BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A Texas company has obtained enough shipping commitments from oil companies to build a 1,100-mile pipeline from western North Dakota to Illinois.
Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners LP said Thursday in a statement that the "Bakken Pipeline" would move 320,000 barrels of North Dakota crude daily to an existing pipeline in Patoka, Illinois, where shippers can access Midwest and Gulf Coast markets. The company said it also plans a rail terminal facility at an undisclosed location in Illinois to access East Coast refineries.
Energy Transfer Partners still needs to obtain state and federal permits for the pipeline but its statement said it has begun ordering steel and negotiating construction contracts. The company said it hopes to place the pipeline in service in 2016. Its cost was not disclosed.
The company did not return telephone calls to The Associated Press on Thursday.
North Dakota Pipeline Authority Director Justin Kringstad said the project, if approved, would be the largest-capacity pipeline for the state's crude to date.
"It's very encouraging to see these long-term investments," Kringstad said.
The company's announcement comes after Gov. Jack Dalrymple urged industry and government officials at a conference this week to build more pipelines to keep pace with North Dakota's booming oil production, saying that will reduce truck traffic, curb natural gas flaring and create more markets for the state's oil and gas.
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