In an attempt to further capitalize on North Dakota’s skyrocketing oil industry, Enbridge Energy recently notified its stockholders that it will move forward with its $2.5 billion plan to expand its pipeline from the northwestern part of the state to its terminal in Superior, Wisconsin.
Wisconsin Public Radio reports North Dakota’s Bakken oil fields have experienced remarkable growth in just a few short years. Whereas the Bakken oil sands produced just 20,000 barrels of light crude per day five years ago, that number has already increased to 700,000 and could ultimately exceed 1.2 million barrels per day over the next five years, the news source said.
Lorraine Little, spokeswoman for Enbridge Energy Partners, told the media outlet that the new “Sandpiper” expansion would allow the company to significantly increase its capacity from North Dakota.
“Because of that increasing supply of availability, you’ve got refineries in other parts of the U.S. who are interested in taking that light crude oil,” Little explained. “So these projects really represent that moving where the production is happening.”
Infrastructure Needed to Support Pipeline Projects
“Moving where the production is happening” is exactly what many companies like Enbridge are doing when it comes to their oil drilling and pipeline operations. For energy companies and their suppliers this means investing in onsite infrastructure, from office trailers and portable storage units to temporary housing for oil workers.
The specific route of the pipeline is still being determined, with the goal being to keep it parallel to Enbridge’s current pipeline whenever possible. This could be important for the company in terms of maintaining control over its pipeline operations as a whole and utilize existing infrastructure. Regardless of the pipeline’s exact location, more jobs will be opening soon in the Bakken, and that is good for everyone.