CALGARY, Alberta Nov 8 Spectra Energy Inc
is mulling the expansion of its Express/Platte pipeline
system, one of only a handful of lines carrying Canadian crude
oil exports to the United States.
Gregory Ebel, Spectra's chief executive, said in
presentations this week that the company was considering
twinning the existing pipeline network or extending the start of
the Express line, which now begins at the storage hub of
Hardisty in central Alberta, up to the oil sands region in the
"We are looking at everything from expanding this system
northward to oil sands supplies to doubling the capacity of the
entire system from Hardisty, Alberta to Wood River, Illinois,"
Ebel said, according to a transcript of a Nov. 4 conference call
staged to review the company's third quarter earnings.
The Express line carries up to 280,000 barrels of crude per
day 1,260 kilometers (785 miles) from Hardisty to Casper,
Wyoming. There it meets the 164,000 bpd Platte line, which moves
crude to the Wood River refining hub.
Spectra acquired the system in March for $1.5 billion from a
consortium made up of Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP,
Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan and Borealis Infrastructure.
Express is one of three major pipelines that carry Canada's
oil exports to refiners in the U.S. Midwest and the last to
consider expansion to accommodate rising production from the oil
Enbridge Inc is planning to expand its mainline
network, which can now ship as much as 2.3 million bpd to the
United States while TransCanada Corp has waited five
years for presidential approvals for its controversial 800,000
bpd Keystone XL line.
Ebel said the company has not yet made any decision on
whether it would expand the system, saying the project would
likely be timed for later in the decade if it proceeds.
A company spokesman confirmed on Friday that the timing for
any expansion has not yet been decided.
"We are looking at various growth opportunities associated
with the Express/Platte pipeline system," said Phil West, a
spokesman for the company. "It's too early to discuss the
details, including potential timing of expansion."
Spectra shares rose 9 cents to $34.12 on the New York Stock
Exchange on Friday.