On Monday the North Dakota Public Service Commission voted in unanimous support of a crude oil pipeline which will run beneath Lake Sakakawea, reports the Forum News Service (FNS).
The $105 million pipeline project, owned by Hess Corp., will convert an existing 8-inch gas pipeline to transfer crude oil produced in the Bakken. The section of pipeline runs for 2.4 miles and was buried six feet beneath the lake bottom in 1992.
The segment will connect with a 10-mile portion of new pipeline on the south side of the lake and with a 12.8-mile portion on the north side, which will transfer oil to the Ramberg Truck Facility near Tioga, North Dakota. PSC Chairwoman Julie Fedorchak said the new 12-inch pipeline sections will be buried at least five feet underground. The span of the completed system will have the capacity to transfer up to 76,000 barrels of oil per day.
As reported by the FNS, Hess will monitor the pipeline 24/7 from a control room in Tioga which will track the system’s pressure, flow and temperature. Operators of the control room will have the ability to activate emergency shutdown valves in various sections of the pipeline, as well as on both sides of the lake. According to a risk assessment performed by Hess, the pipeline under the lake has a likelihood of leaking once every 190 years. Additionally, in the event of a leak, the impact on water quality, plants and animals would be minimal.
Fedorchak told the FNS, “The company is taking a proactive step to increase the testing of that line, recognizing the importance of that line to safe operations of their system and to the safety of the water resources in Lake Sakakawea.” Other precautions in place include inline “smart pig” inspections and pressure tests prior to coming online as well as tests performed every 42 months, more frequent than what is mandated by federal regulators.
Also on Monday, the commission approved a permit for Hess to build a natural gas liquids pipeline parallel to the other project. Utilizing new and existing lines, the project has an estimated cost of $37 million and will have a carrying capacity of 30,000 barrels per day. To read the original article, click here.