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PSC okays new Bakken pipeline

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The North Dakota Public Service Commission has given its approval for Bridger Pipeline to build 81 miles of 16-inch diameter crude oil pipeline in McKenzie and Golden Valley counties.

It’s part of a 145 mile pipeline project to bring Bakken crude from the Johnson’s Corner terminal in McKenzie County to Bridger’s Sandstone Station west of Baker, Montana. It will initially carry 105,000 barrels of Bakken crude – and it can be expanded to 250,000 barrels. Bakken crude would then go through existing pipeline to the Guernsey, WY, terminal, where it can be shipped to refineries in other parts of the country.

"It's an important route for Bakken crude, which is in high demand throughout our country," PSC Chairman Julie Fedorchak said. She said that demand is driven by the high price of gasoline.

"Never before, in my lifetime, have we seen the demand and impact of the prices," Fedorchak said. "It's important to pursue these kinds of projects, because they're really needed."

Bridger and Belle Fourche Pipeline companies were sued for oil spills on the Yellowstone River in 2015, and Ash Coulee in 2016. But Fedorchak said for this project, Bridger has invested a lot to prevent spills.

"They have a two-part monitoring system, that no other company uses in North Dakota, that I'm aware of," Fedorchak said. "They have gone above and beyond, in trying to mitigate any potential problems, like have occurred in the past."

Fedolrchak said Bridger is hoping to start construction as soon as possible – and have it completed by this fall.

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