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August 22, 2014

Plan to boost oil pipeline capacity reaches Minnesota regulators

Enbridge Energy is asking regulators to sign off on a project that would send more oil flowing through a northern Minnesota pipeline. The company says the $40 million project involves upgrades to three pumping stations, but does not require replacing any pipelines.

It’s part of Enbridge’s strategy to relieve a pipeline bottleneck that’s limiting how much oil can get to Midwestern refineries. The $1.2 billion “Alberta Clipper” line was finished in 2010. The pipeline was built with a larger diameter than it is now using, which is why it can be expanded without changing the line.

The Alberta Clipper project is separate from a plan Enbridge has to build a new pipeline connecting North Dakota’s Bakken oil field with Superior.

Enbridge, by the way, has a new CEO who spoke last week with CNBC about a range of energy-related topics.