Another Crude Oil Pipeline Aims at the Gulf Coast (ENB, ETP, ETE, EPD)

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Canadian-based Enbridge Inc. (NYSE: ENB) announced this morning that it is joining forces with a subsidiary of Energy Transfer Partners L.P. (NYSE: ETP) and Energy Transfer Equity L.P. (NYSE: ETE) to convert parts of an existing natural gas pipeline to transport crude oil from the hub at Patoka, Ill., to the hub at St. James, La. The companies did not reveal the cost of the proposed pipeline.

The project is a 50/50 joint venture, with Enbridge owning 50% and the Energy Transfer entities owning the other 50%. Enbridge already holds a 50% stake in the recently opened 400,000 barrel a day Seaway Pipeline, in which it is partners with Enterprise Products Partners L.P. (NYSE: EPD).

The pipeline, part of Energy Transfer’s Trunkline system, is expected to be in service by 2015 and is expected to have the capacity to transport 420,000 to 660,000 barrels a day down its 700-mile length. The proposed pipeline will be the first with the capability to carry Western Canadian and Bakken crude oil to the eastern Gulf Coast.

The proposed pipeline requires approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), and Enbridge’s participation is contingent upon commitments from shippers and completion of due diligence.

If the Keystone XL pipeline proposed by TransCanada Corp. (NYSE: TRP) and the proposed Enbridge/Energy Transfer line are approved, more than 1.5 million barrels of crude a day could flow between the Alberta oil sands in North Dakota and the Gulf Coast.

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