Valve turn event

BERTHOLD Enbridge Pipelines (North Dakota) LLC on Monday observed the completion of its Bakken Pipeline Expansion Project and Berthold Rail Facility, along with starting its new Sandpiper Pipeline Project, with a valve turn celebration.

Activities on Monday with Gov. Jack Dalrymple, the state’s congressional delegation and other dignitaries were held at Enbridge facilities northwest of Berthold.

“Enbridge operates the United States and Canada’s longest crude oil pipeline system,” said Robert Steede, director of Enbridge’s N.D. System and emcee for the event.

“We deliver 2.5 million barrels of crude oil every single day. Here in North Dakota, we’ve invested over $1.2 billion in the state of North Dakota in expanding our infrastructure. This is something that we are very proud of. As you see on the sign, we are bringing crude to locations throughout the United States,” he said, indicating a sign near him with various market locations.

But, he said, they were there Monday to talk about completion of Enbridge’s Bakken Expansion Program and also its Berthold Rail Facility. “We’re also going to shine a spotlight on our next project which is the Sandpiper Project to bring additional crude oil from North Dakota to Superior, Wis., and markets beyond,” he said.

He said the Bakken Expansion Program went into service on March 1. He said the program increased the take-away capacity from North Dakota by 145,000 barrels a day. It involved constructing a 16-inch pipeline from Enbridge’s Beaver Lodge Station near Tioga to Berthold.

He said they also reversed an existing pipeline and added two additional pump stations at Lignite and Kenaston for a final destination at the Enbridge main line in Cromer, Man.

He said the Berthold Rail Project increased Enbridge’s take-away capacity by another 80,000 barrels a day. “We also partnered with the Berthold Farmers Elevator to help operate this facility and increase the jobs here in the community of Berthold,” Steede said.

“As a result of these two expansions, we have added 225,000 barrels a day of take-away capacity for North Dakota crude,” Steede said.

What’s in the future for Enbridge? He said the Sandpiper project is scheduled to do an additional 225,00 barrels a day from North Dakota, originating at the Beaver Lodge Station, and delivering to Superior, Wis.

Steede said the proposed Sandpiper project will provide additional access to transportation methods to shippers in North Dakota to locations in the United States and Canada.

“This is a celebration and we really need to acknowledge what Enbridge has already accomplished in our state in huge investments in increasing the take-away capacity not only of rail but also pipeline at the same time, and this is a celebration of this rail shipping facility, eventhough you’ve been using it for a few months and also the Bakken Expansion Pipeline,” said Gov. Jack Dalrymple.

He said the projects are having an economic impact on the state, including Enbridge’s 145 employees in North Dakota. He said the number he has is Enbridge has invested $1.3 billion on projects in the Bakken since 2008. “That’s a tremendous amount of money,” he said.

Dalrymple said the Sandpiper project is just a natural, and is a project that will make a huge difference in North Dakota.

“The rail is doing a great job but we need a little competition for the rail and we know that the refinery customers always like to have more than one option. I think that makes for a good business environment and I think it’s something that the federal government should support,” Dalrymple said.

Steede noted that less than 10 years ago Enbridge’s pipeline system was only doing 80,000 barrels a day. “So tremendous growth that is here in North Dakota,” he said.

Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., said “North Dakota is an energy powerhouse for this nation. We’re producing 820,000 barrels a day and on our way to producing a million-plus.”

He said Enbridge has done a great job of investing in North Dakota, also pointiong out the partnership that Enbridge now has with the Berthold Farmers Elevator and the local community.

But, he said, North Dakota can’t be an energy powerhouse to the nation unless it has the infrastructure. He said that means pipeline, trucking and rail. “We need more of these kinds of facilities that bring together truck, train and pipeline because we’re going to be producing more and more energy, and that means oil, gas and a lot of other things too. So this infrastructure is vital,” Hoeven said.

Hoeven said that he and the other state’s congressional members are working on a states first all-of-the-above energy approach for the country. “That does not mean a one-size-fits all energy policy,” he said. “It means we empower states to do what North Dakota has done with the Empower N.D. Comprehensive Plan,” he said.

“This is a can-do state and we see it in a big way today,” he added.

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., said some of the biggest challenges in Washington, D.C., are convincing people of the need to move fossil fuels. She said Enbridge is stepping up and meeting those challenges of moving that energy to locations where that energy can be used.

“If we don’t have transportation, we will never have a domestic, independent policy in our country and those challenges are there and they’re real and you see it right now, with Keystone XL Pipeline, she said.

Moving forward, she said what needs to be done is to continue efforts like this and continue to tell the story about the safety, the investments and that energy needs to be moved where it is going to be used.

She said energy and agriculture can work together to coexist and share some of the profitability of that effort. “That is a tremendous, tremendous story,” she said.

Indicating Dan DeRouchey, general manager of Berthold Farmers Elevator, Rep. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., said that energy and agriculture can work together.

He said that Berthold Mayor Alan Lee represents “what we always say in Washington ‘states first.’ ” He said those at the state and local level know best how to regulate themselves.

Noting it probably was the first time in the history of Berthold that the governor and entire congressional delegation were at Berthold, Lee said it just emphasizes how important a project this is. He said Enbridge is an asset to the Berthold community and providing jobs as well as additional tax revenue to the city. As part of the project, he said Enbridge gave some $200,000 that was used for a day-care center and the balance was used to buy a house for the city patrolman.

DeRouchey said the Enbridge partnership has provided more job stability and that means a lot to the local community.

Kevin Hatfield, vice president of Enbridge’s Gathering System, said Enbridge has gone from being the “little tank on the prairie” to what it has now in the Berthold area.

Steve Wuori, president of Enbridge Liquid Pipelines, said, “It is an honor to be a part of this story in North Dakota.” He said it is unique in so many ways, saying his home state of Michigan is not in the same situation as North Dakota at all.

He said Enbridge is not known as a rail company and acknowledged BNSF personnel in the audience on Monday.

Wuori said the focus has been not only in attracting the best price but going to the best markets. He said there are very important markets for Bakken crude to capture the best price for the value of the crude and that’s very much what they’re focused on be it pipeline projects or rail projects.

He said the Sandpiper project is an important next step for Enbridge.

“For our shippers and producers, I think it is very important that we offer you reliability, optionality and flexibility and that’s really what this project helps to embody,” he said. “We want you to be our customers and whether that takes putting it on the rail or putting it on the pipe , we want you to be our customers for the long term and that’s very important to us.”

Wuori also said safety is of utmost importance in whatever Enbridge is doing.