Energy Transfer's Dakota Access Pipeline to Expand to 570,000 bpd

The Dakota Access pipeline system’s capacity has been boosted to 570,000 barrels per day as production in the Bakken shale basin has climbed to record highs, Energy Transfer LP said on Thursday.

Due to the surge in demand, Energy Transfer said it is considering more expansions on the system and it would be able to add capacity by increasing horsepower to boost throughput.

The shale revolution has helped propel the United States to the position of world’s biggest crude oil producer. In North Dakota’s Bakken region, shale production is estimated to rise about 13,000 bpd to a record 1.45 million bpd in March. The U.S. total crude production has climbed to a weekly record of 11.9 million bpd.


Phillips 66 Partners Announces $2.4 Billion Acquisition, its Largest to Date

Phillips 66 Partners LP announced Friday that it is buying assets from its refiner parent company Phillips 66 for $2.4 billion, the company's largest acquisition to date.

Phillips 66 Partners will buy a 25 percent interest in two of Phillips 66' Bakken Pipeline joint ventures and a 100 percent interest in Merey Sweeny LP, which is the owner of fuel-grade coke processing units at the Phillips 66 Sweeny Refinery.

The Bakken Pipeline assets include 1,926 combined pipeline miles and 520,000 barrels per day of crude oil capacity that is expandable to 570,000, Phillips 66 Partners said in its statement.

The deal is expected to be immediately accretive to Phillips 66 Partners and its unitholders and should close in early October 2017.

Phillips 66 Partners

Dakota Access Pipeline to Start Interstate Crude Oil Delivery Next Month

The Dakota Access Pipeline will begin interstate crude oil delivery on May 14, according to pipeline operator Energy Transfer Partners.

The company on Thursday filed a tariff with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, in which it laid out details on the oil pipeline.

After months of sometimes-violent international opposition and protest against the 1,172-mile pipeline, Energy Transfer Partners requested to a federal judge earlier this month that it keep secret the details of the line in order to prevent vandals from damaging the line.

The pipeline operator asked in its request to U.S. District Judge James Boasberg to shield pipeline information that could be used by anyone "with the malicious intent to damage the pipeline."

Judge Boasberg said in a ruling that some but not all information may be shielded from public view. Information relating to pipeline maps at certain crossings, detecting and shutting down spills, maps of spill scenarios, and details to monitoring systems may be shielded from public view, according to Boasberg's decision.

The $3.8 billion project starts in western North Dakota at the Bakken Shale Play and runs to Patoka Illinois.


Federal Judge to Rule on Dakota Access Pipeline Work by Next Week

Federal Judge James Boasberg told lawyers that he will decide within the next week whether to temporarily halt construction on the last section of the Dakota Access Pipeline over claims from two Native American tribes that the pipeline violates their religious rights.

Boasberg said he will issue a ruling before oil begins flowing in the pipeline. He has ordered pipeline developer Energy Transfer Partners to update him weekly on when oil would be ready to flow through the line after construction is complete.

The Standing Rock and Cheyenne River Sioux tribes want Boasberg to order the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to withdraw permission from Energy Transfer Partners to lay pipe under the Missouri River as it violates their right to practice their religion, according to claims in court.

The religion claim is new to the court hearings, as the tribes first claimed the pipeline would potentially contaminate water supply and ruin sacred sites. Boasberg questioned the legitimacy of the argument, and both the Army Corps and Energy Transfer Partners say his questioning is due to the delay of the tribes' claim.

Boasberg ruled at a past hearing that as long as oil is not flowing in the pipeline, there was no imminent harm to the tribes.

Energy Transfer Partners is finishing the last section of the 1,172-mile pipeline and estimates that it will be operating no later than early April.

ABC News

Energy Transfer Completes $2 Billion Stakes Sale in Dakota Access Pipeline

Dakota Access Pipeline builder Energy Transfer Partners completed its $2 billion sale of stakes in the oil pipeline after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers granted its regulatory approval for the company to complete construction on the line.

Energy Transfer Partners sold a 27.6 percent share of the pipeline to Enbridge and a 9.2 percent share to Marathon Petroleum. The total $2 billion stakes sale for the roughly $4 billion pipeline leaves Energy Transfer Partners with a 38.25 percent stake in the pipeline and Phillips 66 with its 25 percent stake.

The sale had been announced months ago but was put on hold while the Dakota Access Pipeline was halted due to regulatory reviews under the Obama administration. Since then, the Army Corps under the Trump administration has reversed the regulatory holdups, and construction has restarted.

Energy Transfer Partners said it will use the money from the stakes sale for debt reduction.

Fuel Fix


Sioux Tribe: We are Running Out of Options to Fight Dakota Access

After several months of a relentless fight, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe said it is beginning to run out of legal options to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline, which was granted legal approval Wednesday to finish construction under the Missouri River just north of the Standing Rock reservation.

The tribe is not the only group that thinks the odds are against the pipeline fighters as legal experts have also agreed that any court at this point in the grueling process would not likely halt the 1,172-mile oil pipeline headed by Energy Transfer Partners.

Although the options are running low for the tribe, chairman of Standing Rock Sioux David Archambault II told Reuters reporters that they are "still going to continue to look at all legal options available" to them as the fight is still not over.

The U.S. Army on Wednesday granted the final permit for the 1.5-mile section remaining of the pipeline weeks after President Donald Trump signed an executive order that required the Army to expedite its review and approval process of the oil pipeline.

The tribe and other pipeline opponents saw a short victory in December when the crossing permit was denied under the Obama administration. Following the construction halt, the U.S. Army said it would conduct a full environmental impact review of the pipeline route as well as consider alternate routes.

That victory was reversed, however, when President Trump prompted the restart of construction by signing an executive order on January 24 to approve the pipeline.

Some pipeline protestors have told reporters that, although frustrated with the outcome, they are happy to see a resolve. Other fighters have said they will continue to stand against construction until the "black snake" is destroyed.


Sioux Tribe: "Rogue" Protestors Hurting Cause to Fight Dakota Access Pipeline

Since the predicted revival of the Dakota Access Pipeline, protests against the project have reignited around the country, but not all are aiding the cause of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe which has been standing strongly against the oil pipeline since the summer of 2016.

On Wednesday a "rogue" group of about 70 protesters was arrested near the main protest camp in North Dakota after the protestors attempted to create an illegal camp on private property, against the request of the tribe and other district leaders.

Officials requested several times that the group dismantle the camp and leave immediately, but the group showed no signs of these instructions. They were subsequently arrested by the Morton County Sheriff department.

Members of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe said this defiant act by the "rogue" group has put their cause at risk.

Both the Sioux tribe and other environmentalists are prepared to fight in court should the easement be granted for Energy Transfer Partners to finish construction of the pipeline underneath Lake Oahe, which is a half-mile upstream from the tribe's reservation.

President Trump signed an executive order last week that calls for the Army Corps to expedite its environmental review and approval process of the pipeline.






Keystone XL, Dakota Access Pipelines Face Obstacles Despite Trump's Executive Approval

Despite President Donald Trump's recent action to move forward both the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines, both projects sit behind major hurdles that they must push past in order to be completed.

Keystone XL Pipeline

The Keystone XL project was given the green light by President Trump to reapply for a permit to the U.S. Department of State for approval, which the company did on Thursday. Trump said a permitting decision must be reached within a swift 60 days.

The project is then expected to see arduous resistance against the same groups it did when it was first being considered, and ultimately rejected, under the Obama administration. TransCanada sat in multiple court battles against land owners who sued over the selection of the pipeline's route, and those same land owners have said they are prepared to fight again.

If built, the $8 billion Keystone XL would carry 800,000 barrels of heavy crude per day from Alberta to refineries along the U.S. Gulf Coast.

Dakota Access Pipeline

Analysts say the Dakota Access Pipeline may not have as many hurdles to jump as Keystone XL in order to be completed, but unfinished court cases still remain on the project.

Pipeline builder Energy Transfer Partners and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are in the middle of a court battle regarding a permit needed to build under a reservoir of the Missouri River. The Army Corps, as directed under the Obama administration, has launched a full environmental review on the pipeline route to consider alternate paths.

Trump indicated in his signed memo on Tuesday that the new Secretary of the Army, once appointed, will likely reverse the environmental review currently underway for the pipeline route. A possible injunction by the Sioux tribe is likely but will also likely get rejected, according to Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Brandon Barnes. Energy Transfer Partners, then, would be able to complete construction on the line while both parties continue litigating the case.

If completed, the $3.8 billion Dakota Access Pipeline would carry oil from the Bakken shale oil fields in North Dakota to an oil tank farm in Patoka, Illinois.

Protestors Ready

Pipeline opponents said they expected this move from President Trump once he took office and are therefore ready to counteract what lies before them.

"We were prepared for Donald Trump to make this move. It doesn't catch us off guard," said Jane Kleeb, president of environmentalist group Bold Alliance, which was prominent in fighting the Keystone XL the first time around.

Protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline also sparked again in cities around the nation after Trump's executive order on the pipeline projects. The leader for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe asked Trump in a letter on Wednesday to reconsider his push for completion of the oil pipeline.

ABC News
Penn Energy

Temporary Win for Dakota Access Pipeline Protestors Prompts Texas Pipeline Protestors to Ask for Help

Planned route for Trans-Pecos natural gas pipeline ( Energy Transfer Partners )

Planned route for Trans-Pecos natural gas pipeline (Energy Transfer Partners)

Protestors fighting another Energy Transfer Partners pipeline in Texas are asking the protestors in North Dakota to join them after the federal government denied an easement needed to complete the Dakota Access pipeline.

The Big Bend Defense Coalition is protesting the construction of Energy Transfer Partner’s Trans-Pecos Pipeline, a 148-mile natural gas pipeline designed to transport 1.4 billion cubic feet pert day from the Waha Hub in Pecos County, Texas to the U.S.-Mexico border near Presidio Texas.

Protestors, or self-proclaimed “water protectors,” in North Dakota celebrated a temporary victory on Sunday when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers denied an easement needed for Energy Transfer Partners to construct the Dakota Access oil pipeline underneath a reservoir of the Missouri River.

Although the easement was denied, many protestors are afraid Energy Transfer Partners will still build under the river near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation or that the denied easement will be overturned by President-elect Trump when he takes office in January.

Members of the Big Bend Defense Coalition are hoping to rally allies from North Dakota to help them protest the natural gas pipeline in Texas.

“We want to welcome all those willing to come and help us protect our nation against corporate greed unfettered,” the group said in a statement.

Construction of the Trans-Pecos Pipeline started in May of this year, and its in-service date is anticipated to be March of 2017.

Energy Transfer Partners
Fuel Fix

Energy Transfer Partners Requests Permit to Continue Construction on Dakota Access Pipeline

Builder of the Dakota Access pipeline Energy Transfer Partners turned to a federal judge on Monday to request a permit to continue construction after the federal government declined the easement it needed to build under a reservoir of the Missouri River.

After months of nationally recognized protests, opponents of the Dakota Access pipeline celebrated a victory when the federal government denied an application for Energy Transfer to complete construction on the line. The Army Corps said it would consider alternate route options, but those options are likely to still travel underneath the river.

The Dakota Access pipeline is complete except for the mile section that would have traveled under Lake Oahe.

After the federal government turned down the easement, Energy Transfer in a legal filing on Monday asked a judge to grant the permit saying that the Army Corps made their decision in response to “political pressure.”

Energy Transfer recently stated it would lose about $83 million each month the pipeline is delayed past the start of the year.

Although celebrations occurred at the protest site after Sunday’s announcement from the federal government, many protestors have told reporters they believe the victory may be short-lived as Energy Transfer may fight back, and pipeline-supporter Trump will soon take office and could overturn the easement rejection.


Local Authorities: Mandatory Evacuation of Pipeline Protest Camp Comes from Spirit of Public Safety, Supplies to Not be Blocked

November, 2016: Protestors fighting the Dakota Access Pipeline camp at the Oceti Sakowin camp in southern North Dakota. Photo by  Bill Roach

November, 2016: Protestors fighting the Dakota Access Pipeline camp at the Oceti Sakowin camp in southern North Dakota. Photo by Bill Roach

North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple corrected media reports on Wednesday by stating publicly that the state would not be blocking supplies to protestors at a campsite near the Dakota Access Pipeline route despite an emergency evacuation order of the area.

Dalrymple told reporters there was a miscommunication earlier in the week that led to statements saying local officials would block supplies coming to the protestors at the Oceti Sakowin camp in North Dakota, just south of the location where the Dakota Access Pipeline would travel under the Missouri River.

Last week the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers sent a letter to the chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe issuing an emergency evacuation of the camp and advising all tribe members and other protestors to leave the area by December 5. However, the Corps also stated it would not forcibly remove protestors and that anyone who decides to stay on the land does so at his or her own risk.

Blocking supplies from the protestors at the camp would be “a huge mistake,” Dalrymple told reporters. Rather, he said the emergency evacuation order issued by the Corps and supported by the state is to protect those at the campsite from dangerous weather conditions.

The emergency evacuation order comes from the spirit of public safety, says a Morton County Sheriff spokesperson. The weather conditions are severe as more than a foot of snow has already fallen in the area this week. Many protestors at the camp are inexperienced with such weather conditions, and Dalyrmple stated that it could be difficult for emergency responders to get to the area to “do a rescue” should a person get hurt.

The mandatory evacuation starts December 5, and it is unclear how the deadline to leave will affect the campsite since authorities have stated they will not forcibly remove protestors.


Federal Government Proposes Rule to Revise Consultations with Tribal Groups, May Further Delay Dakota Access Pipeline

Amid ongoing contemplations about how to properly consult tribal groups on energy infrastructure, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers proposed a rule Thursday in the form of an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking intending to issue a new regulation about consulting tribes.

The proposed rulemaking could jeopardize the Dakota Access Pipeline, which is nearly complete but for a small stretch underneath the Missouri River in southern North Dakota. The company building the pipeline is waiting for an easement from the federal government to build under the river, but the Corps stated earlier this week that they need to first gather more input from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe about the route and land.

The proposed rulemaking also comes during the last couple of months of Obama's term as Trump is expected to take office January 20. According to federal law, Trump would then have the authority to invalidate any last-minute decisions from Obama's administration.

The notice made by the Corps is posted on the U.S. Office Information and Regulatory Affairs website, and the public has until January 1, 2017 to comment on it.


Energy Transfer Partners Files Lawsuit to Complete Pipeline without U.S. Corps' Final Approval

Energy Transfer Partners filed a lawsuit Tuesday asking for federal court intervention to complete its Dakota Access pipeline without the final easement approval from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers after the Corps announced Monday that more studies were warranted before considering approval.

The Corps reported Monday after reviewing the Dakota Access pipeline route that it needs more communication with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and more studies conducted on the route before granting Energy Transfer Partners an easement to drill underneath the Missouri River.

Kelcy Warren, CEO of Energy Transfer Partners, said in a statement that the easement would have been granted already if it weren’t for the “political interference” by Obama’s administration and that the pipeline company has waited long enough.

Protestors of the Dakota Access pipeline see the delay as a successful step toward stopping the pipeline from crossing underneath their water supply, which they believe the pipeline would threaten.

Fuel Fix

Chairman, CEO of Energy Transfer to Stay on Texas Parks Board Despite Protests

Chairman and CEO of Energy Transfer Partners Kelcy Warren said he will remain in his appointed seat on the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission despite demands from activists and environmentalists that he step down.

On Tuesday, several environmentalists protested at a parks commission meeting in Austin demanding that the man in charge of the Dakota Access Pipeline, the Trans-Pecos Pipeline, and Comanche Trail Pipeline step down from his seat on the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission as his role as both a pipeline operator and environmentalist representative were a conflict of interest.

Warren said he supports practical environmentalism and builds "extremely safe" pipelines, which are safer than transporting oil by truck or rail.

Warren also noted that he is confident Energy Transfer will receive the final easement from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to build the last section of the Dakota Access Pipeline, which is expected to be completed by this year.

Fuel Fix

Chairman for Standing Rock Asks Obama to Halt Pipeline Before Trump Takes Office

Chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe Dave Archambault II is once again asking President Obama to halt the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, leaving a "true legacy" before President-elect Trump takes office.

The request came after the polls declared Trump as the winning U.S. President-elect for the next term, a man who has invested up to $1 million in Energy Transfer Partners, the parent company developing the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Archambault is urging Obama to use his power to give the children of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe hope for their future by stopping the pipeline that would potentially ruin water supply and destroy ancient artifacts and burial grounds in southern North Dakota.

A spokesman for the Department of Justice said in a statement Friday that the agency plans to announce its decision on a "path forward" for the easement needed for Dakota Access to build the pipeline underneath Lake Oahe in just a matter of days.

ABC News

Energy Transfer Expects 'Imminent' Federal Approval to Drill Under River

According to a statement made Thursday by Energy Transfer Partners, the company expects “imminent” federal approval to begin hydraulic drilling underneath the Missouri River in North Dakota in order to complete one of the last sections of the Dakota Access Pipeline.

The company has started preparations by bringing construction equipment to the land as the company awaits approval from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers who is reconsidering an easement previously granted to drill under the river.

Energy Transfer said Thursday that the pipeline is on 99.98 percent private land and does not cross any land that is owned by the Native American Tribe Standing Rock Sioux. The company also mentioned that most of the land is next to an existing pipeline.

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and other protestors fear the pipeline will contaminate water supply and destroy ancient burial grounds and artifacts along its route. Energy Transfer said, however, that multiple studies found no artifacts or sites along the pipeline’s current route.

Energy Transfer has all permits that are required to construct and complete the pipeline and waits only for the easement from the Army Corps to set up drilling underneath the river.

Fuel Fix

WWII Memorial in DC Vandalized in Protest of Dakota Access Pipeline

Portion of WWII Memorial in DC, by Sdwelch1031 - Own work, CC BY 3.0,

Portion of WWII Memorial in DC, by Sdwelch1031 - Own work, CC BY 3.0,

Amid ongoing protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline, the National Park Service said Tuesday that a protestor vandalized the World War II memorial in Washington, spray painting “#NoDAPL” on the North Dakota section of the memorial.

The U.S. Park Police are conducting an investigation on the vandalism. Meanwhile, paint stripper has been used to remove most of the damage, according to National Park Service spokesman Mike Litterst.

The $3.8 billion, 1,170-mile crude oil pipeline has been the center of controversy, mainly near its proposed route under the Missouri River, which Native Americans believe will ruin water supply and destroy ancient burial sites and artifacts. Pipeline developer Energy Transfer has only the 20-mile stretch left of the route to construct before the construction is complete.

Under the Obama administration, a federal agency is considering a reroute for the pipeline in order to avoid the proposed route through the sacred land near Cannon Ball Ranch, but Energy Transfer has said it will continue construction in a timely manner.

Fox News

North Dakota Regulators Propose Fine Against Pipeline Developer

North Dakota regulators are proposing to fine Energy Transfer Partners, the developer of the Dakota Access pipeline, of at least $15,000 after claiming the company continued construction last month without receiving regulators’ permission.

The Public Service Commission of North Dakota announced Monday that Dakota Access LLC, a subsidiary of Energy Transfer, did not ask for permission from the regulators to continue construction last month after finding certain ancient artifacts.

The company rerouted around the artifacts so as not to disturb them when they were found, which was approved by the State Historic Preservation Office. However, the regulators claim the company should have received clearance from the regulators as well.

A spokesperson for Energy Transfer says the company does not think it violated any rules but that it is currently working with the Public Service Commission. The company can agree to the fine or request a hearing.

Houston Chronicle

Protestors Demand Leader of Dakota Access Pipeline to Leave Environmental Commission

Stephen F. Austin State Park, Texas © Collin Hile

Stephen F. Austin State Park, Texas © Collin Hile

Protestors want the president and chief executive of the pipeline company leading the Dakota Access oil pipeline to resign effective immediately from his position as a commissioner for Texas Parks and Wildlife.

Protestors met in Austin, Texas on Thursday during a meeting of the Parks and Wildlife commission waving banners and demanding that Energy Transfer Partners’ Kelcy Warren step down from his position with the Texas parks and wildlife.

Energy Transfer Partners is building the Dakota Access pipeline, a roughly 1,200-mile, $3.8 billion oil pipeline that will travel from North Dakota through South Dakota, Iowa, and end in Illinois. The pipeline has been under severe scrutiny since July as Native Americans and other environmentalists have joined together along the pipeline route in efforts to stop its construction.

Kelcy Warren was appointed last year to the commission of Texas Parks and Wildlife by Governor Greg Abbott.


Protestors in North Dakota Divided over Tactics to Stop Oil Pipeline

Groups among the protestors against the Dakota Access pipeline see division over how to stop the pipeline, with younger groups seeking more aggression and older groups seeking peaceful tactics.

After increasingly violent protests, including one that involved fire and gunshots on private land in North Dakota last week, members among the protest group are requesting that children be removed from the camp.

The growing protest camp known as Seven Council Fires camp is located on federal land owned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The large camp is made up of smaller protest groups from around the U.S., older and younger crowds alike.

Although the main reason for protest among all groups is to protect the environment, water supply, and sacred sites from the Dakota Access oil pipeline, several protesters believe in different tactics for stopping the pipeline, from peaceful prayer to violence.

Cody Hall, a former spokesman for one of the encampment’s factions, said the camp must stay united in order to successfully fight the pipeline, which is almost complete.