2017’s top 10 stories — No. 4: Dakota Access, technology bring oil through downturn

By Renée Jean rjean@willistonherald.com

Legal wrangling yet continues for the Dakota Access pipeline, but oil has been flowing through it for about half of 2017, and the line is already demonstrating what industry experts have said all along: The 1,172-mile pipeline is a Bakken game changer.

Dakota Access was proposed to carry up to 570,000 barrels per day of the Bakken’s geographically constrained crude to Illinois, where it can more readily access the Gulf and East Coast refineries best equipped to process light sweet crude. 

Bakken crude also began finding its way overseas in 2017, with Hess and Continental among companies announcing substantial sales overseas to the Netherlands and China, respectively.