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Enbridge overhauls Michigan pipeline

Aug. 14, 2013 at 9:22 AM

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., Aug. 14 (UPI) -- Enbridge Energy said reconstruction of a pipeline that ruptured in Michigan in 2010 could double its capacity to more than 500,000 barrels per day.

Line 6b, part of a larger pipeline network in the Midwest, ruptured near Marshall, dumping more than 25,000 barrels of oil into the surrounding community, one of the worst onshore incidents of its kind. Cleanup is ongoing.

The company said it was building a new pipeline with thicker walls to run through the state. Line 6b project director Tom Hodge told regional broadcaster WXMI, Grand Rapids, the bigger pipeline could carry more oil through Michigan.

"There will be some additional pumps installed that could pump that up to 570,000 barrels a day," Hodge said Tuesday. "Ultimately, if we added horsepower, we'll have the capacity of pumping 800,000 barrels a day."

Hodge added there are no plans to install the horsepower needed to reach the 800,000 bpd threshold currently. The company said the expansion of refineries in the region means there's more demand from oil.

The existing Line 6b can transport 250,000 bpd. The new line is expected to start operating next year.

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