UPDATE 2-Enbridge concedes pipeline expansion plans may face opposition

Wed May 8, 2013 12:41pm EDT
 
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* Q1 adjusted profit C$0.62/shr vs C$0.40/shr

* Seeks amended presidential permit for pipeline expansion

* Plans may face opposition

* Shares rise 0.4 pct

By Scott Haggett and Bhaswati Mukhopadhyay

May 8 (Reuters) - Enbridge Inc, Canada's largest pipeline company, said on Wednesday it is still hoping for speedy regulatory approval for a planned expansion of an oil pipeline to the United States despite the prolonged delays faced by the rival Keystone XL line.

The company, which said its first-quarter operating profit rose nearly a third, is seeking an amended presidential permit for its plan to double the size of its 400,000 barrel per day Alberta Clipper pipeline, which takes oil sands crude from Alberta to Superior, Wisconsin.

Though the expansion scheduled to begin next year will be done through adding additional pumps and no new pipe is needed, Enbridge Chief Executive Al Monaco conceded the company's plan may soon face the same opposition from environmental groups that has delayed permitting of TransCanada Corp's Keystone XL line for more than four years.

"I won't deny that there will likely be some focus on it as well," Monaco said on a conference call.   Continued...