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Regulators approve pipeline project

Regulators approve pipeline project

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Workers weld together pipe as they construct a line for Meritage Midstream on March 26, 2019, outside Douglas. The North Dakota Public Service Commission voted unanimously for a $21 million oil pipeline project.

BISMARCK, N.D. — North Dakota regulators have approved a pipeline project that will send more Bakken crude to a Wyoming oil hub.

Bridger Pipeline plans to convert 27 miles of an oil gathering pipeline into a larger transmission line in McKenzie County, N.D. It also will add another 2.4 miles to the pipeline located east of Watford City. Other pipelines will transport the oil to Guernsey, and then to market in other states.

The North Dakota Public Service Commission voted unanimously Wednesday in favor of the $21 million project. Commission Chair Julie Fedorchak said she sees it as a sign of the Bakken’s recovery following the oil downturn brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

“Any time these companies are adding more infrastructure and spending money, I think it shows a belief this play is here for the long haul,” she said. “I feel that it sends a strong message this company and others are still pretty hopeful and confident in the future of the Bakken.”

Colonial Pipeline confirmed Wednesday that it paid $4.4 million to a gang of hackers who broke into its computer system May 7. After the ransomware attack and a dayslong shutdown, the nation's largest fuel pipeline said it needed to do everything in its power to restart operations quickly and safely. The FBI discourages making payments like this, but Colonial says it was the right thing to do because millions of Americans rely on it for fuel.Additional reporting by The Associated Press.

The company’s application for the project alluded to the potential shutdown of the Dakota Access pipeline, saying the Bridger project “will be a vital part of an alternative route out of North Dakota in the event of a shutdown of the other pipelines leaving the Williston Basin,” the Bismarck Tribune reported.

A judge is expected to rule any day on whether Dakota Access pipeline can continue operating during an environmental review.

For copyright information, check with the distributor of this item, Bismarck Tribune.


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