Dakota Access pipeline seen operational in second quarter

By Meenal Vamburkar on 2/3/2017

NEW YORK (Bloomberg) -- The $3.8-billion Dakota Access crude oil pipeline won’t start up until the second quarter of this year, according to stakeholder Phillips 66.

Energy Transfer Partners LP, the developer of the pipeline, had previously said the project would be in service in the first quarter, which was delayed from its original projection of the fourth quarter of 2016. Vicki Granado, a spokeswoman for Energy Transfer, didn’t immediately respond to request for comment.

President Donald Trump last month issued a memorandum asking that approval for the 1,172-mi (1,887-km) be expedited. The project has been stalled since September, when the Obama administration said it needed to review previous decisions to allow the pipeline. Trump’s decision came after months of heated protest against the project. Environmentalists warn it will endanger water supplies and Native Americans say it will damage culturally significant sites.

The pipeline is more than 95% complete, and the timing guidance is pending issuance of the final easement needed from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Phillips 66 said in a statement Friday. The oil refiner has a 25% stake in joint ventures to develop Dakota Access and the Energy Transfer Crude Oil Pipeline projects.

Energy Transfer owns the Dakota Access project with Phillips 66 and Sunoco Logistics Partners LP. Marathon Petroleum Corp. and Enbridge Energy Partners LP announced a venture in August that would also take a minority stake in the pipeline.

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