Watford City hosts public meeting for proposed crude oil conversion project

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WATFORD CITY, N.D. - Hess North Dakota Pipelines developed a proposal for a 19-mile stretch connecting the existing Hawkeye Oil Facility to the Crestwood Arrow Facility and DAPL Terminal.

"Through time we began to realize the DAPL pipeline coming on line. It provided additional export route for oil that we want to take advantage of," said Brent Lohnes, general manager of Hess North Dakota Operations.

Additional pumps for the pipeline are estimated to cost $13 million.. Company representatives say that’s cost effective since the pipeline is already in the ground.

"The company wants to make a few additions add some storage, add some pressure to be able to use this as a transmission line which allows to put more oil through it and increase the capacity of the line," said North Dakota Public Service Commissioner Julie Fedorchak.

Converting the existing pipeline system means the company will be able to move more barrels to market.

"We will be able to move about 160,000 barrels a day of oil to the DAPL pipeline and also have a connection that we will be able to export, as well," said Lohnes.

Safety was a focal point of the meeting. Commissioners say they want to make sure Hess has a quick response plan in place before approving the addition.

"We want to make sure that the company is prepared for the best possible leak detection on this line before we permit it to make sure there is a plan in place that doesn’t allow a leak to go undetected for a long period of time" said Fedorchak.

No decision has been made yet. Right now commissioners are just asking for more time.

"There's some late file exhibits, so additional information we felt we didn't have the company needs to provide that to us. So, we take all of that into consideration,” said Fedorchak.

Follow up documentation on the proposal will be presented to the Public Service Commission on April 24..