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Pipeline project planned to reduce truck traffic

The proposed Bakken Oil Express pipeline would run 38 miles through Dunn and Stark counties. It would reduce truck traffic on nearby N.D. Highway 22. Map courtesy Bakken Oil Express

DICKINSON, N.D. — A crude oil pipeline proposed by Bakken Oil Express would take 800-some trucks off the treacherous stretch of N.D. Highway 22 between Killdeer and Dickinson.

The 38-mile pipeline would send oil from a pumping station southwest of Killdeer down to BOE’s existing rail hub southwest of Dickinson.

With a capacity of 165,000 barrels per day, the pipeline would transport the equivalent of 825 tanker trucks of oil, getting some traffic off the road.

“I think it’ll be a good thing,” Dunn County Commissioner Donna Scott said. “It’ll take that stress and strain off the roads.”

BOE has made its case to the Public Service Commission and expects a response this month or next.

“All of our pipe is on its way and all of the right of ways have been secured,” said Steve Magness, managing director of BOE. “We’re just waiting on permission to start.”

The $14 million pipeline would be constructed within the first quarter of 2014 and was planned to be transporting crude by February.

PSC Chair Brian Kalk said he didn’t have any concerns with the application, and he’s pleased that the line would take trucks off the road.

“One of the things that our siting order talks about is orderly development,” he said. “… If you can take this many trucks off the road, it’s better for wear and tear on the highway.

“That’s a large amount of trucks coming down a very busy road.”

According to BOE’s application, “increased production of crude oil and limited pipeline access combine to increase tanker truck traffic on North Dakota highways,” leading to increased road damage, emissions levels and safety concerns.

At the project’s public hearing Dec. 9 in Killdeer, no one from the public testified when given the chance. With September’s oil spill near Tioga still in the back of many minds, Kalk asked questions of the company about its plans for a monitoring system for leaks.

With a 24/7 monitoring station in Killdeer, flow meters and shutoff valves in key areas, Kalk said “they’ve gone what I’d call the extra mile in making sure they’ve got the extra monitoring in place.”

The 16-inch-diameter line would transport oil collected from wells in about a 60-mile radius around Killdeer.

“We’re building it very large,” Magness said, “so we’re very bullish on exploration and production in that area.”