Enbridge plans Michigan pipeline expansion

July 23, 2012 at 9:04 AM
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ANN ARBOR, Mich., July 23 (UPI) -- Canadian pipeline company Enbridge aims to increase the amount of crude oil it sends through Michigan as part of a state overhaul, an official said.

Enbridge has plans to build a $190 million oil pipeline in Michigan starting in September. So-called Line 79 will transfer crude oil from the state's Line 6B to Detroit. It would run parallel to the existing Line 17, which services refineries in Detroit and Toledo.

Enbridge spokesman Joe Martucci said Line 17 has been running at peak capacity given increased regional demand.

"By building this new pipeline, it will free up capacity on the existing line to deliver more volumes to Toledo market," he told regional news site AnnArbor.com.

Line 17 can carry around 90,000 barrels of crude oil per day, while Line 79 is designed for 80,000 bpd.

Protesters last week staged demonstrations at the state capitol to protest Enbridge ahead of the second anniversary of the rupture of Line 6B in the south of the state. The National Transportation Safety Board found Enbridge knew of a defect on the pipeline five years before it burst open and spilled around 20,000 barrels of oil into southern Michigan waters.

Enbridge aims to replace hundreds of miles of Line 6B under a $268 million plan that would upgrade the pipeline's safety features and increase its volume to 500,000 barrels of oil per day.

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