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Enbridge suspends pursuit of Sandpiper Pipeline approval

An Enbridge tank rests July 7, 2014, near Berthold, N.D. Michael Vosburg / Forum News Service

SUPERIOR, Wis.—Enbridge announced late Thursday the company will withdraw its applications with Minnesota regulators for the Sandpiper Pipeline and delay the project for at least five years.

The company said the pipeline should be delayed until North Dakota oil production recovers sufficiently to support the need for the pipeline.

Enbridge Energy Partners and Marathon Petroleum Corp. announced last month a plan to acquire a portion of the Dakota Access Pipeline in a $2 billion deal that would leave Enbridge's Sandpiper Pipeline without an anchor customer.

At the time, Enbridge said it planned to reevaluate the Sandpiper pipeline, which was initially expected to be in service in 2016, but regulatory delays in Minnesota have prevented construction from starting.

Enbridge Energy Partners plans to withdraw applications pending with the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission.

"Based on updated projections, EEP believes that new pipeline capacity will not likely be needed until beyond the Company's five-year planning horizon," the company said in a press release.

The 225,000-barrel-per day pipeline would have transported Bakken crude from North Dakota to an existing terminal in Clearbrook, Minn., then proceeding to Enbridge facilities in Superior, Wis.

The Dakota Access Pipeline, currently under construction and projected to be in service by the end of the year, will transport 450,000 barrels per day with the potential to be expanded to 570,000 barrels per day.

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