March 5, 2015 / 10:54 PM / 3 years ago

Canada's Enbridge reduces costs of oil sands pipelines by C$400 mln

CALGARY, Alberta, March 5 (Reuters) - Enbridge Inc, Canada’s largest pipeline operator, said on Thursday it plans to boost the size of two lines carrying crude from the oil sands while shaving C$400 million ($320.4 million) from their original price tag.

The company said two planned regional lines, the Athabasca Twin and Wood Buffalo extension projects, will now cost a combined C$2.6 billion, down from its prior C$3 billion estimate.

The pipe diameter of the Wood Buffalo Extension project, running 100 kms (62 miles) from its Cheecham terminal in the oil sands to its Kirby Lake terminal, will be boosted to 36 inches from a planned 30-inch diameter, while the Athabasca Twin which carries crude from Cheecham to the Hardisty, Alberta, storage center, will add pumping capacity to raise its throughput to 800,000 barrels per day from 450,000 bpd.

The lines are being expanded to handle oil shipped from Suncor Energy Inc’s planned Fort Hills oil sands project.

The company said that the projects will be in service by the fourth quarter of 2017. ($1 = 1.2486 Canadian dollars) (Reporting by Scott Haggett; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

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