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Enbridge: Our pipelines are over-subscribed

Pipeline company said it's taking a third quarter loss compared with last year's profit.

By Daniel J. Graeber
Enbridge: Our pipelines are over-subscribed
Canadian energy company Enbridge says its oil pipelines are over-subscribed. Photo by Heather Snow/Shutterstock

CALGARY, Alberta, Oct. 31 (UPI) -- Though new pipeline construction is under way, pipeline company Enbridge Energy said most of its crude oil lines were over-subscribed.

Enbridge in September pulled out of an agreement to build the Sandpiper oil pipeline from North Dakota to eastern markets, saying oil production from North Dakota wasn't robust enough to support the project. In August, though, it acquired a minority stake in a rival system that would carry oil from North Dakota to southern U.S. refineries.

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Mark Maki, the company's president, said in a statement the company's core pipeline business was performing well, with many of its existing networks regaining strength after May wildfires curbed some of the volumes leaving oil-rich Alberta.

"Deliveries on our Lakehead system [from Canada] have strengthened following the wildfires that impacted crude oil production in northeastern Alberta in May," he said in a statement. "With seasonal refinery turnarounds largely complete, deliveries are expected to remain strong through the end of the year with our heavy crude oil lines continuing to be over-subscribed."

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North American crude oil production has been more resilient to lower crude oil prices than expected. A market that continues to favor the supply side somewhat has kept oil prices from moving much higher than $50 per barrel during the waning months of 2016.

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The Dakota pipeline system is slated to carry up to 570,000 barrels of oil per day to southern refineries. The project has been met with sometimes violent opposition from environmental and tribal advocates concerned about the delivery of oil across area waterways and aboriginal sites.

North Dakota is the No. 2 oil producer in the United States, the No. 1 oil export destination for Canadian oil.

RELATED Enbridge: North Dakota oil output too low for pipeline

Last month, Enbridge said it was combining with its counterpart Spectra Energy to create what it said was a North American infrastructure giant. By the estimates of Enbridge, the combination creates the largest corporate entity of its kind in the region.

Enbridge said it recorded a net loss for the third quarter, against a profit one year ago.

RELATED Enbridge works to create North American pipeline giant

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