BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Two companies are proposing to build a $1.6 billion pipeline to move North Dakota crude oil, making it the biggest such project in the state since the Dakota Access pipeline that sparked violent clashes between protesters and law enforcement in 2016 and 2017.
Houston-based Phillips 66 and Casper, Wyoming-based Bridger Pipeline announced the joint venture called Liberty Pipeline on Monday. It’s designed to move 350,000 barrels of oil daily 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 route of the 24-inch-wide pipeline has not been disclosed, though the companies said in a statement that the project “will utilize existing pipeline and utility corridors and advanced construction techniques to limit environmental and community impact.”
Phillips 66 spokesman Dennis Nuss gave little detail about the pipeline other than saying it would not “originate in North Dakota.”
“The project hasn’t been finalized — there are still some things being worked on,” he said. “We will leverage existing pipelines and infrastructure facilities where possible.”
North Dakota’s Public Service Commission must approve the pipeline’s route in the state. Spokeswoman Stacy Eberl said the agency 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.
“The route will have to be determined before they apply to us because we approve the route,” Eberl said Tuesday. “Nothing has been filed with us at all.”
The companies’ statement said they plan to begin booking shipping commitments from suppliers “at a later date.”