Bridger’s Bakken pipeline has its permits
Wednesday, June 15, 2022

A 105,000 barrel per day pipeline proposed by Bridger Pipeline, a subsidiary of True Companies, has a thumbs up from the North Dakota Public Service Commission.

In approving Bridgers Bakken pipeline project, Commissioners said the pipeline’s route is important for Bakken crude, particularly given the high demand for petroleum products right now throughout the country. They also noted that the company has taken steps to address its past spill record, installing a two-part monitoring system and implementing new training protocols for employees to try to prevent any future problems.

Bridger and sister company Belle Fourche are both facing litigation related to oil spills in Montana and North Dakota respectively.

Bridger pipeline was for the 2015 oil spill that released an estimated 758 barrels of oil into the Yellowstone River. The spill was caused by a weld that split open, allowing oil to leak into the river 7 miles above Glendale. Ice and snow at the time complicated efforts to contain and clean the spill, allowing some oil to travel downstream.

The company settled a civil suit last year with Montana, in which they agreed to pay $2 million to recover natural resource damages caused by the spill near Glendive.

Belle Fourche, meanwhile, owned and operated a pipeline that ruptured during a landslide in 2016, leaking 4,200 barrels of oil into a hillside, some of which found its way into the Ash Creek, a tributary to the Little Missouri. The spill was contained before it got into the Little Missouri, according to the Department of Environmental Quality.

The Bakken Pipeline will initially carry up to 105,000 barrels of crude oil per day from North Dakota to Baker, Montana. From there, it will head to Wyoming for further marketing and transport. The pipeline can be expanded to as much as 250,000 barrels per day, and will be an important pipeline alternative for taking crude oil West, instead of using truck and rail options, Bridger wrote in its application.

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