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Dakota Access oil pipeline begins commercial service

The Energy Transfer Partners LP-led Dakota Access oil pipeline began commercial service along with the accompanying Energy Transfer Crude Oil line, underpinned by about 520,000 barrels per day in commitments.

The 1,872-mile Bakken Pipeline system delivers light, sweet crude oil from the Bakken/Three Forks production areas in North Dakota to a storage and terminalling hub near Patoka, Ill., and certain terminals in Nederland, Texas, catering to major refining markets.

The project was developed at a cost of about $4.78 billion, according to a June 1 news release, with $3.8 billion spent on the contentious Dakota Access pipeline alone. The pipeline's development was marked by conflict between local and national government agencies, such as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the Standing Rock Sioux and Cheyenne River Sioux tribes, as well as their supporters.

The 1,172-mile Dakota Access crosses North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa and Illinois to transport crude from six terminals in Mountrail, Williams and McKenzie counties of North Dakota to a hub near Patoka, connecting to the Energy Transfer Crude Oil pipeline to be delivered to the Gulf Coast or other refining markets in the Midwest through other pipelines. The 700-mile Energy Transfer Crude Oil pipeline is a converted natural gas pipeline transporting crude from Patoka to Nederland for refining or delivery to other refining markets.

A supplemental open season in March added 50,000 bbl/d of transportation service commitments to the previous total of 470,000 bbl/d. The Bakken Pipeline system's capacity is expandable to about 570,000 bbl/d, according to the news release.

Along with ETP, partners in the Bakken Pipeline system are MPLX LP, Enbridge Energy Partners LP's MarEn Bakken Company LLC and Phillips 66 Co.