The CEO of Energy Transfer Partners said Monday he hopes to announce an expansion of the Dakota Access Pipeline soon.
Kelcy Warren, CEO of the company that developed the $3.8 billion pipeline, participated in a roundtable discussion with U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry and other energy industry leaders at the University of Mary in Bismarck.
Warren said during the event that he hopes to announce an expansion of Dakota Access but did not mention a specific capacity or timeline.
Dakota Access, which transports Bakken crude from North Dakota to Patoka, Ill., carries an average of about 500,000 barrels per day currently, according to comments made last week during an Energy Transfer Partners earnings call.
Vicki Granado, spokeswoman for Energy Transfer Partners, said the expansion that's being considered would increase Dakota Access up to 570,000 barrels per day.
Dakota Access has previously said the current pipeline can be expanded to carry up to 570,000 barrels per day. Conditions of the permit through the North Dakota Public Service Commission would allow Dakota Access to ship up to 600,000 barrels per day in North Dakota.
Justin Kringstad, director of the North Dakota Pipeline Authority, has said companies can expand the capacity of a pipeline by adding additional pumping horsepower or using drag-reducing agents that allow more oil to flow.
Warren said Bakken producers now sell crude oil for a higher price than producers in the Permian Basin in Texas because Dakota Access has provided the transportation infrastructure.
Monday's discussion about pipelines started with Secretary Perry, former governor of Texas, talking about the importance of infrastructure and criticizing states that block development of pipelines.
“I think it’s irresponsible for states to block resources that are in this country’s national interest,” Perry said.
Warren responded with “I love you, Rick. I love what you just said.”
Warren then blasted the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which is still studying the environmental impacts of Dakota Access more than a year after it began operations. The pipeline, which required an easement from the corps for crossing Lake Oahe north of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, was the subject of months-long protests.
“Right now, the Army Corps of Engineers, it’s the worst Army Corps of Engineers I’ve experienced in my career,” Warren said.
Dakota Access connects with the Energy Transfer Crude Oil Pipeline, which transports oil from Illinois to Nederland, Texas.