Dakota Access pipeline ruling surprises oil industry
BISMARCK | A judge’s ruling that might open the door for at least a temporary shutdown of the disputed Dakota Access pipeline surprised the industry that hailed the project as a “game changer” for North Dakota oil.
But shippers said Thursday that they aren’t concerned that there will be any long-term disruption to service on the $3.8 billion pipeline that on June 1 began moving crude from the Bakken oil patch to a distribution point in Illinois, from which it’s shipped to the Gulf Coast and potentially high-paying
“It’s business as usual today,” said Ron Ness, president of the North Dakota Petroleum Council, which represents nearly 500 energy companies including Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners, which built Dakota Access.
U.S. District Judge James Boasberg ruled Wednesday that the Army Corps of Engineers “largely complied” with environmental law when approving the pipeline but didn’t adequately consider some matters important to the Standing Rock Sioux.
The tribe draws its water from Lake Oahe and is opposed to the pipeline crossing beneath the Missouri River reservoir in North Dakota.
“Obviously, we don’t know how all that plays out,” Mr. Ness said. “But clearly the pipeline is running. It’s a critical element of the nation’s energy infrastructure.”