Enbridge Proceeding With $2.6 Billion of Additional Eastern Access Projects

abarrelfullabarrelfull wrote on 17 May 2012 06:31
Tags: canada enbridge n-america pipeline usa

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Enbridge Inc. (TSX:ENB) (NYSE:ENB) today announced that it has secured commercial support to proceed with additional Eastern Access projects. Enbridge and Enbridge Energy Partners, L.P. (EEP) (NYSE:EEP) also expect to proceed with supporting expansions of the U.S. mainline system between Flanagan, Illinois and Sarnia, Ontario.

The additional Eastern Access Projects include an 80,000 barrel per day (bpd) expansion of Enbridge's Toledo Pipeline (Line 17), which connects with the Enbridge mainline at Stockbridge, Michigan and serves refineries at Toledo, Ohio and Detroit, Michigan; and a re-reversal of Enbridge's 240,000 bpd Line 9B from Westover, Ontario to Montreal, Quebec to serve refineries in Quebec. Re-reversal of Line 9A from Sarnia, Ontario to Westover to supply Imperial Oil's Nanticoke refinery was previously announced. Sufficient capacity has been subscribed for by refineries seeking to secure access to ample crude oil supplies from western Canada and the Bakken region in North Dakota to warrant proceeding with the project. The Eastern Access Line 9 re-reversal remains subject to National Energy Board regulatory approval and a portion of the mainline expansion remains subject to approval by shippers.

The Toledo Pipeline expansion is expected to be available for service in early 2013 at a cost of approximately $0.2 billion. The Line 9B reversal is expected to be available for service in early 2014 at a cost of approximately $0.1 billion.

The supporting mainline expansions include expansion of the Spearhead North pipeline (Line 62) between Flanagan and Griffith, Indiana, an additional 330,000 barrel tank at Griffith, and the replacement of additional sections of Line 6B in Indiana and Michigan not already scheduled for replacement as previously announced. The capacity of Spearhead North will increase by 105,000 bpd and the capacity of Line 6B will increase by 260,000 bpd. The expected cost of the mainline expansions is $2.2 billion, including the $0.1 billion cost of the previously announced Line 5 expansion. The expansions are expected to be fully available for service in early 2014. Spearhead North, Line 6B and Line 5 are held by Enbridge Energy, Limited Partnership (EELP) which will be funded jointly by Enbridge, as to 60% of the costs of the expansions (approximately $1.3 billion), and by EEP as to 40% (approximately $0.9 billion) with EEP having the option to increase its funding portion by up to 15% for 12 months following the in service date of Line 6B expansion. The expansions will be undertaken by EELP on a cost-of-service basis that would absorb 50% of any cost overruns.

An open season will be held immediately to provide any additional shippers with an opportunity to secure capacity on Line 9 on the same terms as the current committed shippers.

"Securement of capacity commitments for both the Toledo Pipeline expansion and Line 9 re-reversal represents a major step forward for our overall market access strategy," said Stephen J. Wuori, President, Liquids Pipelines, Enbridge Inc. "These projects and the supporting mainline expansions are attractive investment opportunities for Enbridge and EEP. They will also provide substantial economic benefits to our shippers and the local economies in western Canada and the Bakken region in North Dakota where the crude oil is produced and in the midwestern U.S. and eastern Canada where it will be refined. Communities along the routes of these pipelines will also benefit from increased economic activity. In particular, refineries in Ontario and Quebec are paying premiums of $20 per barrel or more to obtain crude oil from the foreign sources they are currently largely dependent on. Access to Canadian and U.S. Bakken production will help level the playing field for these refineries, protecting their long term viability and safeguarding jobs."

Mr. Wuori continued, "Securement of the shipper capacity commitments for our Eastern Access projects follows the securement of substantial commitments on our Gulf Coast Access projects which we recently announced. These two large programs have both come to fruition in the last six months, achieving the strategy of expanding access to new markets in North America for growing production from western Canada and the Bakken which we embarked on several years ago. Importantly, these initiatives utilize existing pipeline infrastructure that minimizes our construction footprint. The associated aggregate investment of approximately $8 billion at attractive returns provides substantial support for the extension of our 10% plus growth rate in earnings per share beyond the middle of this decade."

A map of Enbridge Inc. and Enbridge Energy Partners' expansion projects is available at www.enbridge.com

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