Just as Energy Transfer and their Dakota Access Pipeline, might have recently bought themselves a little extra no-shutdown time through an appeals process, Marathon Refinery may have to hope for the same.  The Tesoro High Plains Pipeline that provides the refinery oil, is getting busted for trespassing.

In the case of High Plains, which delivers oil to Marathon Petroleum Corp.’s 74,000 barrel-a-day Mandan refinery, the U.S. Interior Department’s Bureau of Indian Affairs ordered it shut after determining the pipeline was trespassing on Native American land. The ruling also found the company responsible for $187 million in damages and gave it 30 days to appeal.


The pipeline crosses close to 90 acres of land on the Fort Berthold Reservation. In 1953 deal was hammered out the the tribe for $53 million.  The agreement was to be revisited every 20 years with deals done again in 1973, and 1993.   By the time 2013 came along, Tesoro was out, and Andeavor was in...and deals were getting renegotiated but never agreed upon and finalized.

So it seems that since 2013 , the Tesoro High Plains Pipeline has been deemed to be trespassing not just on tribal lands, but private lands as well.  Not my words, but those of the United State's Interior Department Bureau of Indian Affairs.  So now this very hot potato is ready to be passed to Marathon.  According to the AP, the trespassing alone is going to be a $187 million dollar payment.  There's also the matter of an easement that allowed the pipeline to exist, an easement that expired 7 years ago.

So like the DAPL Pipeline, the High Plains Pipeline has high hopes for an appeal.  If not, Marathon will have to move the oil by truck and rail.  Two very much in demand types of transport especially during harvest season in North Dakota.

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