CALGARY, Alberta, Feb. 18 (UPI) -- Converting part of a natural gas pipeline to crude oil service will provide greater access to southern U.S. Gulf Coast market, pipeline company Enbridge said.
Enbridge Inc. announced it agreed to terms of a project with Energy Transfer to convert about 700 miles of a pipeline from Patoka, Illinois to eastern Gulf Coast refineries.
Al Monaco, president and chief executive officer at Enbridge, said the project would give oil producers in western Canada and those working in the Bakken oil play in North Dakota better access to the refineries by using existing networks.
Enbridge has committed $15 billion in investments to facilitate access to new refinery markets.
"This new project would provide western Canadian and Bakken producers with access to the largest refining center in the world with approximately 9 million barrels per day of crude oil processing capacity," he said in a statement. "The Gulf Coast market is ideally suited for both heavy and light crude oil."
The project needs approval from the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. If approved, the pipeline would go into service by 2015. It has a design capacity of as much as 660,000 bpd.