Enbridge pipeline from Bakken play delayed by a year

HOUSTON, Oct. 1 (UPI) —

The Sandpiper pipeline designed to carry oil from the Bakken reserve area in North Dakota through Minnesota is delayed, Enbridge Energy Partners said.

Enbridge Chief Executive Al Manaco said regulators in Minnesota decided to vet the planned 616-mile Sandpiper oil pipeline separately on routing and capacity.

As a result, the company said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission the pipeline likely won’t start delivering North Dakota crude until 2017, a year later than expected.

Sandpiper would ship up to 225,000 barrels of Bakken crude oil per day through Minnesota. It would then transfer oil to other pipelines for delivery to the U.S. and Canadian refinery markets.

Enbridge in June received backing from state legislators in North Dakota to build Sandpiper. Enbridge attorney Christina Brusven said each setback is a setback in terms of the pipeline’s economic benefit.

Minnesota State Commissioner Dan Lipschultz said last month regulators need to take their time in approving a pipeline designed to carry crude oil from the Bakken reserve area in North Dakota.

State regulators in September called on Enbridge to study the environmental issues surrounding six alternative routes through the state proposed by outside groups.