Drilling restarts on Dakota Access Pipeline

This aerial photo shows North Dakota Highway 1806, at left, where it crosses Cannonball River and Dakota Access pipeline protest camps on both sides of the river Monday, Feb. 13, 2017, in Cannon Ball, N.D. A federal judge on Monday refused to stop construction on the last stretch of the Dakota Access pipeline, which is progressing much faster than expected. It’s the last big section of the $3.8 billion pipeline, which would carry oil from North Dakota to Illinois. (Tom Stromme/The Bismarck Tribune via AP)

If activists are looking to organize again in North Dakota against work starting up on the Dakota Access Pipeline, they’ll have time:

A federal judge on Monday refused to stop construction on the last stretch of the pipeline. Drilling under Lake Oahe, meanwhile, and construction of the oil pipeline under the reservoir could take as much as two months to finish, the company said.

Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners, the primary owner and operator of the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline, started drilling immediately upon receiving permission from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers last Wednesday, a spokeswoman said on Monday. Energy Transfer estimates it will finish the horizontal drilling within 60 days. The pipeline will run as much as 115 feet below the bottom of Lake Oahe, it said. It will take another 23 days to fill the line with crude from North Dakota’s Bakken oil field to a pipeline hub in Patoka, Ill.

North Dakota protest leaders called last week for activists to return in haste to the Standing Rock Sioux camps north of the reservation.

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