UPDATE 3-Canada's Enbridge mulling $5 bln investment in U.S. Gulf Coast

Wed Nov 4, 2015 3:01pm EST
 
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(Recasts with company saying considering investment)

By Catherine Ngai and Nia Williams

NEW YORK/CALGARY Nov 4 (Reuters) - Canadian pipeline company Enbridge Inc is considering spending about $5 billion on oil storage assets in the U.S. Gulf Coast region, but has made no concrete investment decisions yet, a company spokesman said on Wednesday.

In an investor presentation last month, Enbridge outlined opportunities to build storage and terminal assets on the Gulf Coast, where its Seaway Twin crude pipeline terminates.

Enbridge sees opportunities to build crude storage tanks, ship docks, pipelines and other infrastructure in the heart of North America's largest refining complex, according to the company presentation.

Michael Barnes, senior communications manager for Enbridge in the United States, said on Wednesday that at present there was no major announcement regarding storage in the Gulf Coast.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday that Enbridge planned to spend $5 billion building three oil storage facilities in the region. (on.wsj.com/1LQcull)

"We are definitely looking at this as a possibility because we put it in an investor day report," Barnes said. "It's a want, it's an opportunity that we see, but we do not have anything concrete to share."

Gulf Coast expansion would help Enbridge stake a claim in the profitable export business amid a loosening of a decades-old U.S. crude oil export ban. The U.S. House of Representative passed a bill last month to repeal the ban, though it has yet to be signed into law.

Any new facilities could allow import and export of U.S. and Canadian crude, processed condensate and refined products.

News of more infrastructure potential comes at a time when other projects are also set to start up. Enterprise Products Partners expects to finish constructing the last of the 17 tanks at its ECHO storage terminal in the fourth quarter, with working capacity reaching 6.5 million barrels. (Additional reporting by Anet Josline Pinto in Bengaluru and Liz Hampton in Houston; Editing by Anil D'Silva, Jessica Resnick-Ault and Leslie Adler)