Dakota Access pipeline sponsor receives final easement from ACE

The Dakota Access crude oil pipeline project’s sponsor reported that it received the final easement necessary to complete the project from the US Army Corps of Engineers (ACE). “With this action, Dakota Access now has received all federal authorizations necessary to proceed expeditiously to complete construction of the pipeline,” Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners LP said on Feb. 8.

The Dakota Access crude oil pipeline project’s sponsor reported that it received the final easement necessary to complete the project from the US Army Corps of Engineers (ACE). “With this action, Dakota Access now has received all federal authorizations necessary to proceed expeditiously to complete construction of the pipeline,” Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners LP said on Feb. 8.

Its announcement came a day after Acting US Army Sec. Robert Speer said the US Department of the Army completed a presidentially directed review of the remaining easement request for the 1,172-mile, 30-in. pipeline, and notified Congress that it intended to grant the easement for a right-of-way across government land at Lake Oahe in North Dakota (OGJ Online, Feb. 8, 2017).

The American Petroleum Institute, which did not comment at that time, responded to the Feb. 8 news that the easement finally was granted. “The Corps’ action to implement the final easement for the Dakota Access Pipeline is welcome news and shows the new direction being taken by the administration to support jobs and the rule of law in the permitting process,” API Pres. Jack N. Gerard said.

“Private investment in our nation’s energy infrastructure is a $1 trillion proposition that could create 1 million jobs,” Gerard said. “Certainty in the permitting process is critical to harnessing the benefits that come from our nation’s energy infrastructure so that American consumers and workers and the environment can continue to benefit from our nation’s energy renaissance.”

ETP said the Dakota Access system, which will extend from the Bakken oil fields in North Dakota to Patoka, Ill., will be combined with a 700-mile pipeline from Patoka to Nederland, Tex., that has been converted to crude oil service. It said that the two systems, which will be known as the Bakken Pipeline, are expected to be in service by this year’s second quarter.

Receipt of the easement also means ETP can complete about $2.6 billion of committed debt financing and equity transactions within the next several days, including access to the remaining $1.4 billion of the previously announced $2.5 billion project financing for Dakota Access, and $1.2 billion from the closing of the previously announced sale by ETP of a minority interest in the Bakken Pipeline to MarEn Bakken LLC, the midstream partnership said.

Sunoco Logistics Partners LP agreed to acquire ETP late last year in a unit-for-unit deal valued at $20 billion (OGJ Online, Nov. 21, 2016).

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

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