Enbridge may soon double the amount of oil it exports from North Dakota once the Sandpiper Pipeline comes online, reports KX News.
Preliminary construction of the 600-mile pipeline will begin in North Dakota this summer with more than 3,000 people working on the project. The current timeline for completion projects the line will begin moving 225-thousand barrels of oil per day in 2017.
The new pipeline will expand upon Enbridge’s current Bakken pipeline network and will create a new route, carrying more than double the company’s current transportation capacity. As reported by KX News, Enbridge North Dakota Director of Operations Bob Steede said, “The sandpiper pipeline starts in the Tioga, North Dakota, area, roughly follows … our existing pipeline network, comes to Clearbrook, Minnesota, and then works its way to Superior, Wisconsin.”
Groundwork on the project will begin in North Dakota this summer, as well as upgrading current facilities and installing new pump stations near Berthold, Stanley and Beaver Lodge. Steede noted that Superior, Wisconsin, is a significant North American pipeline hub and that “the benefit of pipelines is that they are historically a safer alternative for [oil] transport.”
Although the pipeline has been approved in North Dakota, the project has yet to be approved in Minnesota, delaying construction about a year. Last month, however, a Minnesota judge recommended approval of the pipeline. The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission is currently reviewing the application, according to KX News. Regarding the delay, Steede commented, “The regulatory process in Minnesota is proceeding. It’s taking a little longer than originally anticipated, but things are going well.”
Steede added that completion of the pipeline is important, despite the current decline in oil prices. “Our existing pipeline is currently full, so with lower oil prices operating costs are looked at more seriously and the pipeline is the economical way to transport crude oil and help the producers out,” he said. To read the full report, click here.