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Norwegian Fund Coming To America to Assess DAPL

Norway’s pension fund Kommunal Landspensjonskasse (KLP) has become the latest in a string of indirect investors in the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) project to assess the state of the DAPL construction as tension and violence in North Dakota continue to escalate.

This time, the investor, KLP, is sending a staff member to the site in North Dakota to assess the situation for itself, Investment & Pensions in Europe (IPE) reported on Monday.

“Actually being on the ground will help us get a better understanding of the situation, particularly with a case like this one, where there is such a groundswell of engagement, and help us sense what the sentiments are,” IPE quoted Annie Bersagel, KLP’s in-house adviser on responsible investments, as saying.

According to a KLP statement from last week, KLP and its mutual funds are invested via various funds in Phillips 66, Enbridge Inc, Energy Transfer Partners and Marathon Petroleum Corporation. The investments, via equity and bonds, were made several years before the conflict erupted.

According to Bersagel, as quoted by IPE, there are three aspects of the problem: one is the risk of contamination of drinking water; another is the rights of indigenous people; and a third issue is the use of violence against protesters and whether this could be viewed as a violation of human rights.

Related: Oil Stages Comeback As OPEC Heavyweights Remain Optimistic

At the beginning of this month, another Nordic investor in Dakota Access, Norwegian bank DNB, said it was rethinking its decision to doll out $342.36 million in loans to construct the pipeline—a figure that represents about 10 percent of the project’s total. DNB said that it would rescind its offer to finance a portion of the project if the concerns of the Native American tribes currently opposing the pipeline’s construction go unaddressed.

Early last week, while the protests against the pipeline were turning violent, Sunoco Logistics Partners (NYSE:SXL) said in a statement that it had agreed to buy Energy Transfer Partners (NYSE:ETP) – the company building DAPL – in a unit-for-unit deal that caused the shares of both companies to plummet on the stock market.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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