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.


Energy Transfer Partners Plans to Double the Pipeline Capacity

Energy Transfer Partners plans to double the Dakota Access pipeline's capacity from more than 500,000 barrels per day to as much as 1.1 million barrels, The Bismarck Tribune reported.

The pipeline carries oil from North Dakota through South Dakota and Iowa to a shipping point in Illinois. The expansion will meet growing demand without additional pipelines or rail shipments, the company told North Dakota Public Service Commission in a letter on Wednesday.

Before the pipeline was completed and began moving oil in 2017, it sparked massive protests near the Standing Rock Indian reservation. The company said last year that it was planning to ship more crude to the Gulf Coast.


Texas Considering Bill to Bring Penalties for Pipeline Damage

Texas lawmakers are considering a bill that would reinforce penalties for damaging or trespassing around oil and gas operations. This effort comes after states around the country have introduced similar measures. This bill is considered despite the opposition from environmental groups who say it would quell peaceful protests and overly criminalize offenses.

Trespassing, damaging or destroying the facility, or impairing or interrupting oil and gas operations will be considered a third degree felony with between two and up to ten years in prison. Also a fine of up to $500,000 under another provision in the bill is also considering if organizations found guilty of breaking the law.

Gas lobbyists and environmental activists went head-to-head over the bill at a public hearing on Wednesday at the Texas capital. Both groups clashed on whether the bill would suppress Texans' right to legally protest pipeline projects and over its necessity.

Demonstrations such as those in North Dakota against the Dakota Access oil pipeline resulted in hundreds of arrests and cost the state $38 million. Republican state Rep. Chris Paddie of Marshall who is sponsoring the bill wanted to classify any oil or gas pipelines as critical infrastructure, placing them in the same category as power plants and water treatment facilities.


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.”


Dakota Access Pipeline Permit Backed by U.S. Army Corps After Environmental Review

The U.S. Army Corps said on Friday that a permit it granted for the Dakota Access Pipeline last year was environmentally sound. The news adds a further setback to tribal and green groups in their hopes to stop the flow of oil on the pipeline.

U.S. District Judge James Boasberg ordered the Army Corps of Engineers to further review environmental analysis on the permit in 2017. This granted the final easement for the pipeline to be finished.

The Standing Rock Sioux tribe had sued the Army Corps over its approval of the pipeline in North Dakota, arguing that oil spills could contaminate the Missouri River. The Army Corps responded by saying that their decision to grant the permit “does not result in disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects on minority populations, including tribes, and low-income populations.”

Those in opposition of the Dakota Access pipeline had hoped the new analysis would force the halting of the Energy Transfer Partners LP pipeline, which began transporting oil last year.

ETP did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the decision.

Mike Faith, Jr. Chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe said, “The Army Corps’ decision to rubber-stamp its illegal and flawed permit for DAPL will not stand,”

He added that the tribe would review the decision and decide how best to proceed.


ETP Announces Permian Express 3 Expansion and Possible Dakota Access Expansion

Energy Transfer Partners LP has said that it expects to expand its Permian Express oil pipeline system by up to 100,000 barrels per day and may also boost capacity on its Dakota Access crude pipeline.

ETP completed an open season during the second quarter for about 50,000 additional bbl/d on Permian Express 3, finishing the final phase of the 140,000 bbl/d project.

The Dakota Access pipeline has averaged just over 500,000 bbl/d and ETP could expand capacity by an additional 100,000 bbl/d.

There is also a new 30-inch crude oil pipeline joint venture project from the Permian Basin to the Gulf Coast expected to add at least 1 million barrels per day of capacity. Estimates have the line coming online by 2020 according to ETP statements made in May.

“Everywhere we possibly can use DRA [drag reducing agents] across the country, we are,” a senior ETP executive said.

Oil and Gas Investor

New Approved Law in Iowa Increases Punishment of Pipeline Sabotage

Criminal sabotage of Iowa pipelines could result in heavier punishment under new laws approved by the Iowa Legislature in its 2018 session.

After millions of dollars of damage to the Dakota Access Pipeline, measures were drafted by state homeland security officials creating a new crime of “critical infrastructure sabotage” which is a class B felony and punishable by up to 25 years in prison and a fine up to $100,000.

The Republican-led Iowa Senate rejected an amendment that would have clearly excluded picketing or other public demonstrations from being banned.

Hundreds of Iowans protested the construction of the pipeline, and many were arrested, but owners wanted a law that specifically included “critical infrastructure” so criminals could be charged when their operations are damaged.    
Although most protests were peaceful, some protestors intended to delay completion of the pipeline project.

Des Moines Register


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.


U.S. Army Corps to Finish Study on Dakota Access Pipeline in Two Months

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said it expects to wrap up its environmental study of the Dakota Access oil pipeline within the next two months now that it has met with all four of the Native American tribes that felt they were left out of the process.

Standing Rock, Cheyenne River, Yankton, and Oglala Sioux tribes filed a lawsuit in 2016 in hopes to shut down the $3.8 billion pipeline that began moving oil from North Dakota to Illinois in June last year. The tribes argue that the pipeline could cause environmental and cultural harm. U.S. District Judge James Boasberg is currently overseeing the lawsuit.

Although Boasberg allowed the pipeline to begin operations last year despite lingering concerns of its impact on tribal interests, he ordered additional study on the line.

Standing Rock and Cheyenne River said earlier this year that they were not given a significant role in the additional study process and asked Judge Boasberg to allow them more involvement. Their request was rejected.

The Corps' review on the pipeline was originally estimated to be completed in April but has been delayed to August due to difficulties in receiving needed information from the tribes. The Corps finally met with representatives of all tribes between May 22 and June 1 and have made significant progress in the review.

ABC News

Army Corps to Meet with American Indian Tribes on Dakota Access Pipeline

As an environmental study for the Dakota Access Pipeline continues, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers prepares to meet with American Indian tribes who argue they were left out of the process.

Standing Rock, Cheyenne River, Yankton, and Oglala Sioux tribes filed a lawsuit in 2016 in hopes to shut down the $3.8 billion pipeline that began moving oil from North Dakota to Illinois in June last year. The tribes argue that the pipeline could cause environmental and cultural harm. U.S. District Judge James Boasberg is currently overseeing the lawsuit.

Although Boasberg allowed the pipeline to begin operations last year despite lingering concerns of its impact on tribal interests, he ordered additional study on the line, which is currently underway.

Standing Rock and Cheyenne River said earlier this year that they were not given a significant role in the additional study process and asked Judge Boasberg to allow them more involvement. Their request was rejected.

To complete the study, the U.S. Army Corps needs additional information from the tribes, which it has had difficulty obtaining. The Corps is scheduled to meet with each tribe by June 1.

The New York Times

Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Files Report, Says Dakota Access Pipeline Unsafe

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe has filed a report to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers arguing that the pipeline technology used by Energy Transfer Partners for the Dakota Access Pipeline cannot detect large, dangerous leaks.

The 313-page report argues that the current remote-detection technology being used to monitor the pipeline cannot detect leaks that are less than two percent of the full pipeline flow rate. At an assumed full rate of 600,000 barrels of oil per day, a possible undetected leak could amount to as much as 12,000 barrels of oil per day, according to the report.

Although the 1,170-mile Dakota Access Pipeline has been in operation since June of last year, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe's fight against the project has not ended since it began protesting the line in 2016.

The tribe wrote in its report that the worst-case scenarios envisioned by Energy Transfer Partners still do not cover the possibilities of things like human error or equipment malfunction.

It is unlikely that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will revoke permits for the Dakota Access Pipeline, but the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe could use its report to sue the government.


President Trump Action Helps Energy Transfer Partners Quadruple Net Income

Pipeline giant Energy Transfer Partners more than quadrupled net income to $2.5 billion last year in large thanks to President Donald Trump.

Trump's approval of the Dakota Access Pipeline, as well as his lead in the U.S. tax overhaul, helped give Energy Transfer Partners the massive profit last year, according to an earnings report on Wednesday.

The 1,172-mile Dakota Access crude oil pipeline, which went into operation in June last year, alone added $247 million to the company's earnings in the fourth quarter, according to Energy Transfer Partners.

Energy Transfer Partners operates a total of 70,000 miles of oil and gas pipeline and is one of the tops in the industry.

The company is near completion on its Rover natural gas pipeline in Ohio and Pennsylvania and has started construction on its Bayou Bridge crude oil pipeline in Louisiana. It is also considering a new crude oil pipeline in the Permian to move oil to Nederland, Texas.

Fuel Fix

Federal Judge Orders Spill Response Plan for Dakota Access Pipeline

U.S. District Judge James Boasberg on Monday ordered Energy Transfer Partners to coordinate with local tribes and the Army Corps of Engineers to create an oil-spill response plan for the Dakota Access Pipeline by April, 2018 as a way to keep oil flowing and prevent spills.

Boasberg also asked the company to begin submitting bi-monthly reports later this month on safety conditions where the pipeline crosses Lake Oahe, a controversial crossing that was protested by thousands for months last year.

The order comes six months after Boasberg required the Army Corps of Engineers to do an additional review on the 1,170-mile Dakota Access Pipeline oil pipeline, which started shipping crude in June. He had ruled that the initial review of the project was inadequate before the Army Corps granted federal permits.

In October, Boasberg ruled that oil could keep flowing through the pipeline while the Army Corps conducted an additional review on the project.

The order is in line with requests from two Native American tribes to get an independent, third-party auditor to share data obtained during the review, which must be implemented by April 1, 2018.


Energy Transfer Partners, Army Corps Object to Tribal Request for DAPL

Dakota Access Pipeline builder Energy Transfer Partners and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are objecting in federal court to an effort by the Standing Rock Sioux and Cheyenne River Sioux tribes to strengthen protections for their water supply.

Both groups have written in separate documents filed Wednesday that the proposals by the tribes are unnecessary or unwarranted, saying measures have already been put in place to achieve water protection.

Both tribes get their water from the Missouri River's Lake Oahe reservoir in southern North Dakota, an area of water under which the Dakota Access Pipeline crosses, and fear that an oil spill would ruin that water supply.

The tribes lost their fight to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline from operating, so they are now asking the federal court to require increased public reporting of pipeline issues and implementation of an emergency spill response plan at the lake crossing, including staged equipment.

Energy Transfer Partners says it already has emergency equipment staged near the crossing and has taken steps to include the tribes in the response plan.


Energy Builders Launches Database to Track Attacks on Pipelines, Energy Infrastructure

Energy Builders launched a database called the Energy Infrastructure Incident Reporting Center that tracks criminal attacks on energy infrastructure across the country. The database comes after more than 80 members of Congress expressed concern to Attorney General Jeff Sessions over the recent rise in attacks on critical energy infrastructure.

Toby Mack, president and CEO of the Energy Infrastructure Incident Reporting Center, said he was pleased to see Congress working to end unlawful and violent attacks on energy infrastructure and people involved in the energy industry.

"Incidents of eco-terrorism, sabotage, arson, vandalism, and violence are on the rise as criminal tactics have become a regular feature of pipeline protests, leaving taxpayers on the hook for millions of dollars and potentially endangering lives, the environment, and our national security," he said.

The database lists several high-profile energy infrastructure attacks over the last year, including a rash of arsons along the Dakota Access Pipeline site that caused more than $2,000,000 of damages to bulldozers and earth-moving equipment.


Monument from DAPL Protest to be Displayed at Smithsonian

A 12-foot mile-marker constructed by protestors during their months-long fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline will be on display at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of the American Indian in D.C.

The structure was made as a centerpiece of the protest camp in southern North Dakota that began its sprawl in August of 2016 until it was forced to disband in February this year. It showed the distances that protestors traveled from around the globe, ranging from homes 50 yards to some 4,000 miles away.

A total of more than 12,000 activists protested the construction of the $3.8 billion Dakota Access Pipeline, which is now in operation, saying it violated Native rights and would ruin water supply.

The camp was forced to disband in February for safety reasons as the spring flooding season was on its way after an incredibly harsh winter.

The mile-marker post will be the final piece of an exhibit in the Smithsonian called "Nation to Nation: Treaties Between the United States and American Indian Nations." It will be on display through 2021.

Washington Post

Federal Judge to Hear Arguments on Tribe's Fallback Plan for Dakota Access Pipeline

U.S. Federal Judge James Boasberg will hear arguments over the next month about whether Energy Transfer Partners should be required to stage equipment near the Standing Rock Sioux tribe's reservation to quickly respond to any oil spill that could occur under the Missouri River.

The proposed requirement is part of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe's fallback plan in case Boasberg decided to allow the Dakota Access pipeline to continue operating while the Army Corps of Engineers conducts additional study on the pipeline route.

Earlier this month Boasberg ruled that the pipeline, which began operations on June 1 of this year, could continue operations during the review.

Boasberg scheduled a timeline for arguments with attorneys on both sides of the tribe's proposal. The proposal asks for increased public reporting of pipeline issues and implementation of an emergency spill response plan.

Additional review of the pipeline will most likely not be completed until the spring of next year, according to the Army Corps.

ABC News

U.S. Federal Judge Says Dakota Access Pipeline Can Continue Operations During Extended Review

A federal judge on Wednesday said the Dakota Access oil pipeline may continue operations while the Army Corps of Engineers completes a study on the pipeline to assess its environmental impact on the Standing Rock Sioux tribe.

U.S. District Judge James Boasberg said in his Wednesday statement that he does not believe this is a case in which the Army Corps will have to redo its analysis of the pipeline from the ground up but rather "simply connect the dots" to justify previous decisions made during the original pipeline permitting process.

Energy industry officials praised Boasberg's decision, saying the pipeline is a critical part of American energy infrastructure.

The $3.8 billion oil pipeline began operations in June to move oil from North Dakota to a distribution point in Illinois.

Boasberg ruled in June that the Army Corps did not adequately consider how an oil spill could affect the Standing Rock Sioux, a tribe that has been challenging the pipeline in court over fears that it could ruin water supply, and needed to reconsider certain areas of its analysis. He then heard arguments about shutting down the line while the extended study was completed but ultimately ruled against the request.

Houston Chronicle

Energy Transfer Partners Gives $15 Million to North Dakota to Help with DAPL Protest Costs

Energy Transfer Partners sent North Dakota $15 million on Thursday to help pay for costs related to months of protests over the Dakota Access Pipeline construction.

The state has been pushing for federal reimbursement to cover costs related to the pipeline protests. Although the state's request for a disaster declaration was denied, the U.S. Justice Department gave a $10 million grant to the state to help pay some of the policing bills.

Some state officials, however, argue that the federal government should pay for all costs since the protests occurred on federal ground without a permit, and the federal government decided not to evict the protestors due to free speech.

North Dakota has arranged for a bank credit line of up to $43 million to cover costs. the state's head of National Guard said the costs shouldn't go past that figure.

The Dakota Access Pipeline started service in June, moving oil from North Dakota to Illinois. The project is still being contested in federal court by Native American tribes who worry a leak would ruin water supply.

Houston Chronicle

American Midstream Partners Begins Crude Deliveries to Dakota Access Pipeline

American Midstream Partners announced Monday that it began deliveries from its 40,000 barrel-per-day Bakken crude oil gathering system in North Dakota into the Dakota Access Pipeline.

American Midstream's connection to the Dakota Access Pipeline provides optionality to high-value market alternatives and take-away capabilities for gathered barrels and volume brought through American Midstream's trucking terminal.

"The connection is a continuation of our strategy to optimize the long-term value of our assets by giving producers a suite of services with strong market connectivity via multiple pipeline takeaway points," said Lynn Bourdon, President and CEO of American Midstream Partners.

American Midstream Partners is a growth-oriented limited partnership that currently owns or has ownership interest in about 4,000 miles of interstate and intrastate pipelines and other assets.

Business Wire