Enbridge delays ND oil pipeline at least a year

Published 7:57 am Wednesday, October 1, 2014

BISMARCK, N.D. — A Canadian company that wants to build the largest oil pipeline yet from western North Dakota’s booming oil patch is delaying the project for at least a year due to permitting problems in Minnesota.

Calgary, Alberta-based Enbridge Energy Partners LP disclosed the delay of the $2.6 billion Sandpiper pipeline in a filing Tuesday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Enbridge is trying to build the 612-mile pipeline to carry 225,000 barrels of oil a day through northern Minnesota to a hub in Wisconsin. The pipeline was expected to be ready in early 2016, but because of a “longer than expected permitting process” in Minnesota, it likely won’t be in service until 2017, Enbridge spokeswoman Katie Haarsager said.

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She said the company wasn’t sure about the financial repercussions, and that Enbridge secured shipping contracts for the pipeline last spring.

Minnesota regulators have requested an expanded study of the environmental impacts of six possible routes of the pipeline that were suggested by critics of Enbridge’s planned route, which crosses many rivers, lakes and wetlands.