The pipeline, which sparked a months-long protest by Native Americans and environmental groups, is 1,172 miles long.
Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners announced that the 1,200-mile line carrying North Dakota oil through South Dakota and Iowa to a distribution point in IL had begun commercial service. Together with the Illinois-to-Texas Energy Transfer Crude Oil Pipeline, it has 520,000 barrels per day of commitments from shippers, leaving room for another 50,000 barrels.
The $3.7 billion project, which stretches across four states, drew fierce resistance from the Standing Rock Sioux tribe in North Dakota, its allies and environmentalists. The company says the pipelines will transport the crude oil to major refining markets in a more direct, cost effective, safer and more environmentally responsible manner than other modes of transportation, including rail or truck.
In addition, a third-party inspector identified 83 sites along the 380-mile pipeline corridor in North Dakota where trees or shrubs might have been cleared in violation of the commission's orders.
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The 700-mile and 30-inch ETCO pipeline on the other hand is a natural gas pipeline from Patoka in IL to Nederland in Texas where the crude oil is refined or further transported to more refining markets.
The pipeline crosses a number of bodies of water, including the Missouri River, which is the main drinking water source for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.
Obama halted the project in December by refusing to grant the Army Corps of Engineers an easement to route the pipeline below Lake Oahe, which is near the reservation. Trump's actions cast aside efforts by former President Barack Obama to block the pipeline's construction.
"We will continue to battle the operation of this pipeline in court and remind everyone that just because the oil is flowing now doesn't mean that it can't be stopped", Archambault said Thursday.