The Dakota Access Pipeline was not operational as of Wednesday, though the company says in documents filed in federal court it is likely to flow oil sometime this week.
In a weekly status update Monday to the U.S. Circuit Court in Washington, D.C., the company said it expects oil will flow before the end of the week and that line-fill operations will continue despite coordinated physical attacks on pipeline equipment.
According to the Associated Press, authorities in Iowa and South Dakota are investigating damage to above-ground valve equipment, apparently caused by someone blowtorching holes through the metal works. No such incidents have been reported in North Dakota.
The progress of the controversial project that will carry up to 570,000 barrels of Bakken crude through South Dakota and Iowa on to Illinois has been closely watched during months of protest by self-called “water protectors” camped near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation.
A spokeswoman for the Pipeline Hazardous Materials Safety Administration confirmed the line was not fully operational as of Wednesday. Vicky Granado, spokeswoman for Dakota Access, said no new information on the pipeline status is available since Monday’s report to the court.
“We have not provided any further details at this time,” Granado said.
The company is required to file weekly status reports as part of ongoing legal action between the Standing Rock Sioux and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which issued a contested permit for the pipeline to cross the Missouri River/Lake Oahe near the reservation.