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DC Court of Appeals Rules to Stay Dakota Access Shutdown

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   |    Wednesday,August 05,2020

The potential shutdown of Energy Transfer LP's Dakota Access Pipeline has received another reprieve in the latest court ruling on the matter.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled to stay the shutdown of the pipeline, which was scheduled to be shut and emptied by August 5, 2020 per the original ruling.

According to court documents filed on August 5, 2020, the court stated that the decision to shutdown pipeline infrastructure is the responsibility of the US Army Corps of Engineers.

If the Corps declines shut-in the line, it is likely court proceedings related to the matter will resume. In this scenario, a more comprehensive environmental review will likely be required before the pipeline can be shut-in by a court order.

"We expect appelants to clarify their positions before the district court as to whether the Corps intends to allow the continued operation of the pipeline nonwithstanding vacatur of the easement."

Ultimate Fate of Dakota Access Still Uncertain

Given that a more comprehensive environmental review will likely still be required, the ultimate fate of the case has yet to be determined.

If the Dakota Access were to be shut-in, it would affect numerous E&Ps active in the Bakken.

Companies that would be most affected by a shutdown of the Dakota Access pipeline include Continental Resources, Hess, Oasis Petroleum, ExxonMobil, WPX Energy, among others.

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