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Energy & Environment

Pipeline converted from 'gathering' to 'transmission' will carry more crude oil

Dave Thompson
Prairie Public

A crude oil pipeline that was converted from a gathering line to a transmission line will be carrying more crude.

The Public Service Commission gave the OK to Hiland Crude, LLC's plan to increase the capacity from 36,000 barrels a day to 85,000 barrels a day. The pipeline itself will not change – but Hiland is also building more storage.

"They've gotten more producers interested in using that pipeline," said Commissioner Julie Fedorchak. "One of which is the competion of the Dakota Access Pipeline, and this is a feeder to that."

Commissioner Brian Kroshus said economics is a big factor.

"When you have low commodity prices, like we're dealing with now, that can be the make-or-break difference between whether or not an oil prodcuer wants to proceed with drilling a well," Kroshus said. "They can save about $3 a barrel in shipping cost."

Kroshus said in a tight market, with a worldwide glut of oil, it can make a big difference. He said that also equates to a lot of jobs.

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