Two companies are proposing a $1.6 billion pipeline to move North Dakota crude oil out of the state, making it the biggest project of this kind since the Dakota Access pipeline that sparked violent clashes between protesters and law enforcement in the past years.
Phillips 66 and Bridger Pipeline announced the joint venture called Liberty Pipeline on Monday. It’s designed to move 350,000 barrels of oil daily — the bulk of which from western North Dakota’s oil patch — to the nation’s biggest storage terminal in Cushing, Oklahoma. From there, the companies said shippers can access multiple Gulf Coast destinations.
The exact route of the 24-inch (60-centimeter) pipeline has not been disclosed, though the companies said in a statement the project “will utilize existing pipeline and utility corridors and advanced construction techniques to limit environmental and community impact.”
“Pipelines are a matter of great concern to folks,” a spokesperson said. “We are acutely aware of pipeline routing in North Dakota and we are doing everything in our power to use existing pipeline rights of way and corridors. Importantly, the new line will not cross any tribal lands,” he said.
North Dakota’s Public Service Commission must approve the pipeline’s route in the state. Stacy Eberl, spokesperson, said that she has not seen any plans from the companies, which said in their statement they hope to have the pipeline operational in the first quarter of 2021.
North Dakota is the nation’s second-biggest oil producer behind Texas. The state’s oil production is pegged at 1.4 million barrels daily.