Oil production in North Dakota has increased every year for the past four years. Much of the production is from the lucrative Bakken formation.
North Dakota Pipeline Authority Director Justin Kringstad said refineries along the southern U.S. coast depend too much on foreign oil.
"We have to get those (North Dakota) barrels out of the congested Great Lakes region," he was quoted by the Bismarck (North Dakota) Tribune as saying.
Critics of the Keystone XL pipeline, a project outlined by Canadian pipeline company TransCanada, said moving oil away from the Great Lakes region would increase U.S. energy prices.
The National Resource Defense Council, in a 16-page report, said southern U.S. refineries produce more diesel fuel than gasoline when compared with refineries in the U.S. Midwest.
By taking oil away from the Great Lakes region to the Gulf Coast, the NRDC said, it would decrease the amount of gasoline available to U.S. consumers.