February 15, 2017 8:15 pm

Enbridge acquires significant stake in controversial Dakota Access Pipeline

This aerial photo shows a site where the final phase of the Dakota Access Pipeline will take place with boring equipment routing the pipeline underground and across Lake Oahe to connect with the existing pipeline in Emmons County, Monday, Feb. 13, 2017, in Cannon Ball, N.D. It is the last big section of the $3.8 billion pipeline, which would carry oil from North Dakota to Illinois. A federal judge on Monday refused to stop construction on the last stretch of the pipeline, which is progressing much faster than expected.

(Tom Stromme/The Bismarck Tribune via AP)
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Calgary-based Enbridge has closed a $1.5 billion deal which will see it take a nearly 30 per cent interest in the Bakken pipeline system, which includes the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL).

The 1,885 kilometre DAPL pipeline has faced months of opposition from environmental activists and protesters from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in North Dakota.

Watch below: Footage from December 2016 on protests against plans to build the Dakota Access Pipeline near the Standing Rock Indian Reservation near Cannon Ball, North Dakota.

The Obama administration halted the project in December but work on it resumed earlier this year after U.S. President Donald Trump signed a memorandum directing agencies to expedite approvals for the remaining portions of the hotly-contested project.

READ MORE: Donald Trump signs orders approving Keystone XL, Dakota pipelines

Watch below: Donald Trump signs orders approving Keystone, Dakota pipelines in January 2017.

The tribe filed a last-ditch legal effort to block the $3.8-million pipeline earlier this month. It says it fears the project could desecrate sacred sites and endanger drinking water in the region.

READ MORE: Standing Rock Sioux Tribe files legal challenge against North Dakota pipeline

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Enbridge defended the controversial Bakken pipeline system in a statement Wednesday, arguing it has been built and operated with “best-in-class” safety measures.

“We look forward to working with our partners to ensure that the commitment to safe operations and maintenance of positive working relationships with all stakeholders along the right of way is a top priority,” said Guy Jarvis, president of liquids, pipelines and major projects.

Jarvis said the Bakken pipeline will allow Enbridge to access premium markets in the U.S. Gulf Coast and that it sees “strong potential” for future investments in the system through low-cost expansions.

-With files from The Associated Press.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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