Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

The developers of a crude oil pipeline in western North Dakota have changed directions – and are proposing to convert it to transport natural gas liquids.

The BakkenLink Pipeline runs from Williams to Billings County. It's  124 miles long, and 12-inches in diameter.

"This crude oil line wasn't developed as planned," said Commissioner Julie Fedorchak. "It was originally planned to go under Lake Sakakawea, and take crude oil to the north of the lake, connecting with the Sandpiper Pipeline."

PSC approves produced fuels pipeline upgrade

Mar 15, 2018
Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

The Public Service Commission has given its approval to Cenex to build a new produced fuels pipeline – to bring mainly diesel fuel from its Laurel, Montana refinery to Minot.

It’s a 181 mile pipeline. It replaces an existing 8 inch diameter pipeline with a 10 inch diameter pipeline. The line being replaced would run from Sidney, Montana to Minot. The PSC has jurisdiction over 150 miles of the new pipeline, in Williams, Mountrail and Ward Counties.

The new pipeline would carry 38,000 barrels a day – with a potential expansion to 60,000 barrels a day.

Submitted photo

A member of the North Dakota Public Service Commission said while she’s glad OneOK is planning to build a new natural gas liquids pipeline to carry Bakken NGLs, she’s a little concerned that there may not be a supply for any potential petro-chemical industry development in North Dakota.

One OK is planning to build the $1.4 billion, 900 mile Elk Creek pipeline from eastern Montana to Kansas.

Amy Sisk / Inside Energy


Battles over oil pipelines and oil trains usually focus on the risks of accidents and spills, but a new study finds that air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from oil transportation take a greater financial toll.

Courtesy Julie Fedorchak

Cenex is proposing to replace part of a refined fuels pipeline that runs from its Laurel, Montana refinery to Fargo.

The portion to be replaced runs from Sidney, Montana to Minot. It would be upgraded from 8 inch to 10 inch diameter pipeline – at a cost of $160 million. The pipeline carries gasoline and diesel fuel.

Public Service Commissioner Julie Fedorchak said this portion of the pipeline would be re-routed – so it would run from north of Sidney and north of Williston to Minot – crossing the Missouri River in Montana.

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

A pipeline company has paid a $6500 fine for not registering a salt water pipeline in Williams County as part of the state’s “Call Before You Dig” system.

The Public Service Commission says Agri-Industries was doing some digging in the area – when workers noticed the pipeline, owned by Buckhorn Energy Services. Commissioner Julie Fedorchack said the pipeline was not registered, and the excavator did not damage the line. In a consent agreement, Buckhorn agreed to pay the $6500 fine and get all its pipelines registered.          

PSC okays two new pipeline projects

Mar 24, 2016

The Public Service Commission has okayed two more pipeline projects in the oil patch.

One of the projects would carry 50,000 to 75,000 barrels of crude oil each day from a crude oil handling facility to the Tesoro Johnsons Corner Station, where it would  connect with the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline. It will be built by Oasis Midstream Services. It would run 19 miles, and cost $13 million to build.

PSC to soon take up Dakota Access pipeline

Dec 3, 2015

The Public Service Commission could soon take up approval of the proposed Dakota Access pipeline.

The pipeline would span several states – and would carry 450,000 barrels a day of Bakken crude to refineries.

South Dakota regulators approved it this week.

North Dakota regulators were waiting for some questions to be answered. Attorney John Schuh told the Commissioners those questions have now been addressed. Schuh suggested the PSC hold a work session on the application.

A member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission says continued energy development will need infrastructure development. – such as pipelines and power lines.

But Tony Clark says it won’t be easy.

“Infrastructure is getting much, much more difficult to build,”said Clark. He  says it used to be that opposition to some pipelines and power lines would be termed “NIMBY" -- "Not In My Backyard." Now, he says, it’s become “NOPE" -- "Not On Planet Earth."

Clark says most regulators could deal with “NIMBY.”

The Wyoming company responsible for January’s oil spill into the Yellowstone River near Glendive, Montana is hoping to build another oil pipeline, this time in North Dakota.

The Public Service Commission is holding a hearing for Bridger Pipeline Company’s project in Belfield. And as Emily Guerin reports, labor unions are planning on testifying against it.

Evan Whiteford of the Laborers International Union of North America is the first to say he’s not opposed to pipelines. In fact, labor unions are vocal supporters of the Dakota Access and Sandpiper pipelines.