in pipeline near Belfield in FebruaryA pipeline near Belfield is nearly complete and is expected to carry oil in the first week of February, said Blaine Hoffman, Dickinson superintendent for Whiting Petroleum Corp.
By: Dain Sullivan, The Dickinson Press
A pipeline near Belfield is nearly complete and is expected to carry oil in the first week of February, said Blaine Hoffman, Dickinson superintendent for Whiting Petroleum Corp.
North Dakota Public Service Commission members unanimously gave the $3.36 million crude oil pipeline project a unanimous green light in October. The pipeline could replace 273 trucks a day on area highways, according to a previous Press article.
The pipeline is 6 miles northeast of Belfield and is expected to be 6.8 miles long.
“We have part of the line done on the north side,” Hoffman said. “We’re still working on the lines on the south.”
Commissioners said it is important to build pipelines because it helps reduce truck traffic in and around Belfield, which has been a hot spot during a recent oil boom that has hit the area.
Hoffman said he expects oil-related travel will slow down when oil and water lines for the pipeline are finished, a task he said will take another two to three weeks. He also said he expects additional pipeline-related projects to be under way well after February.
“It’s an ongoing project,” Hoffman said. “As we drill wells, we’ll keep hooking wells in. It will never be done, as long as we’re drilling.”
Gas is already being processed at the location, Hoffman said.
The pipeline will connect to the Skunk Hill facility — 18 miles northwest of Dickinson — where it will connect to Bridger Pipeline. The pipeline will then have the potential to connect to crude oil markets in Mandan, Guernsey, Wyo., and Clearbrook, Minn.
Stark County Commissioner Ken Zander said there have been few resident complaints regarding the project, but some have concerns about dust coming from the work site. Otherwise, the company has “minimized their presence.”
Hoffman said Whiting Petroleum Corp., which is based out of Denver, is also working on its own road system.
“We’re just continuing to build roads” and “trying to keep them away from the residents as much as we can,” Hoffman said.
Some company roads that are closer to highly traveled areas are expected to be paved in order to avoid creating more dust, Zander said.
Zander said that a majority of the employees that will be working with the pipeline live in Belfield. He added that more jobs is a plus for some, but there are still a lot more positions that need to be filled in the area because of the oil boom.
“They can’t fill the (jobs) they’ve got,” he chuckled.
North Dakota Public Service Commissioner Brian Kalk told The Press in October that the pipeline is going to be one more avenue to move North Dakota crude oil to different markets.