Enbridge to expand Canada-US crude pipeline capacities

Enbridge Energy Partners LP will expand its crude oil mainline pipeline system to increase deliveries to markets in the Upper Midwest, eastern Canada and—through connecting Enbridge pipelines—the US Gulf Coast.

Expansion of Enbridge’s Lakehead System includes increasing capacity on the existing 36-in. OD Alberta Clipper pipeline (Line 67) into the Superior, Wis., terminal to 570,000 b/d from 450,000 b/d and expanding the existing 42-in. OD Southern Access pipeline (Line 61) between the Superior terminal and the Flanagan terminal near Pontiac, Ill., to 560,000 b/d from 400,000 b/d. These projects require only the addition of pumping horsepower and crude oil tanks at existing sites, but no pipeline construction.

Enbridge expects these expansions to enter service mid-2014, subject to regulatory approval, and is continuing discussions with shippers on their scope which could lead to an upward revision to capacity and cost. Enbridge estimates the cost of expansion at the currently planned capacity at $360 million.

Enbridge also plans a variety of expansions to move crude further east. Its Eastern Access projects include expansion of the Spearhead North pipeline (Line 62) between Flanagan, Ill., and the terminal at Griffith, Ind., to 235,000 b/d from 130,000 b/d by adding horsepower. The company will also add a 330,000 bbl tank at Griffith to existing storage.

The Eastern Access projects also include replacing additional sections of Enbridge’s Line 6B in Indiana and Michigan. Combined with scheduled replacements of 75 miles of Line 6B previously announced, the new replacements will increase capacity to 500,000 b/d from 240,000 b/d. Portions of the existing 30-in. OD pipeline will be replaced with 36-in. OD pipeline, subject to regulatory approval. Enbridge expects both Line 6B expansions and a previously announced 50,000 b/d expansion its Line 5 to enter service 2013-14 at a cost of $2.2 billion.

Enbridge plans additional Eastern Access expansions as part of expanding its Mainline pipeline, including construction of a 35-mile pipeline adjacent to Enbridge's Toledo Pipeline (Line 17), originating at Line 6B in Michigan and serving refineries in Michigan and Ohio, and a re-reversal of its Line 9B from Westover, Ont., to Montreal, Que. Enbridge will also add horsepower on existing Mainline pipe between western Canada to the US border.

Enbridge described the projects as expanding access to new markets in North America for growing production from western Canada and the Bakken formation.

Contact Christopher E. Smith at chriss@ogjonline.com.

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