Enbridge gets support for mainline expansion

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, Aug. 1 -- Enbridge Energy Partners LP, Calgary, said a recently concluded open season indicated strong support from shippers for the addition of 400,000 b/d of crude oil capacity on its mainline system from Hardisty, Alta., to Chicago, Ill., as early as 2009.

Three phases of the expansion project are expected to proceed concurrently, which will provide cost savings of $120 million, subject to negotiation of final contract terms and Canadian and US regulatory approvals.

Enbridge Pipelines Inc., Houston, the Enbridge subsidiary that owns the Canadian mainline system, will pay $135 million to expand the Canadian portion of the system. Expansion of the fully integrated US mainline system, Lakehead, will cost $760 million.

The open season also indicated initial support for extension of the Lakehead system from near Chicago to Wood River or Patoka, Ill. Enbridge said it will continue detailed discussions to finalize the project's design and timing in preparation for a second, binding open season.

In early 2006, the Lakehead system will have access to the pipeline and storage hub at Cushing, Okla., via the Spearhead pipeline.

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