The Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) or Bakken pipeline is a 1,172-mile-long (1,886 km) underground oil pipeline in the United States. The pipeline was completed by April 2017 and its first oil was delivered on May 14, 2017. The pipeline became commercially operational on June 1, 2017.
As protesters and police continue to clash in North Dakota over a $3.7bn oil pipeline, the artist Cannupa Hanska Luger plans this week to distribute mirrored shields he created, to inspire the demonstrators to “hold ground and not panic”.
It took crews 12 days to find the leak. It was one of 349 leaks, spills and other accidents since 2012 on pipelines operated by Energy Transfer and its subsidiaries.
Since 1986 pipeline accidents have spilled an average of 76,000 barrels per year or more than 3 million gallons. There are a number of reasons for pipeline spills, including damage during excavation operations, metal failure, improper operation and corrosion.
The Mirror Shield Project was initiated for and at the Oceti Sakowin protest camp near Standing Rock, ND in 2016. On Luger’s website its intent is explained: “This project was inspired by images of women holding mirrors up to riot police in the Ukraine, so that the police could see themselves.
Wells Fargo was one of 17 funders of the DAPL; others included Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, and JPMorgan Chase. In September 2017, Mazaska Talks reported that the divestment movement was responsible for over $5 billion being withdrawn from DAPL-funding banks.
While it may go drastically underreported to the American public, pipelines leak all the time. The most recent one to make major headlines was the Keystone pipeline, which ruptured in the last week of Oct., 2019, causing over 383,000 gallons of oil to contaminate surrounding wetlands.
The Keystone Pipeline spilled as much as 383,000 gallons of crude oil into rural wetlands in North Dakota this week before the pipeline was shut down, making it one of the largest oil spills in the country in the past decade, state officials confirmed on Thursday.
Pipeline leaks are happening more frequently, thanks to human error. National Energy Board figures show that in the past three years incorrect operation has caused an average of 20 leaks per year—up from an average of four.
Table. 3. Gas Transmission and Gathering Pipeline Incident Impact Summary. Data from PHMSA.
Keystone came online in 2010, billed as state-of-the-art technology and one of the safest pipelines ever built. It spilled 35 times in its first year alone — 14 times in the US and 21 times in Canada, reports Doug Hayes, a senior attorney at the Sierra Club.