Dakota Access Pipeline to Begin Operations

Pipeline COntroversy

After three years, dozens of town hall meetings, thousands of public comments and numerous violent protests, the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) is scheduled to begin operations on June 1st.

Energy Transfer Partners announced plans to build the pipeline project back in 2014. Originally expected to be completed by the end of 2016, completion was delayed when major protests and legal wranglings disrupted the construction schedule.  

Related: Violence Erupts at Pipeline Site

The $3.8 billion project includes a 1,172-mile underground pipeline that extends from the Bakken/Three Forks production area in North Dakota to Patoka, Illinois. The DAPL will transport 470 000 bpdof light crude oil from North Dakota across the region.

With production in the region expected to rise, some analysts predict that the DALP will reach 75 percent of capacity by year-end 2017. ESAI Energy is one source predicting that Bakken will continue to experience production growth through next year. 

Until oil prices get closer to $60 producers will continue to target the Bakken core where well performance is very high. We also expect a further drawdown in the DUC inventory for the remainder of 2017 since most DUCs provide adequate rates of return at prices around $50 per barrel.
— Elisabeth Murphy, analyst at ESAI Energy

Dakota Access Quick Facts

  • Construction of the pipeline has created roughly 12,000 jobs
  • Spurred hundreds of millions of dollars investment in heavy equipment and thousands of construction jobs to the state.
  • Over $3.54 billion spent on construction
  • Will continue to invest hundreds of millions a month into the U.S. economy
  • Once in operation, it will transport 470 000 bpd 
  • Has generated an estimated $156 million in sales and income taxes during construction, and $55 million in property taxes annually

Pipeline Protests Cost Taxpayers

Officials of Morton County, where thousands gathered for the longstanding protest against the pipeline construction, have reported that protests will cost North Dakota taxpayers nearly $40 million in property damage and personnel. Since the cleanup began, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reportedly hauled out close to 1,000 dumpsters filled with trash, personal items and old building material and spent $1.1 million