UPDATE 1-Enbridge expands oil pipeline plan to C$6.2 bln

Thu Dec 6, 2012 6:28pm EST
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* New pipeline added to plan in Illinois

* Total expansion would add 400,000 bpd

* Booming light crude output driving plans

By Jeffrey Jones and Scott Haggett

CALGARY, Alberta, Dec 6 (Reuters) - Enbridge Inc on Thursday proposed a C$6.2 billion ($6.3 billion) expansion of its oil pipeline system, aimed at moving surging volumes of light crude from Western Canada and the North Dakota Bakken to refineries in the eastern part of the continent and U.S. Midwest.

The series of projects, which would add a total of 400,000 barrels per day of overall capacity to the huge Canada-to-United States network, is larger than Enbridge had proposed previously as it sought to address the need for new transport capacity.

"This is a collection of projects which together will serve to connect growing light oil supplies from the Bakken play in North Dakota and from Western Canada to premium refinery markets in the US Midwest and Eastern Canada," Al Monaco, the company's chief executive, said on a conference call.

Booming production of oil sands-derived crude from Alberta and shale oil in Western Canada and the northern United States -- and limited capacity to move the supplies to market -- are behind the complex series of projects across the system, which currently moves more than two million barrels a day.

Canada is the largest source of crude oil imports to the United States, shipping more than 2 million barrels per day to refineries primarily in the Midwest. The International Energy Agency said last month that output from Alberta's oil sands alone is expected to nearly triple to 4.3 million bpd by 2035.   Continued...