Although its legal challenges have not ended, the backers of the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) reported to a federal district court on Monday that Bakken crude oil began to flow in the $3.68 billion, nearly 1,200-mile pipeline.
Attorneys for Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners (ETP), the principal DAPL sponsor, made a brief filing in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, noting that oil has been placed in the part of DAPL that goes under the Missouri River at Lake Oahe in south-central North Dakota. Preparations are under way to put the full four-state pipeline in service.
Judge James Boasberg still must act on cross complaints between the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in a summary judgment request.
Earlier in the month, DAPL attorneys notified the court about "coordinated physical attacks" on parts of the pipeline by opponents, and the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, which along with Standing Rock Sioux has been heading the court fights, announced the start of an Internet-based crowdfunding campaign to help offset the cost of the tribes' continuing legal action against the pipeline.
In Monday's filing, DAPL attorneys said the interstate oil project is "currently commissioning the full pipeline and preparing to place the line into service." They noted that under a February order by Boasberg they will not be making additional weekly reports to the court unless they are directed to do so.
While the tribes continue to push for global banks helping to finance DAPL to sell their interests in the project -- and some have -- a Texas-based spokesperson for ETP told NGI's Shale Daily the pipeline for moving Bakken crude oil to East and Gulf Coast market is now a reality.
As happened earlier this month, DAPL has continued to withstand all of thecourt challenges from tribal-led lawsuits.