ND Governor's Pipeline Summit addresses safety concerns

By Emily Aasand | June 24, 2014

The second North Dakota Governor’s Pipeline Summit featured a common trend among presenters and guests: pipeline safety.

“Although rail has played a critical role, we know that over the long haul we’re looking for the safest and the most efficient way to haul oil and gas,” said North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple. “Pipelines are essential to the safe and efficient transportation of our oil production.”

According to Justin Kringstad, director of the North Dakota Pipeline Authority, there are three pipelines coming on in 2014.

“The challenge becomes not only how do we handle today’s production, but how do we handle the future production?” said Kringstad.

The Summit opened with comments from state representatives, an introduction by Dalrymple, followed by two panels. The first panel spoke about right-of-way, regulation and response. Speakers included North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring, Executive Director of the McKenzie County Job Development Authority Gene Veeder, and the Chief of North Dakota department of Health David Glatt.

The first panel discussed issues in the Williston area among community members. Issues regarding pipeline safety, financial concerns, and reclamation of land for landowners were some of the mentioned causes for hesitation in supporting the pipelines.  

“We spend a lot of time figuring out who these people can talk to about these concerns—to help them with an end product of what their land is going to look like when everything is done,” said Veeder.

The second panel addressed industry perspectives. Current and potential pipeline companies showcased their company’s potential, services and Bakken expansion plans. The Alliance Pipeline discussed their accomplishments within the last couple years, while Enterprise Products Partner discussed a proposed 1,200 mile pipeline that would span from Stanley, N.D., to Cushing, Okla.

All of the presenters stressed that pipeline safety was one of, if not the most important concern with moving forward in their pipeline plans.

“We are working hard to determine what technology belongs on these pipelines,” said Dalrymple. “We look forward to being leaders not only in production, but in good care and stewardship of our products.”