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Construction Set For Gathering Terminals in Bakken-to-Gulf Oil Pipeline Project

Construction of the gathering terminals for Energy Transfer Partners’ (ETP) Dakota Access Pipeline will start early next year and be completed before the end of 2016, according to backers of the 1,100-mile crude oil pipeline.

A unit of Tulsa-based Matrix Service Co. has won the bid to build the six gathering terminals, all in North Dakota. The pipeline would take Bakken and Three Forks light sweet crude to Patoka, IL, where it could be moved to Gulf Coast refineries.

Matrix officials said the engineering, procurement and construction contract for the terminals is worth about $330 million to the company. Each of the terminals will have working capacities of 200,000-600,000 bbl.

The Dakota Access line would transport 450,000 b/d with a capacity as high as 570,000 b/d or more, which could represent half of current Bakken daily crude oil production, according to ETP.

The project would give shippers ability to access multiple markets, including the Midwest, East Coast and Gulf Coast, via Sunoco Logistics Partners’ Nederland, TX, crude oil terminal facility. Pending regulatory approvals, ETP expects the pipeline to be in service by the fourth quarter of 2016.

Matrix Service CEO John Hewitt said his firm will provide full terminal design and construction.

The $3.78 billion pipeline project cuts diagonally southeasterly through the Dakotas, the entire length of Iowa and into south-central Illinois. It was the subject of a series of public hearings held by the North Dakota Public Service Commission this summer.

In January, 13 environmental groups asked the Iowa Utilities Board to deny ETP’s request for a permit for the pipeline, which would run through up to 18 counties in the state (see Shale DailyJan. 13).

Last May, ETP said Sunoco Logistics Partners LP was taking a 40% stake in its Bakken Holdings Co., which has a 75% stake in the Dakota Access pipeline, along with a 75% interest in ETP's Energy Transfer Crude Oil Co. LLC. ETP retains a 60% interest in Bakken Holdings.

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