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Pipeline route will avoid cables near missile silo

Pipeline route will avoid cables near missile silo


State regulators approved a short crude oil pipeline project Wednesday in Mountrail County. It took more than a year to work with the U.S. Air Force to avoid disturbing underground communication cables in a portion of the proposed route.

In January 2015, Houston-based Plains All American Pipeline LP submitted its proposal to the North Dakota Public Service Commission to construct a 10-mile, 8-inch diameter crude pipeline to begin at the Robinson Lake Facility in Mountrail County and end at the Van Hook Rail Facility southeast of New Town.

The project has an estimated cost of $9 million and would be able to move up to 25,000 barrels per day of crude oil at full capacity. A company official said construction was expected to be completed this summer.

PSC chairwoman Julie Fedorchak said the project experienced delays due to its proximity to a U.S. Air Force missile silo.

“The project crosses some buried cable,” said Fedorchak, adding that an agreement was made to allow the company to bore underneath a communication cable that runs to a missile silo. 

The pipeline will be equipped with a leak detection system and also be monitored 24 hours a day from a site in Houston.

(Reach Nick Smith at 701-250-8255 or 701-223-8482 or at


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