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Norway’s Largest Bank Sells Assets in Dakota Access Pipeline Company

HeadlineNov 18, 2016

The largest bank in Norway, DNB, has sold its assets in the companies behind the $3.8 billion Dakota Access pipeline, and it’s considering whether to terminate three separate loans the bank has made to finance the project. The sold assets were worth $3 million. The loans under consideration finance up to 10 percent of the pipeline’s construction. Norway’s DNB is not connected to DNB First, which is based in Pennsylvania and is not involved in the Dakota Access pipeline. This comes as Energy Transfer Partners, the company behind the Dakota Access pipeline, is almost certain to miss the January 1, 2017, deadline by which it had promised oil companies it would have completed construction, opening up the possibility the pipeline company may lose its contracts with oil companies. In recent court documents, Energy Transfer Partners acknowledged that if the Army Corps of Engineers does grant the final permit to drill underneath the Missouri River, it would still take the company between three and four months to finish the project. It’s still not clear whether the permit will ever be granted. Even if it is granted, missing the January 1 deadline means oil companies will have the right to renegotiate or even cancel their contracts to have oil shipped through the Dakota Access pipeline. These cancellations are likely, given that Bakken oil production has fallen by 20 percent since its peak in December 2014—the same year the contracts were first signed. Energy Transfer Partners has acknowledged in court filings “loss of shippers to the project could effectively result in project cancellation.”

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