Koch Pipeline Co. LP is holding a nonbinding open season for the Dakota Express Pipeline, which would carry crude oil from the Bakken Shale in western North Dakota to Hartford and Patoka, IL. A connection at Patoka to the Eastern Gulf Crude Access Pipeline to carry crude to Gulf Coast refineries is also contemplated.

Dakota Express could begin service in 2016 with an expected initial capacity of 250,000 b/d. “Koch Pipeline Co. has not yet determined the project’s exact route, but is in the process of vetting a preliminary route,” a spokesperson told NGI‘s Shale Daily.

“This project presents an opportunity for Koch Pipeline to meet the growing transportation needs required to support increased crude oil production in the Williston Basin. Koch Pipeline’s system is anticipated to provide a low-cost solution for shippers to access important crude oil demand centers,” the company said Tuesday.

Dakota Express would include new construction and also utilize Koch’s existing Wood River Pipeline and Hartford terminal. Wood River has transported crude oil south to north from Hartford to the Saint Paul, MN, area. Koch Pipeline has completed an engineering viability study on reversing the flow of Wood River and utilizing it as part of Dakota Express.

The Dakota Express open season is expected to begin July 1 and will last 45 days. Depending on shipper interest, a binding open season may follow.

Last week, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued a favorable environmental assessment of Tallgrass Interstate Gas Transmission’s proposal to convert the Pony Express Pipeline to carry crude oil from the Bakken (see Shale Daily, June 18). “The conversion of [the] Pony Express Pipeline facilities will create economic and strategic benefits for the United States’ energy portfolio by linking increased domestic crude oil supplies produced from the Bakken formation in Montana and North Dakota to Cushing, OK…” the company told the Commission.

In March Enbridge Bakken Pipeline Co. Inc. completed and placed in service its 77-mile Bakken Pipeline Project Canada, which connects to the Enbridge Pipelines Inc. (EPI) Mainline and carries crude oil from the Bakken to North American refinery markets (see Shale Daily, March 5).