Enbridge Energy Partners said it expected to invest about $3.4 billion to increase access to growing light oil production in North Dakota and western Canada.
The company said it expected the Bakken crude oil formation in North Dakota would produce as much as 1.2 million barrels of oil per day within the next five years. That, the company said, depends on transportation access to refinery markets.
Enbridge said its investment program "includes the Sandpiper Project which will expand and extend the ... North Dakota feeder system." By 2016, the company said its Bakken takeaway capacity would reach 580,000 bpd.
"The expansion will involve construction of an approximately 600-mile, 24-inch diameter line from Beaver Lodge, North Dakota, to the Superior, Wisconsin, mainline system terminal," the company said.
Oklahoma natural gas company Oneok Partners last month scrubbed plans for a pipeline to carry 200,000 bpd from the Bakken play because of lack of interest.
Enbridge had said that rail deliveries from Bakken may be "the fastest way" to get around regional bottlenecks in crude oil transportation.
Enbridge has committed to a $68 million rail system near Philadelphia that can handle up to 80,000 barrels of oil per day from the Bakken play.