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Minnesota asks Enbridge: What's in it for us?

Minnesota asks Enbridge: What's in it for us?

The Minnesota Department of Commerce (DOC) has concluded that Enbridge has not made an adequate business case for its proposed Line 3 replacement project. The DOC says the pipeline operator failed to demonstrate a need for the new pipeline, including whether the project is required for "future adequacy, reliability and efficiency of energy supply," specific to the state of Minnesota. 

The $8.2 billion project will restore capacity on Line 3 to 760,000 bbl/day, bringing Alberta crude through Saskatchewan, southern Manitoba, North Dakota and the state of Minnesota, before terminating in Superior, Wisconsin. The 50-year old line is currently limited to about 400,000 bbl/day due to the age of the pipe. About 364 miles (586 km) of pipe lies in US soil, mostly in the state of Minnesota (337 miles). 


Three expert witnesses provided 338 pages of testimony, submitted to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) as part of the state's regulatory review process. The PUC makes the final decision and issues state-level construction permits before the work on the line can begin. North Dakota and Wisconsin have already approved the segments in their states.

The DOC argues that Minnesota refineries are already at capacity and are unlikely to benefit from the extra crude running through the state. Also at issue is whether Enbridge can squeeze out that extra capacity from other pipelines already operating in the area.

Enbridge already supplies almost 80% of all crude oil feedstock to Minnesota refineries. More importantly, Line 3 connects to the Enbridge Mainline System, which connects to refineries in the Midwest, Eastern Canada and the Gulf Coast.

One of the experts also pointed out that TransCanada's Keystone XL would be a cheaper and more economically viable route for Canadian crude, freeing up capacity on Enbridge's existing Mainline network.

Enbridge says it disagrees with the findings. A final ruling is expected to be rendered by the PUC next April.

Total hints at plans to exit the oil sands, eventually

Total hints at plans to exit the oil sands, eventually

Gibson continues expansion at Hardisty

Gibson continues expansion at Hardisty