ETP Completes Pilot Hole for Drilling at DAPL River Site
24 February 2017
Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) completed the pilot hole for drilling horizontally under Lake Oahe in North Dakota and expects oil to flow as early as March or April. The Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) is 99% finished, according to a company statement on 23 February.
In a weekly update filed with the US District Court in Washington, DC, on 20 February, ETP said the pilot hole running 1.5 mi under the Missouri River/Lake Oahe is being reamed for the laying of DAPL’s 30-in. pipe.
ETP resumed construction of the USD 4.8 billion, 1,172-mi pipeline right after the 8 February easement from the US Army Corps of Engineers. DAPL will connect Bakken production to Patoka, Illinois, with interconnection to ETP’s 754-mi transfer crude oil pipeline to reach a terminal in Nederland, Texas, terminal. From there the oil will be transported to Lake Charles, Louisiana. It is expected to deliver more than 470,000 B/D with an expandable capacity to 570,000 B/D.
Last November, ETP said in a court document that the delays in construction had cost the company more the USD 450 million, and that continued delays cost USD 83 million per month.
Months of protests near the site came to a tentative end on 23 February when law enforcement declared the main DAPL resistance camp cleared. Previously, the Army Corps of Engineers announced it would close the camp on 22 February, and North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum signed an evacuation order with that deadline. He highlighted safety concerns and the need to clean up the area ahead of potential spring flooding.
On 18 February, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio sent a letter to 17 banks and financial institutions calling for the immediate withdrawal of financing for DAPL. He highlighted concerns over the financial and reputational risks associated with financing the project, including the potential cost to banks if ETP is unable to repay the financing. He added that the banks’ financing poses a risk of losses to the New York City pension funds, which have more than USD 165 billion in assets.
This 3D model of a DAPL drilling pad was generated from drone imagery.