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Second Big Oil Pipe Proposed for Bakken to Gulf Coast

Further proof that the Bakken Shale boom continues to grow, a proposal for an interstate oil pipeline to the Gulf Coast was announced Wednesday by Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners LP (ETP), less than 24 hours after a similar proposal was unveiled by Enterprise Products Partners LP at a state pipeline summit (see Shale Daily, June 24).

ETP is proposing an 1,100-mile crude oil pipeline -- the Bakken Pipeline -- from receipt points in North Dakota to Patoka, IL, where the new line would interconnect with ETP's existing Trunkline Pipeline, which is being converted from carrying natural gas to the Gulf region. Shippers at Patoka are able to access multiple Midwest and Gulf Coast markets, according to ETP.

The announcement came the same day that North Dakota industry and state officials gathered in Tioga to celebrate the state passing the 1 million b/d production milestone. North Dakota has seen its oil production in less than a decade go from a few thousand barrels daily to 600,000 b/d in 2012 and more than 1 million b/d  in April, according to state statistics.

North Dakota now enjoys $50 million a day in economic activity from its oil and gas production, equating to more than $11 million a day in added state tax revenues, according to ExxonMobil Corp.’s Perspective blog by executive Ken Cohen.

It was not immediately clear how competitive the two pipeline proposals may be. Enterprise plans to add 340,000 b/d of capacity from the Bakken with its proposed 30-inch diameter, 1,200-mile pipeline, which could be operational by the end of 2016. It would be Houston-based Enterprise's first pipeline in North Dakota.

ETP said its 30-inch diameter line to Patoka initially would provide 320,000 b/d capacity, increased with additional customer demand. The company said it has long-term binding contractual commitments from shippers to fully support the construction of the pipeline.

ETP is in the process of ordering steel pipe and negotiating construction contracts for the Bakken Pipeline. The line is scheduled to be in service, along with the Trunkline gas-to-crude conversion project, by the end of 2016.

ETP said the proposed pipeline "supports the continued growth and production in the Bakken area, but does so in a cost-effective and environmentally responsible manner by reducing the current use of rail and truck transportation as the predominant alternative to moving Bakken crude oil volumes to major U.S. markets."

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