North Dakota PUC approves new Bakken crude oil pipeline

The North Dakota Public Service Commission has approved an application to build the NST Express LLC crude oil pipeline in McKenzie County. The pipeline would have maximum capacity of 100,000 b/d.

NST Express LLC, which is part of NorthStar Midstream of The Woodlands, Tex., plans to build the 23-mile, 12-in. pipeline, which is scheduled to be in service by late 2016. The project is estimated to cost $60-80 million.

"Everything was pretty straightforward so we were able to turn it around pretty quickly," PSC Commission Chair Julie Fedorchak said of the application submitted in May.

Plans call for oil to be moved from a new gathering service called the NST Express Alexander facility about 9 miles north of Alexander to the NST Transload East Fairview facility less than 1 mile north of East Fairview. East Fairview is near the Montana state line.

The new Alexander facility is to include up to six interconnects, four offload skids for trucks, a pump station, and up to three crude storage tanks with each having a 50,000-bbl capacity.

Monitoring equipment also will be installed. Part the pipeline is to go under the Yellowstone River, and officials said it would be buried at least 50 ft beneath the riverbed.

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