Oil drillers in the Bakken Shale are optimistic that the opening of the Dakota Access Pipeline – which was fiercely opposed by environmental activists and the former Obama administration – will boost new energy production in the region.

Reuters reports that the pipeline will give Bakken oil producers “a shot in the arm” by providing “cheaper access to refineries and other customers on the U.S. Gulf Coast.” The operator of the pipeline – Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) – has already started filling it with crude oil. It could reach full capacity – about 500,000 barrels of oil per day – by late April.

Environmental activists have campaigned heavily against the construction of new pipelines which are needed to move oil and natural gas from areas of production to the markets where they are consumed. In the case of the Dakota Access Pipeline, the activists sought to block the construction of the final section of the project in North Dakota, even though the company had long since obtained its construction approvals and permits.

The Obama administration interceded on the side of the activists, who set up camps to block the project. After the election of President Donald Trump, the project’s permits were honored and the activists ordered to leave. The protestors left behind a massive garbage dump that filled 835 dumpsters, according to the Washington Times, and cost the federal government $1.1 million to clean up.

Limited pipeline capacity has resulted in some Bakken crude being shipped by railroad and trucks. The new pipeline “will provide a safer, more environmentally responsible and more cost-effective transportation system to move crude across this country,” an ETP spokeswoman told Reuters.

“We’re back to growth in the Bakken,” Hess Corp. Chief Executive Officer John Hess told the financial newswire. Hess Corp. has contracts to send crude oil through the new pipeline.