November 13, 2013: Duluth News Tribune is reporting:
Enbridge Energy officials said Tuesday that they want to drop part of a proposed new pipeline route in Carlton County that had farmers and rural residents upset.
Company officials said they will ask the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission to consider a revised route for about 1.5 miles of the proposed Sandpiper pipeline that would have crossed undisturbed farm and woods in Carlton County.
Enbridge wants the PUC to consider a new alignment that will follow existing pipelines and then follow electric and gas-utility corridors for that portion of the pipeline.
The news came after the Carlton County Board voted 4-0 Tuesday morning to ask the PUC to back existing utility lines as state regulators consider approving the proposed pipeline and where it will go.
The Calgary Herald is reporting:
A Canadian company has applied to build the largest oil pipeline yet from western North Dakota's booming oil patch and will soon begin courting oil producers to reserve space, a key step in a $2.6 billion project that would move millions of gallons of oil to Minnesota and Wisconsin.
The Calgary-based pipeline company is proposing the 612-mile Sandpiper pipeline to each day carry 225,000 barrels of oil to a hub in northern Minnesota and 375,000 barrels to one in northwestern Wisconsin. If approved by regulators, it would be the largest pipeline moving oil out of North Dakota, the nation's second-leading producer of oil behind Texas. [225 + 375 = 600.]There is nothing new in this story for regular readers except for the announcement regarding "open season."
The company submitted the application last week to the North Dakota Public Service Commission and will take similar steps with regulators in Minnesota and Wisconsin in the next month, company spokeswoman Katie Haarsager said.
But she noted that soliciting and securing shipping contracts, during a process called "open season," is as vital as obtaining permits for the project.
"The open season is very important and allows us to ensure that we have shippers' interest in the project. A successful open season means we should have a successful project," she said Tuesday.
Haarsager said Enbridge will begin the open season within the week and it will be in effect from one to three months.
The pipeline is the biggest project yet to come before North Dakota regulators to move oil from the rich Bakken and Three Forks formations in the western part of the state, said Brian Kalk, who heads the North Dakota Public Service Commission. The three-member commission oversees a slew of public interests, from pipelines to grain elevators, though much of its recent work has involved the oil and natural gas industry.With the flexibility that CBR provides this is not a slam-dunk. Minnesota and Wisconsin environmental activists are watching this one very, very closely, and have probably scheduled news events to coincide. Speaking of which, I wonder how the Greenpeace folks in Siberia are doing?