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Published August 24, 2010, 11:26 AM

Project will double ND oil pipeline capacity

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Enbridge Inc. plans to increase its oil shipping capacity from western North Dakota by about 145,000 barrels daily by building several new pipelines and pumping stations in the next three years, company and state officials said.

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Enbridge Inc. plans to increase its oil shipping capacity from western North Dakota by about 145,000 barrels daily by building several new pipelines and pumping stations in the next three years, company and state officials said.

Enbridge currently can ship about 161,500 barrels of oil daily from western North Dakota's Bakken and Three Forks shale rock formations. The Canadian company said Tuesday its planned capacity expansion of 145,000 barrels could be raised later to 325,000 barrels daily at relatively low cost.

The $550 million project includes the reactivation of an unused pipeline from Berthold, N.D., to Enbridge's Steelman terminal in southeastern Saskatchewan; a new pipeline from Steelman to an Enbridge main pipeline near Cromer, Manitoba; new pipelines and pumping stations in northwestern North Dakota; and new storage tanks at Enbridge's terminals at Berthold, Stanley and Tioga.

Enbridge, which is based in Calgary, Alberta, said the projects will be built by two affiliates, Enbridge Energy Partners LP in the United States and Enbridge Income Fund in Canada. They are to be completed by March 2013.

North Dakota regulators said Enbridge has discussed the expansion project for more than a year. The company now has enough commitments from oil shipping customers to move ahead, said Justin Kringstad, director of the North Dakota Pipeline Authority.

"Folks know that as our (oil) production continues to increase, we're constantly looking for additional transportation options," Kringstad said. "The pipeline is the most efficient method for doing that."

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