(Combines urgents, adds background)
HOUSTON, Oct 28 (Reuters) - U.S. refiner Phillips 66 expects a permit will be granted to build a controversial oil pipeline under the Missouri River near Native American land in North Dakota, Chief Executive Officer Greg Garland said on Friday.
“There’s not that much left to be finished once we get the easement to go underneath the Missouri River,” Garland told analysts on a conference call. “So I think that can be wrapped up in relatively short order.”
In a tense standoff in North Dakota that spilled into Friday morning, police arrested 141 Native Americans and other protesters seeking to halt construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline intended to carry crude oil to the Midwest.
Phillips owns 25 percent of the project.
The U.S. Justice and Interior Departments along with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers halted construction under the Missouri in September due to protests by Native American tribes who say the pipeline would disturb sacred land and pollute waterways supplying nearby homes.
Construction is continuing on sections of the pipeline away from the Missouri River, Garland said.
The $3.7 billion, 1,100-mile (1,770 km) Dakota Access would be the first to carry crude from the Bakken shale, a vast oil formation in North Dakota, Montana and parts of Canada, to an existing pipeline in Illinois through which it could be shipped to refineries along the U.S. Gulf Coast. (Reporting by Erwin Seba; Editing by Matthew Lewis and Lisa Von Ahn)
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