North Dakota to improve pipeline safety

State expecting nearly 900,000 barrels per day in new pipeline capacity.

By Daniel J. Graeber

BISMARCK, N.D., April 21 (UPI) -- New pipeline rules in North Dakota will give the oil-rich state stronger safeguards against leaks and improve remediation, Gov. Jack Dalrymple said.

Dalrymple signed a state bill into law that strengthens the state's regulatory oversight on pipelines for crude oil and so-called produced water.


"This legislation builds on our ongoing work to enhance pipeline safety in North Dakota," the governor said in a statement Monday. "With this bill's passage, North Dakota will require significantly more from pipeline builders and operators."

The governor in early April secured assistance from the federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration to help fund university research in pipeline safety.

North Dakota is the No. 2 oil producer in the nation. The rate of growth in the state's Bakken shale reserve basin is more than existing pipeline infrastructure can handle, forcing many in the industry to turn to rail as an alternate transit method.

Dalrymple in March said rail traffic may drop off once new pipeline infrastructure comes online. Three pipelines -- Sandpiper, Dakota Access and Upland -- should be in service by 2018 and provide 895,000 barrels per day in new capacity.


North Dakota has experienced a series of minor leaks from its pipeline network since rising as a major oil producer.

North Dakota House Bill 1358 would strengthen oversight on pipeline leak detection and expand remediation measures in the event of a spill. It includes $1.5 million for university research into construction standards and monitoring systems.

Latest Headlines