November 2, 2010 / 10:12 PM / 9 years ago

Idaho Supreme Court lifts hold on refinery haul

HOUSTON, Nov 2 (Reuters) - The Idaho Supreme Court on Monday lifted a lower court order that prevented ConocoPhillips (COP.N) from moving giant refinery parts along a rural highway across the state.

In a 3-2 decision, the court said that Judge John Bradbury of Idaho’s Second Judicial District Court and the Supreme Court itself, had no authority to rule on a permit issued by Idaho’s highway department allowing the movement of giant coking unit parts along the U.S. Highway 12.

“The district court lacked jurisdiction, as does this Court, to consider respondents’ petition for judicial review,” wrote Justice Warren Jones in the court’s opinion announcing the decision.

Residents along Highway 12 had sought to block a contractor for Conoco from moving giant coking unit drums, weighing up to 323 tons (293 metric tons) and stretching 225 feet (68.58 meters), from the port of Lewiston, Idaho, to the state’s border with Montana.

The residents contend the movement will block the only roadway they can use to reach hospitals or for police and fire departments to reach their homes.

Conoco want to replace the existing coker drums at its 58,000 barrel per day (bpd) Billings, Montana.

Conoco is not the only oil company that wants to use Highway 12 to move giant equipment.

Imperial Oil (IMO.TO) and Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM.N) want to use the highway to move equipment needed to develop the $8 billion Kearl oil sands project in Alberta. (Reporting by Erwin Seba; Editing by David Gregorio)

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