North Dakota regulators approve DAPL expansion

The North Dakota Public Service Commission this week voted 3-0 to approve the proposed expansion of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), which involves building a pump station in Emmons County to help push up to twice as much crude oil through the line daily.

Pipeline owner-developer Energy Transfer plans to begin construction on the facility this spring following the PSC decision to grant the company an amended permit for the project, Kallanish Energy reports.

The company told the Bismarck Tribune it’s “pleased” with the vote, and added the decision “brings us another step closer to being able to optimize the existing pipeline to safely transport up to 1.1 million barrels of crude oil per day, to more efficiently accommodate the increasing market demand for Bakken crude oil.”

The PSC’s approval is expected to be challenged in court by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, which continues to work to shut down the line via a federal lawsuit it filed when DAPL was under construction in 2016. The tribe also intervened in the expansion case before the PSC.

Standing Rock Chairman Mike Faith said he wasn’t surprised by the vote but was “very disappointed to hear today’s outcome.” The tribe is examining its options for legal recourse, he told the Tribune.

Energy Transfer still seeks approvals from regulators in Iowa and Illinois to complete its expansion plans, which include installing three pump stations along the 1,200-mile line and making upgrades to boost the horsepower of other pumping facilities.

With its planned capacity increase, the pipeline would have the ability to flow 75% of all oil produced in North Dakota, the Tribune reported.

This post appeared first on Kallanish Energy News.