Energy, News, North America, Oil

Trump’s Big Move on Controversial Keystone Pipeline: Production Set to Start in Mid-May

The controversial Dakota Access Pipeline, a 1,886-km underground oil pipeline from North Dakota travelling south-east through South Dakota and Iowa to Illinois, will start interstate crude oil delivery in mid-May this year. The pipeline is currently under construction by Dakota Access, LLC, a subsidiary of Energy Transfer Partners, L.P., which filed what is known as a tariff laying out details about the line and the crude to be delivered.

The pipeline gathered a lot of controversy and international attention, drawing protesters from around the world, after a Native American tribe sued to block completion of the final link of the project. The Standing Rock Sioux tribe said that the project would desecrate a sacred burial ground and that any oil leak would poison the tribe’s water supply.  To protect the site, thousands of protesters have demonstrated both in Washington DC and North Dakota, many staying right near the construction site since last fall.

As a result of the pressure from both Native Americans and environmental groups, the outgoing Obama administration said it would reconsider the permits issued for the pipeline’s route near tribal lands, which delayed the project by several months. However, that decision was swiftly reconsidered by Donald Trump.

The pipeline is projected to carry 470,000 barrels per day of crude oil and the capacity might be increased to reach 570,000 barrels per day. The total cost is estimated at $3.78 billion, of which $1.4 billion would be invested in the North Dakota portion, $820 million in the South Dakota portion, $1.04 billion in the Iowa portion, and $516 million in the Illinois portion. Of this, $189 million would be paid to landowners. Energy Transfer Partners estimates that the pipeline would create up to 40 permanent jobs and between 8,200 to 12,000 temporary jobs.

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