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article imageNorway's biggest bank may withdraw funding for Dakota Pipeline

By Karen Graham     Nov 8, 2016 in World
Clashes between local authorities and protesters over Energy Transfer Partner's $3.8 billion Dakota Access pipeline project are making some investors worried. Norway's largest bank, DNB is seriously considering pulling its funding for the project.
On Monday, Reuters reported that Norwegian bank DNB will reconsider its financing of the pipeline project if concerns raised by native American tribes against its construction are not dealt with.
Norway's bank DNB, along with the country's huge sovereign wealth fund known as the Oil Fund are both involved in the construction of the controversial pipeline. But now, Norway’s Sami Parliament is calling on the Oil Fund to withdraw its investments in the companies behind the project.
"DNB looks with worry at how the situation around the pipeline in North Dakota has developed. The bank will therefore take initiative and use its position to bring about a more constructive process to find a solution to the conflict," Norway's largest bank said in a statement.
According to EcoWatch, it is uncertain how the bank can be constructive in bringing an end to the conflict, unless it pulls out altogether. And as long as the militarized response to the protests continues, it will only raise the ire of more people around the world.
Norway’s state-owned oil company Statoil, also has a big investment — not in building the Dakota Access Pipeline, but in ownership of shale oil coming out of the Bakken formation in North Dakota. In 2011, Statoil bought Brigham Exploration Co.
According to Statoil, this put them in a “strong position” in the “attractive” Bakken (named for a Norwegian immigrant in North Dakota) and Three Forks projects. Both are considered to be among the largest “oil accumulations” in the U.S.
And while Statoil has no connection with the Dakota Access Pipeline, bank DNB certainly does, lending NOK 2.8 billion (about $350 million), to the pipeline project. Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) said on Monday night that bank DNB was just one of 38 banks taking part in the project.
In court documents filed in August this year, Joey Mahmoud, the Dakota Access vice president, wrote: "The long-term transportation contracts give shippers a right to terminate their commitments if (Dakota Access Pipeline) is not in full service per the contract deadline."
Any further delays in getting the pipeline construction finished would cost about $913 million Mahmoud noted. If the protests continue and DNB pulls out, the pipeline could be in serious trouble.
More about Dakota access pipeline, Norway's DNB, pull funding, Sami Parliament, Oil Fund
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