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Energy Transfer/Phillips 66 venture tries to block ruling against La. pipeline


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Energy Transfer/Phillips 66 venture tries to block ruling against La. pipeline

A pipeline company owned by Energy Transfer Partners LP and Phillips 66 Partners LP moved its case up a level to try to block a U.S. district court ruling that stopped construction on the company's $750 million oil pipeline project in Louisiana.

Bayou Bridge Pipeline LLC told the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana on Feb. 26 that it had appealed a district judge's decision that granted project opponents an injunction stopping construction. (U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit docket 18-30257)

On Feb. 23, the district judge halted construction until a lawsuit over the Bayou Bridge expansion project is resolved. The judge's order was part of a case in which the Sierra Club, Waterkeeper Alliance, other environmental groups and the Louisiana Crawfish Producers Association-West sued the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers over a permit for the project, which would cross wetlands in the Atchafalaya Basin. The groups said the Army Corps had violated environmental laws in issuing the permit. (U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana docket 3:18-cv-00023)

The project is designed to move North American crude oil to Gulf Coast refineries. A first phase of the Bayou Bridge pipeline went into service in April 2016 and delivers crude oil from terminal hub facilities in Nederland, Texas, to terminals and refineries in Lake Charles, La. A new phase would put in place 163 miles of 24-inch-diameter pipeline between Lake Charles and St. James, La., where crude will be redistributed to refineries on the Louisiana Gulf Coast. Bayou Bridge said 88% of the new pipeline will run parallel to other infrastructure such as roads, powerlines and other pipelines.

In a statement on its website, Bayou Bridge said the local organization Louisiana Rise has bought property along the pipeline route to establish a "cultural learning and ceremony space" and to hold protests. Large, sustained protests in North Dakota and litigation by Sioux tribes and environmental groups held up another Energy Transfer oil transportation project, the $3.8 billion Dakota Access pipeline, which went into service in June 2017.

Energy Transfer Partners holds a 60% stake in Bayou Bridge and is the project's operator.

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