The $3.8 billion Dakota Access crude oil pipeline may start operating June 1, assuming no new obstacles prevent it, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Energy Transfer Partners LP, the developer of the pipeline, will begin filling it with oil around February 15, barring complaints or legal action to stop it, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the plan isnâ€™t public. The company is still awaiting a permit from the US Army Corps of Engineers to build the last portion of the 1,172-mile (1,887-kilometer) line.
President Donald Trump last month issued a memorandum asking that approval for the project be expedited. The project has been stalled since September, when the Obama administration said it needed to review previous decisions to allow the pipeline. Trumpâ€™s decision came after months of heated protest against the project. Environmentalists warn it will endanger water supplies and Native Americans say it will damage culturally significant sites.
Energy Transfer confirmed that the project would be in service in the second quarter in an e-mail from Lisa Dillinger, a spokeswoman. The company had previously indicated that the project would start in the first quarter, a delay from its original projection of the fourth.
On Friday, Phillips 66, a stakeholder in Dakota Access, said the project is expected to be operational in the second quarter. The pipeline is more than 95 percent complete, and the timing guidance is pending issuance of the final easement needed from the Army Corps, Phillips 66 said in a statement. The oil refiner has a 25 percent stake in joint ventures to develop Dakota Access and the Energy Transfer Crude Oil Pipeline projects.
The line started receiving shipments at two North Dakota terminals in January, a person familiar with the pipelineâ€™s operations said last month. Sunoco Logistics Partners LP is also a partner in the project. Marathon Petroleum Corp. and Enbridge Energy Partners LP announced a venture in August that would also take a minority stake in the pipeline.