Posted April 20, 2021 13:21:37As President Donald Trump’s administration prepares to finalize the construction of the controversial Dakota Access and Keystone XL oil pipelines, state officials are looking to make it easier for private companies to drill in the Dakotas.
The pipelines would transport heavy crude from North Dakota’s Bakken oilfields to refineries in Illinois and Ohio.
A number of other pipelines are also under construction in Texas, New Mexico and Texas.
While the state has a long history of pipeline construction, the Trump administration is considering whether to grant an easement for the Dakota Access pipeline, which would run through Missouri, Nebraska and South Dakota.
The easement would allow oil and gas companies to build in the state, and would also allow the pipeline to bypass a key bottleneck in North Dakota.
The easement could help the oil and natural gas industry in the United States, said Jeff Langer, senior vice president at the oil services firm Noble Energy.
The oil industry has been able to secure easements for pipelines for decades, he said.
But they usually require approval from Congress, he added.
“With the easement, we’re in a much better position.”
The Obama administration has said it’s reviewing the easements and will determine if they’re appropriate, said John F. McAllister, a spokesman for Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.
The Dakota Access proposal is among several that have been put forward by the Trump Administration, including a proposal for a Dakota Access-era pipeline from Texas to the Gulf of Mexico and a proposed pipeline from Canada to the Northeast Corridor.
The Keystone XL would carry oil from the Bakken Bakken Formation in North and South Texas.
Both pipelines would pass through Missouri and Nebraska, two of the most heavily populated states in the nation.
The Dakota Access project would be built in the Upper Midwest and carry more oil.
It would also cross the Bakka River near the Missouri border, which is a major waterway in the area.
The Keystone XL is scheduled to be built on private land in Texas.