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North Dakota oil flow hits a bottleneck in northwestern MN

The flow of crude oil from North Dakota's fields is backing up at a terminal in Clearbrook, Minnesota. The Canadian company that owns the terminal says the outgoing pipeline is operating at capacity and needs an upgrade. But a North Dakota competitor suspects the company is favoring tar sands oil from north of the border.
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The flow of crude oil from North Dakota's fields is backing up at a terminal in Clearbrook, Minnesota. The Canadian company that owns the terminal says the outgoing pipeline is operating at capacity and needs an upgrade. But a North Dakota competitor suspects the company is favoring tar sands oil from north of the border.

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521 people live in Clearbrook, Minnesota. Fourteen percent of the country's crude oil flows through pipelines under their feet. Clearbrook is a terminal for pipelines heading from Canada and North Dakota to refineries in the Twin Cities, Superior, and Chicago. A planned expansion will soon allow more North Dakota crude to flow through the junction.

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Enbridge, a Calgary, Alberta-based petroleum company, wants to build a new 500-mile pipeline to transport more crude from northwest North Dakota to Superior, Wis., Forum Communications reports. Company officials say the Sandpiper Pipeline could move about 225,000 barrels per day. If the project is approved, the earliest it could go into service would be late 2015.

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