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Potential Dakota Access Pipeline Merger Sees Stock Fall 8 Percent

Dakota Access

News of a potential merger between Sunoco Logistics and Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) – the company behind the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline – caused stock prices for both firms to drop by eight percent on Monday.

The deal boasts a total value of $19.93 billion, according to Sunoco, which agreed to acquire ETP.

"Pipelines are going to be winners under Trump," Jim Cramer told CNBC’s "Squawk on the Street." "Energy Transfer's been trying to build that national network of natural gas. This is a very important deal and it's out of nowhere, and this group is finally going to break out."

Republican President-elect Donald Trump campaigned on making the United States energy independent by supporting oil and natural gas drilling as well as related infrastructure projects. He has vowed to approve the Keystone XL pipeline – a project President Barack Obama famously blocked last year at the insistence of environmental groups.

Sunoco’s smaller size relative to ETP may have caused the price decrease, as well as politics regarding the Dakota Access pipeline, according to Jay Hatfield, a portfolio manager at Infracap.

ETP CEO Kelcy Warren said on Friday that it would not consider rerouting the five-state Dakota Access project despite the controversy surrounding its current path, according to the Associated Press.

Related: How Trump Could Change LNG Markets

"There's not another way. We're building at that location," Warren said, adding that the pipeline’s construction had neared completion in all of the five host states.

Warren invited Dave Archambault, the chairman of the Standing Rock tribe, to a bilateral meeting in order to address fears of the destruction of tribal history and the jeopardization of water resources.

"We already know what he's going to say - that this is the cleanest, safest pipeline ever," the chairman told the AP in response to the invitation.

The pipeline project—stalled in a disputed segment near Lake Oahe since September—is finishing up the rest of its construction by 1 December and is hoping to start moving crude by early next year if granted permission by the Army Corps of Engineers to proceed with the missing segment.

By Zainab Calcuttawala for Oilprice.com

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