Two companies announced Monday they plan to move forward with a new oil pipeline to transport Bakken crude to Oklahoma, but the route of the project is not yet clear.
Phillips 66 and Bridger Pipeline announced they have formed a joint venture to build the Liberty Pipeline to transport growing volumes of crude oil from production areas in the Bakken and the Rockies.
If approved, it would be the first major crude oil transmission pipeline built in North Dakota since Dakota Access, which began operating in June 2017 to transport oil to Illinois.
The North Dakota portion of the Liberty Pipeline is proposed for the southwest corner of the state, said Bill Salvin, a spokesman for Bridger. North Dakota crude would flow to Guernsey, Wyo., and then on to Cushing, Okla., though the exact route is still being determined, he said.
The project, which will need approval from regulators, is expected to transport up to 200,000 barrels of oil per day from the Williston Basin to Cushing, said Justin Kringstad, director of the North Dakota Pipeline Authority.
The $1.6 billion pipeline could be in service as early as the first quarter of 2021, the companies announced. Previously, they said the project would have a total capacity of up to 350,000 barrels per day.
Phillips 66 will lead the project construction and operate the pipeline, according to a news release.
The pipeline will need approval from the North Dakota Public Service Commission and other regulators.
North Dakota, which produces about 1.4 million barrels of oil per day, is expected to need more pipeline capacity as production continues growing, Kringstad said.
“Additional pipeline capacity will be crucial to continue to move North Dakota’s crude oil to key markets in the Gulf Coast,” he said.
Also Monday, Phillips 66 and Plains All American announced plans for the Red Oak Pipeline system, which would transport crude from Cushing to locations in the Gulf Coast.