Enbridge, partners plan pipeline to ship Canadian, Bakken crude to US Gulf

By CAROLYN KING

Enbridge and the Energy Transfer entities on Friday announced a joint venture that will give oil producers in western Canada and North Dakota pipeline access to the eastern Gulf Coast refinery market from the Patoka, Ill. hub.

Calgary, Alberta-based Enbridge will own 50% of the 700-mile project, with the remaining 50% owned by Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners and Energy Transfer Equity L.P. The cost of the project wasn't disclosed.

The companies said the Patoka hub can receive crude oil from both western Canada and North Dakota's Bakken play through a variety of existing pipelines as well as through Enbridge's Southern Access Extension pipeline, which is under development.

The new pipeline will provide access to the "highly attractive" -- but currently inaccessible -- eastern Gulf Coast market via the crude-oil hub at St. James in Louisiana, they said.

As part of the project, certain segments of a pipeline already in operation as part of the Trunkline Gas system will be converted to crude-oil service from natural gas. Trunkline is a subsidiary of Energy Transfer.

The converted 30-inch diameter crude-oil pipeline is expected to be in service by 2015. Its capacity could reach up to 420,000 to 660,000 bpd, the companies said.

"Connecting the Patoka hub to the St. James hub is an important component of our broader plans to open up access to the eastern Gulf Coast crude oil market and responds to significant interest from both producers and refineries," Enbridge CEO Al Monaco said in a statement.


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