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Enbridge announces a bevy of new oil pipeline expansion projects

CALGARY — Enbridge Inc. is spending billions on pipeline expansions geared toward moving more crude from Western Canadian and U.S. oilfield regions to eastern markets.

The Calgary-based pipeline giant (TSX:ENB) said Wednesday it has enough commercial interest to proceed with a $200-million project to expand a pipeline that feeds crude to refineries in Detroit and Toledo, Ohio, by 80,000 barrels per day. That project should be in service in 2013.

It also said it has enough support to go ahead with a $100-million project to flow oil from Westover, Ont., to refineries in Montreal, which should be running in early 2014. That segment, Line 9B, currently flows in the opposite direction.

The reversal of another section of pipe between Sarnia, Ont., and Westover is being weighed by regulators.

In support of those projects, Enbridge and its U.S. affiliate are also planning to spend $2.2 billion to expand the U.S. Mainline to bring more crude into Sarnia via the United States.

A segment between Flanagan, Ill., and Griffith, Ind., will be expanded by 260,000 barrels per day and another between Griffith and Sarnia is being expanded by 260,000 barrels per day.

Those expansions should be ready by 2014.

Enbridge has already announced a $100-million expansion to Line 5 between Superior, Wisc. and Sarnia.

Stephen Wuori, president of liquids pipelines for Enbridge, said the projects will provide economic benefits to communities both where the oil is drawn from the ground — like the oilsands and the Bakken formation underlying parts of Saskatchewan, Montana and North Dakota — and where it is refined into products like gasoline, including Sarnia and Montreal.

“Communities along the routes of these pipelines will also benefit from increased economic activity,” he said in a release.

“In particular, refineries in Ontario and Quebec are paying premiums of $20 per barrel or more to obtain crude oil from the foreign sources they are currently largely dependent on. Access to Canadian and U.S. Bakken production will help level the playing field for these refineries, protecting their long term viability and safeguarding jobs.”

In separate releases, Enbridge said it plans to spend $400 million to bring more oil from burgeoning oilfields in North Dakota to Flanagan and $200 million to bring crude from Alberta to the Canada-U.S. border.

Both of those projects wouldn’t require Enbridge to build new pipe, but would use additional pumping horsepower to boost throughput.

 
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