Enbridge expands oil pipeline plan to C$6.2 bln

Thu Dec 6, 2012 5:09pm EST

* New pipeline added to plan in Illinois

* Total expansion would add 400,000 bpd

* Booming light crude output driving plans

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 a 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.

The company's U.S. affiliate, Enbridge Energy Partners , will foot slightly more than half of the total bill, or $3.4 billion.

"These market access initiatives reflect changing North American supply and demand fundamentals and will create significant value for our customers," Enbridge Chief Executive Al Monaco said in a statement on Thursday.

In October, the company said its "light oil market access program" would cost C$5.5 billion.

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.

The various expansions will be put into place between 2014 and 2016, the company said.

Besides projects in Canada, North Dakota, the U.S. Midwest, and between Sarnia, Ontario and Montreal, which it previously has detailed, Enbridge has added a 265 km (165-mile) pipeline between Flanagan and Patoka, in Illinois, at a cost of C$800 million, the company said.

The initial 300,000 bpd of capacity has already been contracted by Marathon Petroleum Corp, which would take the light crude for its Midwest refineries.

Enbridge also said it increased its quarterly dividend by 12 percent to 31.5 Canadian cents a share.

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