Bakken Liberty project will give oil producers confidence to grow

By Luke Geiver | June 17, 2019

By the first half of 2021, the Bakken shale oil and gas play of North Dakota, Montana and portions of Saskatchewan, could have access to a second major oil takeaway pipeline. Roughly six months after announcing plans to build a 350,000 barrel per day pipeline originating in the Bakken and terminating at Cushing, Oklahoma, Phillips 66 and Bridger Pipeline LLC announced this month plans are official, and construction will begin soon.

Through a newly formed joint venture, the two companies will work together to complete the project in roughly two years or less. Once complete, the Liberty Pipeline will move oil through a 24-inch line.

“The Liberty Pipeline is an important undertaking on the part of our company to ensure that oil from Wyoming, the Rockies and the Bakken can get to markets in the U.S. and around the world,” said Hank True, president of Bridger Pipeline LLC. “Our commitment to the Liberty Pipeline will give producers confidence to grow oil production in these important regions,” True said.

Phillips 66 said it will lead the project construction and also operate the pipeline. Where feasible, Liberty will utilize existing pipeline and utility corridors and advanced construction techniques to limit environmental and community impact, the company said. Total costs could reach $1.6 billion.

Greg Garland, chairman and CEO for Phillips 66 said there is a great opportunity to serve producers in the Bakken region. The pipeline will join a growing midstream asset portfolio that is well connected to a central corridor in Cushing and also Gulf Coast refineries, he added.

North Dakota currently produces 1.3 million barrels of oil per day and moves roughly 73 percent of its produced oil out of the state via pipeline. Crude-by-rail, at 19 percent, is the second most used method of moving crude oil out of the state.