In a $21.3-billion deal, oil pipeline company Sunoco Logistics is buying and merging with Energy Transfer Partners, the company constructing the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline.

The consolidation will lower borrowing and operating expenses, Reuters reports, and the companies estimate they will save $200 million in yearly commercial costs by 2019.

Energy Transfer Partners CEO Kelcy Warren, who has been targeted by protesters, will serve as the chief executive of the combined company.

Sunoco Logistics will be responsible for the operation of the Dakota Access Pipeline, according to the Dallas Morning News, but the companies have stated the deal is unrelated to the ongoing conflict.

The more-than-complicated business agreement, outlined in detail in this Bloomberg article, may still upset protestors, because Warren is still spearheading the pipeline project and has vowed to move forward, despite the ongoing battle in Standing Rock.


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