The Dakota Access Pipeline Project is a new approximate 1,172-mile, 30-inch diameter pipeline that will connect the rapidly expanding Bakken and Three Forks production areas in North Dakota to Patoka, Illinois. The pipeline will enable domestically produced light sweet crude oil from North Dakota to reach major refining markets in a more direct, cost-effective, safer and environmentally responsible manner. The pipeline will also reduce the current use of rail and truck transportation to move Bakken crude oil to major U.S. markets to support domestic demand.
It will transport approximately 470,000 barrels per day with a capacity as high as 570,000 barrels per day or more – which could represent approximately half of Bakken current daily crude oil production. Shippers will be able to access multiple markets, including Midwest and East Coast markets as well as the Gulf Coast via the Nederland, Texas crude oil terminal facility of Sunoco Logistics Partners.
The Dakota Access Pipeline will connect the Bakken and Three Forks production areas in North Dakota to existing pipelines in Illinois. The pipeline will enable 100 percent domestically produced light sweet crude oil from North Dakota to reach major refining markets in a more direct, cost-effective, safer and responsible manner. The pipeline will also reduce the current use of rail and truck transportation to move Bakken crude oil to major U.S. markets to support American energy needs.
Protecting landowner interests and the local environment is a top priority of the Dakota Access Pipeline project. As an operating principle, Dakota Access Pipeline is committed to working with individual landowners to make accommodations, minimize disruptions, and achieve full restoration of impacted land. We will listen to and address questions from the community, landowners and other interested stakeholders about the project, proposed routes, landowner communications and more. It is our intent to live up to our promises of openness, honesty and responsiveness before, during and after construction and throughout operations.
The Dakota Access Pipeline will employ new advanced pipeline technology to ensure safety and reliability. Pipelines are the safest mode of transporting crude oil, according to statistics from the U.S. Department of Transportation. But there are always opportunities to improve on that record. Today’s crude oil pipelines are designed to exceed stringent federal safety standards. Dakota Access will be built and operated using the most advanced technology and monitoring systems to make it even safer.
Increased domestic crude oil production translates into greater energy independence for the United States.
Although the United States is the third-largest producer in the world, we are the number one consumer of crude oil in the world. We need to close the gap between what we produce as a country and what we consume before we can be truly independent of foreign imports. While the U.S. produced 7.5 million barrels of crude oil per day in 2013, it still imported 7.7 million barrels per day in order to meet consumer demands. We need to close the gap between what we produce as a country and what we consume before we can be truly independent of foreign imports. Every barrel of oil produced in the United States directly displaces a barrel of foreign oil.
The North Dakota Bakken has witnessed a significant increase in the production of crude oil, from 309,000 barrels a day in 2010 to 1 million barrels a day in 2014. This energy will need reliable transportation networks to reach U.S. markets, and pipelines are the safest, most efficient means of accomplishing this task.
Local Economic Impact
The Dakota Access Pipeline is a $3.7 billion investment that will create 8,000 to 12,000 local jobs during construction. Millions of hours of labor will be needed during the construction phase, putting welders, mechanics, electricians, pipefitters, heavy equipment operators and others within the heavy construction industry to work. There will also be increased demand for those who manufacture the steel pipes, fittings, valves, pumps and control devices necessary for a major pipeline, and local economies along the route will feel direct impact through the expanded use of hotels, motels, restaurants, and other services.
The project will also address transportation strains in the Upper Midwest created by the dramatic increase in crude oil production in North Dakota. A lack of rail cars to move grain out of South Dakota has magnified the problem. Tariffs on grain railcars have increased from $50 to nearly $1,400 per car. These cost increases can carve up to $1.00 from every bushel of corn shipped. The Bakken Pipeline will help ease transportation shortages for agriculture and other industries.