Firm applies to build largest pipeline yet from ND

Nov 5, 2013, 8:40 PM

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – A Canadian company has applied to build the largest oil pipeline yet from western North Dakota’s booming oil patch and will soon begin courting oil producers to reserve space, a key step in a $2.6 billion project that would move millions of gallons of oil to Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Calgary, Alberta-based Enbridge Energy is proposing the 612-mile Sandpiper pipeline to each day carry 225,000 barrels of oil to a hub in northern Minnesota and 375,000 barrels to one in northwestern Wisconsin. If approved by regulators, it would be the largest pipeline moving oil out of North Dakota, the nation’s second-leading producer of oil behind Texas.

North Dakota has more than doubled its oil production in the past two years, closing in on a million barrels of oil a day. But due to the lack of pipeline capacity in the state, about 61 percent of the state’s daily oil production is being shipped by rail. A barrel is equivalent to 42 gallons.

Enbridge’s application to regulators argues that the project is “needed and in the public interest.”

The company submitted the application last week to the North Dakota Public Service Commission and will take similar steps with regulators in Minnesota and Wisconsin in the next month, company spokeswoman Katie Haarsager said.

But she noted that soliciting and securing shipping contracts, during a process called “open season,” is as vital as obtaining permits for the project.

“The open season is very important and allows us to ensure that we have shippers’ interest in the project. A successful open season means we should have a successful project,” she said Tuesday.

Haarsager said Enbridge will begin the open season within the week and it will be in effect from one to three months.

The pipeline is the biggest project yet to come before North Dakota regulators to move oil from the rich Bakken and Three Forks formations in the western part of the state, said Brian Kalk, who heads the North Dakota Public Service Commission. The three-member commission oversees a slew of public interests, from pipelines to grain elevators, though much of its recent work has involved the oil and natural gas industry.

The new pipeline, the company argued in its application, would provide “a timely, cost effective and long-term transportation solution, thereby serving the public’s interest in improved access to an abundant, secure, and reliable crude oil supply to satisfy consumers’ demand for refined products.”

Kalk said the commission is reviewing the application and that at least three public hearings will be held in communities along the pipeline’s proposed route in North Dakota.

The project is being proposed in the wake of a recent pipeline break in the same area. That pipeline, operated by Tesoro Corp., spilled more than 20,000 barrels of oil in a wheat field near Tioga, where the new pipeline would start.

“Given the length of the pipeline project and the recent incident, there will be higher public awareness,” Kalk said.

The Tesoro spill was discovered by a farmer in September and exposed that state regulators had known about the spill but failed to notify the public for several days.

Enbridge operates about 50,000 miles of pipelines in North America, and several hundred miles of pipelines in North Dakota, including one that runs between Minot, N.D., and Clearbrook, Minn. The line, built in 1962, has the capacity to ship 210,000 barrels of North Dakota crude daily, or about 8.8 million gallons.

Much of the proposed pipeline’s route follows existing pipeline corridors, and 96 percent of the required right-of-way easements have been obtained from North Dakota landowners, the company said.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

United States News

FILE - Mega Millions lottery tickets and a wager slip are displayed, Friday, Jan. 6, 2023, in Derry...
Arizona Sports

Drawing nears for $700M Powerball prize, 10th biggest in US

Another huge lottery jackpot will be on the line Saturday for players willing to put up $2 vs. daunting odds of actually winning the prize.
2 days ago
Chinese spy balloon flies above in Charlotte NC, United States on February 04, 2023. The Pentagon a...
Associated Press

US downs suspected Chinese spy balloon off the Carolina coast

The United States on Saturday downed a suspected Chinese spy balloon off the Carolina coast after it traversed sensitive military sites.
2 days ago
A high altitude balloon floats over Billings, Mont., on Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2023. The huge, high-alt...
Associated Press

Chinese balloon soars across US; Blinken scraps Beijing trip

A Chinese balloon sailing across the U.S. drew severe Pentagon accusations and sent excited or alarmed Americans outside with binoculars.
3 days ago
Protesters march Saturday, Jan. 28, 2023, in Memphis, Tenn., over the death of Tyre Nichols, who di...
Associated Press

6th officer fired after beating death of Tyre Nichols

A sixth Memphis officer was fired Friday after an internal police investigation showed he violated multiple department policies in the violent arrest of Tyre Nichols.
3 days ago
(Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)...
Associated Press

Denver Court throws out Wyoming doctor’s pill convictions

A federal appeals court on Friday threw out the convictions of a doctor accused of overprescribing powerful pain medication and ordered a new trial for him.
3 days ago
A hiring sign is displayed at a restaurant in Rolling Meadows, Ill., Monday, Jan. 30, 2023. America...
Associated Press

A surprising burst of US hiring in January: 517,000 jobs

WASHINGTON (AP) — For nearly a year, the Federal Reserve has been on a mission to cool down the job market to help curb the nation’s worst inflation bout in four decades. The job market hasn’t been cooperating. Consider what happened in January: The government said Friday that employers added a sizzling 517,000 jobs last […]
3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Fiesta Bowl Foundation

Celebrate 50 years of Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade magic!

Since its first production in the early 1970s, the Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Lerner & Rowe has been a staple of Valley traditions, bringing family fun and excitement to downtown Phoenix.
...
Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet edges out cable for everyday use

In a world where technology drives so much of our daily lives, a lack of high-speed internet can be a major issue.
(Photo via MLB's Arizona Fall League / Twitter)...
Arizona Fall League

Top prospects to watch at this year’s Arizona Fall League

One of the most exciting elements of the MLB offseason is the Arizona Fall League, which began its 30th season Monday.
Firm applies to build largest pipeline yet from ND