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Iowa Regulators to Decide on Dakota Access Pipeline

Iowa regulators are scheduled this month to decide the fate of the proposed 1,154-mile Dakota Access Pipeline, which would move Bakken Shale crude oil through four states.

Regulators in North and South Dakota, and in Illinois, already have approved the line (see Shale DailyJan. 25Dec. 29, 2015). Iowa approval is the remaining hurdle.

The Iowa Utility Board (IUB) last month concluded four days of public hearings on the proposed interstate oil pipeline and set open session meetings on the project for next week (March 9-10). If a decision is reached by regulators at that time, “it will not be final until a written order is issued and filed electronically," an IUB spokesperson said.

Following a Feb. 19 mandate from the board, staff has been crafting an order regarding the pipeline case [HLP-2014-0001].

At stake is the proposal by Energy Transfer Partners LP (ETP) to build the $3.8 billion Dakota Access LLC pipe with 100,000 b/d capacity for its initial segment to the Stanley and Ramberg tank terminals in North Dakota, from which takeaway capacity will be expanded to carry up to 600,000 b/d between Watford City's tank terminal and the South Dakota border.

As currently proposed, Dakota Access could transport volumes approaching half of the state's current daily output of Bakken crude.

The project would give shippers the ability to access multiple markets, including the Midwest, East Coast and Gulf Coast via Sunoco Logistics Partners’ crude oil terminal facility in Nederland, TX.

An ETP spokesperson told NGI’s Shale Daily Wednesday that the pipeline project continues to move forward and has obtained more than 88% of the easements needed to cross the nearly 3,700 separate properties along the complete pipeline route. On a state-by-state basis the percentages vary from 93% in South Dakota to 81% in Iowa. In Illinois and North Dakota more than 90% of the easements are in hand.

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