Ruling won’t delay Sandpiper Pipeline, Enbridge officials say

WILLISTON, N.D. – A federal ruling on the proposed Sandpiper Pipeline from western North Dakota to Superior, Wis., will not delay the project, an Enbridge Pipelines spokeswoman said Monday.

The U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission denied a petition from Enbridge on Friday on the basis of its proposed rate structure.

Enbridge officials plan to reassess the rate structure and submit a new plan, said Katie Haarsager, Enbridge community relations adviser.

The Sandpiper Pipeline would run from the Beaver Lodge area south of Tioga, N.D., to Superior, and increase pipeline capacity out of the Bakken by 225,000 barrels per day.

The federal ruling is not expected to affect the timeline for the project, which is anticipated to be in service in early 2016, Haarsager said.

“It’s an added curveball, so to speak,” she said.

Two members of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission dissented from the ruling, including Tony Clark, former member of the North Dakota Public Service Commission.

Clark and Commissioner John Norris wrote that denying the petition will “unduly delay much needed investment in infrastructure.”

The Sandpiper project is supported by the North Dakota Pipeline Authority, said director Justin Kringstad.

“We know that oil production is going to continue to grow in North Dakota and we’re going to need additional pipeline projects and transportation options to continue to move growing volumes in the future,” Kringstad said.

In a separate ruling issued Friday, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission dismissed a complaint from High Prairie Pipeline against Enbridge related to an interconnection at Clearbrook, Minn., saying the two companies should continue negotiations.

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