The Dakota Access Pipeline Project

Published 26 Mar 2018
Reference 6379
Region North America
Length 23 page(s)

Plans for a $3.5 billion crude oil pipeline in 2014-17 from the Bakken formation of North Sakota and Canada to a transfer point near Chicago, linked to an existing pipeline to the major refining and export faculities on the US Gulf Coast, run into trouble when the developer, Energy Transfer Partners, encounters a "roadblock" on a section of federal land that is within a reservation of the Flat Rock Sioux tribe of Native Americans. The case charts how the conflict escalated from the local to the global level.

Teaching objectives

Environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues are increasingly important in modern corporations, as they affect cost structures, revenue streams and risk exposure - and therefore valuations by individual and institutional investors and the share prices. The case requires students to analyze a large infrastructure project, pinpoint the key stakeholders and their interests, and identify its key capabilities for dealing with conflicting interests. Ultimately the DAPL was completed on schedule, but it triggered conflicts that started local and ended global. What alternative paths could have been taken by ETP and other parties in the case?

  • Infrastructure development
  • Project finance & completion risk
  • Human Rights
  • Environment, Social & Governance (ESG)
  • Conflict management
  • Build-operate-transfer
  • Regulatory risk
  • Global warming
  • Q31718