Enbridge sees quicker Seaway expansion

Mon Jun 18, 2012 7:04pm EDT
 
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By Julie Gordon

TORONTO (Reuters) - Enbridge Inc (ENB.TO: Quote), Canada's No. 2 pipeline company, expects to complete an expansion of its newly reversed oil pipeline to Texas refineries by the end of this year, the company's incoming chief executive said on Monday.

That would be sooner than previous forecasts used by the company and its U.S. partner.

Enbridge and Enterprise Products Partners LP (EPD.N: Quote) have been saying for months that they would boost the capacity of the Seaway pipeline from the Cushing, Oklahoma, storage hub to 400,000 barrels a day from 150,000 sometime in the first quarter of next year.

It is one of a number of pipeline projects aimed at curing a bottleneck at the massive pipeline hub, which is expected to reduce deep price discounts for oil that travels there from rapidly expanding U.S. and Canadian oil fields.

"We expect to bring another 250,000 barrels a day of capacity by the end of this year. But at some point, when we twin that Seaway line, we'll start to see a relaxing of this basis differential between Cushing and the Gulf Coast," Enbridge President Al Monaco told reporters following a speech in Toronto.

Monaco is slated to become CEO of the company, which moves the bulk of Canadian oil exports to the United States, later this year.

Faster-than-expected growth in North American oil output means his company's other pipelines could be at full capacity as soon as 2016 despite a recently announced C$3.2 billion ($3.1 billion) expansion of its system, he said.

The company expects to complete the expansion of its North American pipeline network in 2014, bulking up its 2 million bpd mainline, and tapping new refining markets in Quebec. The planned mainline expansion will add more than half a million barrels a day of new capacity within two years.   Continued...