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TransCanada receives contracts for Bakken Marketlink pipeline

January 21, 2011

The Billings Gazette reports that TransCanada has secured the necessary contracts to begin working with producers of the Bakken formation and connect a feeder pipeline to the Keystone XL in Baker , Montana.

The Calgary-based company said it signed five-year contracts with producers tapping the rich Bakken formation in North Dakota and Montana to transport crude on the proposed 1,980-mile-long Keystone XL pipeline, which is designed to move crude from Alberta’s oil sands to refineries in Oklahoma and Texas.

The five-mile long Bakken Marketlink pipeline would meet with the Keystone XL pipeline in Baker, Mont., said Paul Miller, TransCanada’s senior vice president of oil pipelines. The $140 million project would rely on so-called feeder pipelines proposed by other companies to move North Dakota and Montana crude to the facility in Baker, he said.

“There are numerous proposals out there for feeder pipelines to the Baker hub,” he said.

This announcement comes in the wake of TransCanada facing pressure from U.S. oil companies and their desires to be a larger part of the Keystone XL. While TransCanada is still waiting for approval for the KXL from the State Department, they have begun to take steps to move forward with producers in Montana and North Dakota.

TransCanada expects the Bakken Marketlink to be up and running by 2013. This expanded infrastructure may need to be analyzed in a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. January 21, 2011 1:36 pm

    Uh oh — does this mean it will be easier for TransCanada to argue that it is a common carrier and thus beat back the eminent domain challenge in Oklahoma?

    • January 21, 2011 1:42 pm

      The deal for additional “on-ramps” was done last year in Montana in exchange for a finding of common carrier status by the MT Public Service Commission. Hard to say what state courts in Oklahoma will think about it.

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