Caliber Midstream Expands Operations in North Dakota

Caliber Midstream Holdings, L.P. acquired assets previously owned by American Midstream Partners, L.P, in North Dakota. With the acquisition, Caliber now owns and operates 368 miles of pipeline across its four service lines in McKenzie County, North Dakota.

The acquired assets will widen Caliber’s area of operations within McKenzie County, North Dakota that includes a FERC-regulated 47-mile pipeline and related facilities with the ability to transport crude oil to the Tesoro High Plains Pipeline and the Energy Transfer Dakota Access Pipeline.

“This bolt-on acquisition is another step in executing our growth strategy. Our goal is to become a top-tier midstream company,” said Caliber Chief Executive Officer and President Daniel Werth. The company is scheduled to add 11 miles to its crude gathering and transmission system by year end.


10k Gallons of Oil Leaked in North Dakota

Heath Department in North Dakota said that an oil spill was reported on Friday by Samson Oil & Gas USA, where more than 10,000 gallons of oil has spilled from a pipeline in Williams County.

The spill occurred on Thursday north of Williston at a well pad and affected a small patch of nearby grassland, environmental scientist Brian O'Gorman said. According to O'Gorman, no water sources were affected, but the cause of the spill is under investigation.

He added that about 4,200 gallons had been recovered by late Friday afternoon and the spill was contained.


Pipeline Spilled Oilfield Wastewater in North Dakota

A pair of pipeline leaked and spilled oilfield wastewater into a tributary of the Missouri River and over some pastureland last week in North Dakota. State Health Department environmental scientist Bill Suess said that on Tuesday, the cleanup was ongoing at the two sites where produced water leaked.

Produced water is a byproduct of oil production that contains saltwater and oil, and sometimes chemicals from hydraulic fracturing operations. The health officials do not yet know what caused the pipeline to spill oilfield wastewater.

"We still don't know what happened," Suess said.

The first spill was reported on July 14 that 21,000 gallons of oilfield wastewater leaked from an underground pipeline and into an unnamed tributary of the Missouri River. The second spill leaked more than 12,000 gallons of oilfield wastewater, impacting an unknown amount of pastureland near Epping.

Both spills were reported by Polar Midstream, a unit of Summit Midstream Partners LLC. Based on samples that were collected, investigators don't think the spill reached the river, and the produced water in the tributary was being pumped out and "flushed" with fresh water, Suess said.

 "We are focused on remediation," said company vice president Zak Covar.


Kinder Morgan Moves Forward with South Texas Pipeline Connection

Kinder Morgan Inc., announced on Wednesday that the company will go ahead with the South Texas pipeline connection that would transport crude from Phillips 66’s Gray Oak pipeline in the Permian Basin to delivery points at the Houston Ship Channel.

“We wanted to find a way to get Permian barrels to KMCC (Kinder Morgan Crude and Condensate pipeline),” which delivers crude from the Eagle Ford Shale in South Texas to Houston Ship Channel destinations, Chief Executive Officer Steven Kean said.

Kinder Morgan and Phillips 66 began soliciting shipper commitments for the connection in February. The company plans to spend $10 million on the project this year and expects the connection could carry 100,000 barrels per day.

The service is expected to begin by the end of 2019 and has contracts to start transporting 75,000 barrels per day for up to three years. The company is also considering converting an underutilized natural gas pipeline to carry crude from the Bakken shale in North Dakota and the Denver-Julesburg basin in Colorado.


Kinder Morgan Announces Pipeline Expansion in North Dakota

Kinder Morgan announced that the company is evaluating how much more capacity it will need to expand the Hiland Crude system based on the level of interest and the volume commitments it secures.

It's the third announcement of a major pipeline project in the state over the past month for carrying more Bakken oil out of North Dakota.

Currently, Hiland Crude system carries 88,000 barrels of oil each day from McKenzie County to Wyoming. From a hub there, Tallgrass Express transports up to 375,000 barrels per day to three refineries and a terminal in Oklahoma with its Pony Express Pipeline.

Tallgrass may also consider expanding the Pony Express line, Kinder Morgan spokeswoman Katherine Hill told the Bismarck Tribune.


$1.6 Billion Closing Deal by Targa Resources to Sell Stakes in Bakken Assets

Targa Resources confirmed on Thursday that the company has closed a $1.6 billion deal to sell a minority stake in its Bakken Shale assets in North Dakota. The deal was to sell 45 percent of its subsidiary Targa Badlands LLC to funds managed by New York-based GSO Capital Partners and Blackstone Tactical Opportunities.

 Targa Badlands owns and operates 480 miles of crude oil gathering pipelines, 260 miles of natural gas gathering pipelines, crude oil storage terminals and a natural gas processing plant in the Bakken which is spread throughout western North Dakota.

 With the deal now closed, Targa is planning to complete construction of another natural gas processing plant in the Bakken. The company plans to use proceeds from the $1.6 billion deal with GSO and Blackstone to pay down debt and fund part of its 2019 capital expenditure program.


Minnesota PUC Confirms Enbridge Energy's Line 3 Pipeline Approval

Enbridge Energy's proposed $7 billion Line 3 crude oil pipeline replacement gets final approval from Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, the company said on Wednesday. The PUC unanimously rejected the last pending petitions for reconsideration, including one from the state Commerce Department.

“The PUC confirmed its decision to approve the conditions placed on L3R’s (Line 3 Replacement) Certificate of Need – conditions meant to protect Minnesotans – allowing this critical energy infrastructure modernization project to move forward,” Enbridge said in a statement.

Since 1960s, Line 3 has carried Canadian crude from Alberta to Wisconsin and is currently operating at half its capacity. The Line 3 replacement would allow it to return to approved capacity of 760,000 barrels per day.

The PUC initially approved Enbridge’s plan to rebuild the aging 1,031-mile pipeline in June, but that decision was challenged by Minnesota’s governor in February.

The new line would cross Alberta, a corner of North Dakota and northern Minnesota to an Enbridge terminal in Superior, Wisconsin. Besides clearing the legal challenges, Calgary-based Enbridge also needs state and federal permits, which the company hopes to secure around end of the year.


Tioga Gathering System to Be Acquired by Hess Midstream Partners

Hess North Dakota Pipelines agreed to purchase the crude oil and gas gathering assets of Summit Midstream Partners’ Tioga Gathering System for about $60 million gross or $12 million net to Hess Midstream.

The acquisition includes 73 miles of crude pipelines and 79 miles of gas pipelines. In a separate deal, Hess Midstream’s sponsor, Hess Infrastructure Partners (HIP), agreed to acquire the water gathering assets of the Tioga System from Summit Midstream Partners which includes 75 miles of produced water gathering pipelines.

Hess Midstream Partners chief operating officer John Gatling said, “We are excited to extend our infrastructure footprint with the agreement to purchase the Tioga System’s crude oil and gas gathering assets.”

The Tioga System, located in Williams County in western North Dakota, is complementary to Hess Midstream’s infrastructure and is delivering volumes into Hess Midstream’s gathering system. The completion of the acquisition is expected to take place in the first quarter of this year.


Dakota Access Developers Seeking Commitments to Expand Volume of Pipeline

The Dakota Access Pipeline will possibly expand the volume of crude oil from 500,000 barrels to 570,000 barrels a day if developers of the project can find shipper’s interest.

Energy Transfer Partners is seeking commitments from shippers to transport additional oil as the pipeline’s permit in North Dakota allows it to ship up to 600,000 barrels a day. North Dakota was responsible for producing nearly 1.3 billion barrels of oil a day in August.

Minimal modifications to the actual pipeline system would be needed if an expansion would occur, company spokeswoman Vicki Granado said.

As North Dakota’s projected oil production steadily increases, the state will need to add more pipeline capacity in order to keep up.

“Every expansion at this point is going to assist in keeping the market strong in North Dakota,” said a spokesman. “But long-term, it will take some substantial new investment to continue to keep North Dakota oil connected to new markets.”


Meridian Energy Group Begins North Dakota Site Work Despite Lawsuits

Meridian Energy Group said Tuesday that it has begun working on an oil refinery 3 miles from Theodore Roosevelt National Park in western North Dakota despite the project facing obstacles such as lawsuits by environmental groups. The work began on Monday, according to a company spokesman.

Construction of the $800 million Davis Refinery isn’t planned until next year, with operations planning to start in 2020. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, it would only be the seventh oil refinery build in the U.S. in the last 20 years. The project first began five years ago.

North Dakota Air Quality Director said that Meridian is proceeding at its own risk with the lawsuit being filed Thursday in state court by the National Parks Conservation Association, the Environmental Law and Policy Center, and the Dakota Resource Council.

The groups fear the pollution from the refinery will ruin the park’s scenery and lower the quality of air breathed by wildlife and visitors.  The park draws in more than 700,000 visitors annually and is one of the state’s top attractions.

Meridian has stated that the refinery will be “the cleanest refinery on the planet” and a model for future refineries due to modern technology. Supporters also back the potential economic impact by creating future jobs and generating millions in local property taxes each year.

The refinery would initially process about 27,500 barrels of oil every day but still has potential roadblocks because of the need of water and wastewater permits as well as needing to prove that it meets air quality standards once it's built.

The refinery will still be able to begin being built despite not having the permits yet.

The Press of Atlantic City

Oil Industry Leaders Praise Dakota Access Pipeline, Going Just as Planned

Oil industry leaders are praising the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline for being a game changer for the Bakken region, serving as the competitive edge that the region currently has over the Permian.

The pipeline is currently running near its capacity of 570,000 barrels of crude per day.

Spokesperson for the North Dakota Petroleum Council agreed that the pipeline’s substantially improved logistics has been a tremendous benefit to the oil industry.

Energy Transfer Partner CEO Kelcy Warren spoke about how good it was seeing rig counts pick up and seeing barrels produced increase.

“Everything we believed would happen has in fact happened,” he said on a recent radio interview.

According to the state’s Pipeline Authority Justin Kringstad, expectation for North Dakota’s oil production includes long-term forecasts of between 2 and 2.4 million barrels of oil per day by mid-2030s, nearly double of the current output.


Seven Companies Apply For Piper, A New Pipeline Sensor Technology

Developer Ingu, along with six other companies, have applied to use a golf ball-sized mobile sensor that will be used to detect leaks, geometric defects, and deposits in crude oil or brine pipelines.

The technology works by being placed in one end of an underground pipeline with liquid such as crude oil, brine, or others, being carried through.

The technology will be deployed next month to a unique target market that focuses on small gathering pipelines in North Dakota; however, it will be tested over three years.

Initial plans are to extend the program beyond three years based on more oil and gas companies joining the current seven companies.

The three-year program’s funding is a combined $1.6 million from NDIC’s Oil and Gas Research Program. There is also an additional $225,000 in membership fees that are paid by the oil and gas companies.

Developers want to minimize the speed of data analysis which is currently done by sending the Pipers back to Ingu to retrieve data. The startup is also working on building AI capacity to bring the data analysis speed to 72 hours.

Pricing will be based on the level of data analysis needed and not on the actual product. 

Bismarck Tribune

Energy Transfer CEO: Still Committed to Dakota Access Pipeline

Kelcy Warren, Chief Executive Officer of the Dakota Access pipeline developer Energy Transfer Partners, told his employees in a memo Tuesday that the company is committed to completing the pipeline project despite a temporary halt in construction ordered by Obama’s administration.

The memo, which was released to some media outlets, stated that the 1,172-mile pipeline project is about 60 percent complete and that the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s claim that the pipeline would impact their local water is unsupported.

Thousands of Native American tribal members have been protesting the pipeline near a reservation in North Dakota saying the pipeline would be built under sacred burial sites and could potentially affect the local drinking supply if a spill were to occur.

Warren stated in the memo that the company has “designed the state-of-the-art Dakota Access pipeline as a safer and more efficient method of transporting crude oil than the alternatives being used today.”

Warren also noted that if the government determines the fate of the project based on science and engineering, the Dakota Access pipeline will become operational.

The federal government on Friday required a temporary halt on construction of the pipeline near Lake Oahe in North Dakota so that previously approved permits could be re-examined.

Protestors told media outlets Friday that they will not budge until the pipeline is completely stopped.

Houston Chronicle

North Dakota Regulators Approve Permits for Three Pipeline Projects

Two crude oil pipeline projects and a natural gas pipeline project gained permit approvals from North Dakota regulators, taking them one step closer to construction.

The natural gas pipeline is planned by ONEOK Bakken Pipeline LLC and would run 14.4 miles through McKenzie County. A crude oil pipeline that is planned by BOE Pipeline LLC would run 41.8 miles in Dunn and McKenzie counties, and a second crude oil pipeline that is planned by Plains Terminals North Dakota LLC would run 3.5 miles in McKenzie County.

According to Julie Fedorchak, Chairwoman of the North Dakota Public Service Commission, the three projects have been carefully examined by experts, discussed with the public, and meet the requirements for permits under the state law.

Houston Chronicle

Public Hearing Scheduled in Tioga for Proposed $4.5 Million Pipeline

Photo of a street in Tioga, North Dakota

North Dakota’s Public Service Commission announced a formal public hearing in Tioga later this month regarding the proposed $4.5 million crude oil pipeline in Williams County.

Hess North Dakota Export Logistics LLC is requesting a permit for the new Energy Transfer Partners Pipeline project. The proposed pipeline is a 12-inch diameter, 1.1-mile-long line that would carry crude oil from the Ramberg Truck Facility to the Energy Transfer Partners Facility, located about seven miles south of Tioga, North Dakota.

The Public Service Commission scheduled the hearing for July 26 at 11:00 CDT.

The Washington Times
North Dakota Public Service Commission

Plains All American Pipeline Gains Approval for Pipeline Project in North Dakota

North Dakota state regulators approved a 10-mile, 8-inch diameter crude oil pipeline project on Wednesday proposed by Houston-based Plains All American Pipeline. The operator company sent in the proposal to the North Dakota Public Service Commission for the pipeline to run from the Robinson Lake Facility in Mountrail County to the Van Hook Rail Facility just southeast of New Town.

The pipeline project is estimated at $9 million and would be able to move up to 25,000 barrels per day of crude oil. Construction is expected to be completed by this summer.

According to a Public Service Commission spokeswoman, the project experienced delays due to its proximity to a U.S. Air Force missile silo.

The pipeline will be constructed with a leak detection system and monitored for 24 hours a day from a Houston site.

The Bismarck Tribune