Dakota oil pipeline expansion completed: Update

  • Market: Crude oil
  • 03/08/21

Adds Energy Transfer comments from earnings call

An expansion of Energy Transfer's 570,000 b/d Dakota Access crude pipeline (DAPL) is complete, adding takeaway capacity out of the Bakken shale.

The capacity on DAPL has been increased by 180,000 b/d to 750,000 b/d, Energy Transfer said today.

There has been a "significant increase" for August nominations as minimum volume commitments on the expanded DAPL capacity kicked in at the start of the month, Energy Transfer said.

The company has said previously that it plans to expand DAPL to as much as 1.1mn b/d by adding pump stations. Other partners in the Bakken system include Enbridge and Marathon Petroleum's midstream affiliate, MPLX.

The expansion will include the entire Bakken system which includes DAPL from the Bakken shale to Patoka, Illinois, and the connecting Energy Transfer Crude Oil pipeline (ETCOP) to the US Gulf coast. The expansion does not require any construction on the mainline or building new pipeline segments.

Earlier today, a partner in the Bakken system, Phillips 66 Partners said that the Bakken optimization project "continues to progress with the next phase of incremental capacity commencing service in August."

The increased capacity is supported by minimum volume commitments from long-term contracts, Phillips 66 Partners said.

A US judge in June closed out a long-running lawsuit that sought to halt operations of DAPL, two months after ruling the pipeline could remain in service while the government prepares a new environmental review.

US district court judge James Boasberg dismissed the rest of a lawsuit filed by Native American tribes led by the Standing Rock Sioux who oppose the pipeline. The order brought an end to a high-profile case that attracted national attention because of its potential to shut a major conduit of Bakken crude to the US midcontinent and Gulf coast.

Energy Transfer said today that it continues to cooperate with the Army Corps of Engineers on the new DAPL environmental review.

The initial startup of DAPL was delayed for months in 2016 and 2017 amid large protests and regulatory delays. Since its startup in June 2017, the line has been expanded amid record-high North Dakota production prior to the Covid-19 pandemic.


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