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Regulators approve natural gas liquids pipeline

BISMARCK -- The conversion of a crude oil pipeline to transport natural gas liquids from the heart of the Bakken was approved Wednesday, Sept. 5, by the North Dakota Public Service Commission.

The three-member commission gave unanimous approval to Andeavor Logistics to convert 42 miles of the BakkenLink pipeline, which was originally approved in 2012 to transport crude oil.

The company requested to convert a portion of the pipeline to transport natural gas liquids. North Dakota’s production of natural gas liquids is growing, but the state lacks sufficient pipeline capacity.

Andeavor previously received permission from the PSC to construct about 44 miles of new natural gas liquids pipelines in McKenzie, Billings and Stark counties that are associated with the converted pipeline.

The pipeline system will transport mixed natural gas liquids from the Watford City area to an Andeavor gas processing plant near Belfield, where the liquids will be separated into products such as ethane, propane, butane and natural gasoline.

The products would then be transported by pipeline to the Andeavor Fryburg Rail Terminal and loaded onto rail cars.

North Dakota produces about 450,000 barrels of natural gas liquids per day, said Justin Kringstad, director of the North Dakota Pipeline Authority.

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