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Third leg of Sacagawea pipeline approved, creating link with Dakota Access

BISMARCK - North Dakota regulators on Tuesday approved the third leg of a pipeline that will provide a link across Lake Sakakawea to the $3.8 billion Dakota Access pipeline, which is now under construction and will be the largest crude oil pipeli...

BISMARCK – North Dakota regulators on Tuesday approved the third leg of a pipeline that will provide a link across Lake Sakakawea to the $3.8 billion Dakota Access pipeline, which is now under construction and will be the largest crude oil pipeline out of the Bakken.

During a special meeting, the Public Service Commission voted 3-0 to grant a route permit for Sacagawea Pipeline Co. for a 15-mile, $22.8 million pipeline in McKenzie County.

Most of the 16-inch-diameter pipeline approved Tuesday will extend from a service site near Johnson’s Corner to the Keene crude oil terminal owned by Paradigm Midstream Services.

But a supplemental 2-mile-long segment also will extend from the service site to an interconnection with the 1,168-mile Dakota Access pipeline, which will export up to 450,000 barrels per day of Bakken crude to a hub in Patoka, Ill., with a capacity of up to 570,000 barrels per day or more.

Commissioners said construction began last week on the North Dakota portion of the Dakota Access pipeline, which still needs U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ approval for water crossings, including two Missouri River crossings. Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners, the company building the pipeline, expects it to be in service by the fourth quarter of this year, pending regulatory approvals.

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Commissioners granted permits earlier this year for Sacagawea’s $125 million, 70-mile pipeline under Lake Sakakawea and an $18 million, 8-mile leg that will transport oil from the Palermo Rail Facility owned by Phillips 66 to the Enbridge oil terminal in Stanley.

Commission chairwoman Julie Fedorchak said the pipeline approved Tuesday is expected to initially transport 75,000 barrels per day, with a maximum capacity of 100,000 barrels per day, and will be continuously monitored from a control center in Oklahoma.

“We’ve given this a thorough review,” she said.

In total, the Sacagawea pipeline connecting the Dakota Access and Enbridge facilities will have a maximum capacity of 100,000 to 200,000 barrels per day, Fedorchak said. She noted it’s one of the only new pipelines crossing the Missouri River and will be bi-directional.

“It just offers them the flexibility to get the oil where their customers want it to go,” she said.

Sacagawea Pipeline Co. is a joint venture between Irving, Texas-based Paradigm Energy Partners, Phillips 66 and Grey Wolf Midstream, which is owned by the Three Affiliated Tribes and is an investor in the project.

Commissioners on Tuesday also approved 15 route changes requested by Dakota Access LLC in four of the seven counties that the pipeline will cross in North Dakota: Mountrail, Williams, McKenzie and Dunn.

Dakota Access indicated the reroutes are needed to accommodate landowner preference, better protect the environment and cultural resources and minimize impacts, Fedorchak said.

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Commissioner Brian Kalk commended the route refinements by PSC staff and Dakota Access.

“They continue to take the time and energy to make it just a little bit better for the landowners,” said.

Related Topics: JULIE FEDORCHAK
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