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Most Remaining Permits for Dakota Access Oil Pipeline Approved

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has approved most of the remaining federal permits required for Energy Transfer Partners LP (ETP) to complete construction of the 1,172-mile Dakota Access Pipeline across four states.

On Monday, the USACE issued Nationwide Permit No. 12 for the pipeline to traverse North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa and Illinois. The $3.8 billion, 30-inch diameter pipeline would have a capacity of up to 570,000 b/d and transport crude oil from the Bakken Shale and Three Forks formation to an interconnect with ETP's existing Trunkline Pipeline at Pakota, IL (see Shale DailySept. 23, 2014).

"We can now move forward with construction in all areas as quickly as possible in order to limit construction activities to one growing season and have construction completed by the end of this year," pipeline spokeswoman Lisa Dillinger told NGI's Shale Daily on Wednesday.

USACE spokeswoman Eileen Williams of the Omaha district office, said ETP still needs approval for several water crossings. Specifically, authorizations are required to cross two levees (McGee Creek and Coon Run), Carlyle Lake and the Illinois River Navigation Channel in Illinois, and a water crossing in South Dakota.

Williamson said the USACE approved water crossings at Lake Sakakawea and Lake Oahe, and for horizontal directional drilling to be performed to carry the pipeline under the Mississippi River. Although ETP received Section 408 approval for the crossing at Lake Oahe, a mandatory Congressional notification has been initiated but not yet completed, she said.

"The folks that were working on this have spent a lot of time looking at each crossing individually and have put a lot of effort into making the decisions that needed to be made," Williamson said.

Construction work has already begun on several sections of the pipeline. Work began in the Dakotas and Illinois first, followed by Iowa which gave its authorization to proceed last month (see Shale DailyJune 7May 27May 2).

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