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ND Pipeline Authority director on oil & gas leasing moratorium, DAPL decision

BISMARCK – Whether the moratorium ordered on oil and gas leasing and permitting on federal and tribal lands affects the Bakken or just on the federal lands, Justin Kringstad, Bismarck, director of the North Dakota Pipeline Authority, said, “It’s certainly on the federal side. You have kind of the distinction now between tribal lands as well as just federal public lands.”

“We’re now dealing with the scenario where it is on the public lands whether it’s for the drilling and permitting right of way, for pipe right of way, for electric distribution,” he said.

Kringstad, speaking via Zoom to members of the Minot Area Chamber EDC’s Energy Committee on Thursday, took questions from members along with his presentation.

Asked whether there are concerns about potential pipeline shutdowns such as the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) as a result of possible deregulations, Kringstad said, “Certainly there has been a lot of discussion surrounding all things pipeline and what federal actions might mean.”

He explained to Energy Committee members an appeals court ruled this week that the Dakota Access Pipeline could continue operating but they would have to continue with the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).

He said on Feb. 10 the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will have the decision or some direction on what will take place with the management of that pipeline now being in the ground and service but no longer having a valid easement.

“That decision upheld the July decision that the easement was not valid because of the lack of the EIS being completed,” he said.

He said this is a timeframe now of a tremendous amount of speculation of what will happen on Feb. 10.

“Without knowing, until that date it’s really just pure speculation on anyone’s part of what might occur and what those timelines might look like so stay tuned for sure,” Kringstad said.

He also said a project that will be worked on and likely proposed to be completed this year is a major 24-inch line from Tioga to the Northern Border Pipeline.

He told Energy Committee members that they would be hearing more about the project, with its construction over the summer months.

“It’s going to add some much needed capacity north of Lake Sakakawea for more gas capture,” he said.

Asked about the South Bend Pipeline, Kringstad said that project has been proposed for some time. He said it’s a True Companies, Inc. project through its Bridger affiliate and would run from the Williston Basin Johnson’s Corner area (east of Watford City) down to Baker, Montana. He said a map is available on the bridgerexpansion.com website.

Kringstad said True Companies has done some expansion over the last year or two in the Wyoming area so the company has been able to add more pipe and capacity.

“If that system were put into place, it would move oil from North Dakota to Baker, Montana, from Baker, Montana, through existing pipes to Guernsey, Wyoming, and down to the Cushing (Oklahoma) marketplace,” Kringstad said.

“Certainly that is one that is being looked at and worked, given the circumstance of everything taking place,” he added.

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