$2.6 Billion Line 3 Pipeline Replacement Project Faces Another Obstacle

The two state agencies in Minnesota, The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and Department of Natural Resources said on Tuesday that they can't take final action on the permits for Enbridge Energy's Line 3 replacement project, until problems with its environmental review are resolved.

The agencies said they will continue reviewing the applications, but won’t release the draft permits as scheduled on July 1st. The current Line 3, which was built in the 1960s is increasingly subject to corrosion and cracking, and runs at only about half of its original capacity for safety reasons.

The replacement pipeline would carry Canadian crude from Alberta across northern Minnesota to Enbridge's terminal in Superior, Wisconsin, which sits near the westernmost tip of Lake Superior. Earlier this month, Minnesota State Court of Appeals ruled that the project's environmental impact statement failed to address the possibility of a spill into the Lake Superior watershed.

"We believe the actions required to address the spill modeling in the Lake Superior watershed can be completed efficiently," Enbridge said.

According to the environmental and tribal groups, the project poses a risk of oil spills in pristine areas of the Mississippi River headwaters region where Native Americans gather wild rice, and that the Canadian tar sands oil that the line would carry accelerates climate change.

Source:
pgjonline

Court Rules Against Enbridge’s Line 3 Replacement Project

Minnesota State Court of Appeals ruled on Monday that the environmental assessment done on Enbridge’s Line 3 pipeline replacement project was inadequate. The ruling is just the opposite of Minnesota Public Utilities Commission’s decision, which approved the environmental impact statement for the pipeline replacement.

The proposed replacement pipeline will have the capacity to move 370,000 barrels of oil per day. The company plans to replace its existing 282 miles of 34 inch pipeline with 337 miles of 36 inch pipe. The project has faced numerous legal challenges and has been approved and disapproved several times over.

The startup date for the pipeline replacement project was originally supposed to be at the end of 2019.  As per the court, the Commission made a mistake when it approved the plan, and found that Enbridge’s environmental impact statement lacked in details about where it deals with oil spills in relation to Lake Superior.

Source:
oilprice

Line 3 Replacement Project Could Exceed C$9 Billion

Delays to permits in the United States will cause Line 3 replacement project cost to exceed previous cost estimate of C$9 billion ($6.71 billion), Enbridge Inc, said on Friday.

The company said in March that the in-service date would be the second half of 2020 and reason for the delay is of slower-than-expected permitting in the U.S. state of Minnesota. Line 3 will carry 760,000 barrels per day of western Canadian crude to U.S. markets, once completed.

“The late schedule likely means higher costs on the U.S. side although we are running under budget in Canada,” Enbridge chief executive Al Monaco said, adding that returns remained “very robust” and the company did not expect any cost overruns to be material to its financial outlook.

Source:
reuters

Minnesota PUC Confirms Enbridge Energy's Line 3 Pipeline Approval

Enbridge Energy's proposed $7 billion Line 3 crude oil pipeline replacement gets final approval from Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, the company said on Wednesday. The PUC unanimously rejected the last pending petitions for reconsideration, including one from the state Commerce Department.

“The PUC confirmed its decision to approve the conditions placed on L3R’s (Line 3 Replacement) Certificate of Need – conditions meant to protect Minnesotans – allowing this critical energy infrastructure modernization project to move forward,” Enbridge said in a statement.

Since 1960s, Line 3 has carried Canadian crude from Alberta to Wisconsin and is currently operating at half its capacity. The Line 3 replacement would allow it to return to approved capacity of 760,000 barrels per day.

The PUC initially approved Enbridge’s plan to rebuild the aging 1,031-mile pipeline in June, but that decision was challenged by Minnesota’s governor in February.

The new line would cross Alberta, a corner of North Dakota and northern Minnesota to an Enbridge terminal in Superior, Wisconsin. Besides clearing the legal challenges, Calgary-based Enbridge also needs state and federal permits, which the company hopes to secure around end of the year.

Sources:
chron
reuters

Enbridge's Line 3 Pipeline Opening Delayed in Minnesota

The startup plans of Line 3 replacement crude oil pipeline through northern Minnesota by the Canadian-based Enbridge Energy is delayed by a year, the company said on Friday. The company now expects the new pipeline to go into service in the second half of 2020.

The project was approved last summer by the state’s Public Utilities Commission and the initial plan was to put the pipeline into service in the second half of 2019.

But the Minnesota Department of Commerce argued that Enbridge failed to provide legally adequate long-range demand forecasts to establish that is needed.

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz recently said his administration will keep pursuing an appeal of an independent regulatory commission's approval of Enbridge's plan.

According to Enbridge Energy, Line 3 is increasingly prone to cracking and corrosion, and wants to be replaced. But the Native American and environmental activists argue the project risks spills in pristine areas.

Source:
abcnews

Enbridge's Line 3 Approval Gets Reconfirmation

Minnesota regulators have reconfirmed their support for Enbridge’s Line 3 replacement that crosses northern Minnesota.

The company is looking to replace its aging crude oil pipeline, but is faced with fierce opposition.

The Public Utilities Commission on Monday rejected a motion by opponents to reconsider its previous decision to grant a certificate of need for the project.

The commissioners agreed that Enbridge met several additional conditions imposed in June, including requirements for insurance coverage against spills and financial assurance for covering costs of removing pipeline after the end of its life.

Environmental and tribal groups upsettingly walked out of the hearing and marched to the office of Gov. Elect Tim Walz after the decision was made.

Source:
CBS Minnesota - WCCO


 

Protestors Rally Outside Governor's Mansion After Enbridge Given Line 3 Permission

Protesters rallied outside the Minnesota governor’s mansion in St. Paul three days after a state regulator gave Enbridge permission to replace its 50-year-old Line 3 oil pipeline.

The pipeline will follow an existing path from Canada to Wisconsin, going through Minnesota before bypassing the Leech Lake reservation. Enbridge’s decision to replace the aging pipeline is said to double oil transportation as well as create jobs and generate revenue. Critics believe that the company chose money over the environment despite Enbridge's efforts to minimize any chance of enviornmental damage.

Passionate protesters have said that they won’t make it easy to build the pipeline, vowing to create physical blocks if legal ones fail.

Enbridge plans to finish the new pipeline within a year but is required to remove any parts of the old line that are not being used as well as guarantee cleanup of any environmental damage.

Source: 
Kare11

Regulators Near Decision on Line 3 Proposal, Protestors to Canoe to Hearing

Minnesota regulators have decided that there will be two days of final arguments regarding Enbridge Energy’s proposal for replacing outdated oil pipelines from Canada across Minnesota.

As the regulators near a decision on Enbridge’s proposal, environmental groups are urging the Public Utility Commission to reject the proposal because of the risks to the environment and the rights of indigenous people.

Both parties are urging supporters to show up at the hearing. One opponent of the Line 3 proposal is reportedly willing to canoe to the St.Paul hearing, bringing the canoe into the proceedings.

Enbridge will have the updated pipeline on a different route from the previous deteriorating Line 3 crude oil pipeline, which crosses through an environmentally sensitive area where lakes and wetlands are present. Native Americans use the land to harvest wild rice, fish and claim treaty rights.

Whatever the commission decides, it is likely that the case will end up in court, says PUC Chair Nancy Lange. There is also worry of a large-scale protest in the case Enbridge gets the green light.

Source:
CNBC

Poll Confirms Minnesotans Support Increase Use of Pipelines to Avoid Increasing Oil-By-Rail

A Public Opinion Research study by the Ag Energy Alliance shows that Minnesotans support the increased use of pipelines to avoid increasing the number of oil trains that travel across Minnesota.

The study, released last week, also confirms that the majority of Minnesotans support infrastructure upgrades like Enbridge's Line 3 replacement project in order to prevent safety and efficiency problems that are caused by an increased use of oil-by-rail.

The Minnesota Grain and Feed Association added that oil needs to move by pipeline in order to avoid clogging up the rail systems and burdening transportation of their products.

Lance Klatt, a member of the Ag Energy Alliance, said Enbridge's Line 3 replacement project should occur along the proposed route to avoid the interruption of service from an in-trench replacement which would come at a significant cost to farmers and other customers of the Alliance.

In late April an administrative law judge ruled that the Line 3 replacement project should be approved by the state's Public Utilities Commission but not for the proceed but only if Enbridge built the line along the existing route and not the proposed and company-preferred route.

Source:
PennEnergy

Minnesota Governor Vetoes Bill that Would Expedite Construction on Enbridge Line 3 Oil Pipeline

Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton vetoed legislation that would have expedited the start of construction on Enbridge's Line 3 oil pipeline through the state.

The legislation would have interrupted a three-year regulatory process headed by the state Public Utilities Commission that is nearly complete. The commission is slated to make a decision on the project in June.

Dayton said the legislation pre-empts the PUC process that has been established in law. He also said the bill disregards the input of thousands of state residents who have spent time participating in the long regulatory process.

The bill was introduced by Republican legislators who aimed to jumpstart construction on the project that they argue will provide an economic boost for the state.

Enbridge is proposing this $2.6 billion pipeline project in order to replace its aging Line 3 oil pipeline that is corroding and causing potential safety concerns. The pipeline would transport Canadian oil to the company's terminal in Wisconsin.

Source:
Star Tribune

Minnesota Senate Passes Bill to Jumpstart Enbridge Line 3 Construction

The Minnesota Senate has voted to pass a bill that would jumpstart construction of Enbridge's proposed Line 3 replacement project across the northern part of the state.

The House passed the legislation on Monday that says Enbridge can start work on replacing the aging Line 3 crude oil pipeline, but the Senate on Wednesday made a slight amendment to it that the House must agree with before sending it to Governor Mark Dayton who has promised to veto the bill.

The bill would bypass the state's Public Utilities Commission, which is scheduled to make a decision on the pipeline proposal in June.

Enbridge says the old 1,000-mile Line 3 oil pipeline is corroding and is very costly to maintain, requiring the need for a replacement pipeline in order to boost safety and pipeline capacity.

Many against the project have threatened a repeat of the protests that occurred in North Dakota near the Standing Rock reservation that delayed construction on the Dakota Access Pipeline for several months.

Opponents of the proposed replacement project fear the impact on climate change and waterways.

Source:
PennEnergy

Judge Tells Minnesota Regulators to Approve Line 3, but Not Enbridge's Preferred Route

An administrative law judge on Monday told Minnesota regulators that they should approve Enbridge's proposed Line 3 oil pipeline but not the route that Enbridge has proposed for the replacement project.

Instead, administrative law judge Ann O'Reilly said in her recommendation that the pipeline project should only be approved if Enbridge replaces the existing line in its current location, citing integrity concerns with the current 50-year-old Line 3 pipeline.

O'Reilly said building the new Line 3 along a new route has more consequences than benefits for the state of Minnesota.

O'Reilly's recommendation comes after hearing days of testimony from the public and reading written comments submitted about the project. More than 72,000 written comments were submitted about the project, and 68,244 of them opposed it, according to O'Reilly.

The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission had been waiting for an official recommendation from O'Reilly before making a final decision on the pipeline project. The commission is expected to make a final decision in June.

Enbridge says the old 1,000-mile Line 3 oil pipeline is corroding and is very costly to maintain, requiring the need for a replacement pipeline in order to boost safety and pipeline capacity.

Many against the project have threatened a repeat of the protests that occurred in North Dakota near the Standing Rock reservation that delayed construction on the Dakota Access Pipeline for several months.

Source:
MPR News

Minnesota Governor Vows to Veto Bill Aimed to Kick-Start Enbridge Pipeline Construction

Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton said last week that he would veto a bill aimed to kick start construction of Enbridge’s Line 3 crude oil pipeline through the northern part of the state.

The proposed 1,031-mile replacement project has gone through a years-long approval process and is close to the end as the state’s Public Utilities Commission approved the final environmental review of the replacement project last month.

The commission is scheduled to vote on the pipeline route and construction in June, but House Republicans argue construction has taken long enough and should begin immediately.

A House committee passed a bill last week that would authorize immediate construction for the project, but Governor Dayton said he would veto the bill if it came up for a final vote because the bill is politically motivated and would trample the state’s regulatory process.

Enbridge's new Line 3 oil pipeline would take the place of the old Line 3 that dates back to 1960 and can no longer run at full capacity due to safety issues and lack of latest technologies. The new Line 3 would follow the existing Line 3 route from North Dakota to Minnesota and then create a new path to Wisconsin.

Source:
PennEnergy

Minnesota Department of Commerce Releases Amended Environmental Review of Enbridge Line 3 Oil Pipeline

Proposed Route for Enbridge Line 3 Oil Pipeline Replacement   (Enbridge)

Proposed Route for Enbridge Line 3 Oil Pipeline Replacement (Enbridge)

The Minnesota Department of Commerce on Monday released its amended environmental impact statement for Enbridge's proposed Line 3 oil pipeline after the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission asked the commerce department to make clarifications to its original review in December.

The original environmental review released by the commerce department late last year was fundamentally flawed, according to the PUC, who said it lacked an assessment of large spills and needed more information covering alternative routes to Enbridge's preferred Line 3 route.

The PUC is scheduled to vote on the new environmental impact statement's adequacy sometime this month and to vote on whether the pipeline is needed in June.

Enbridge's new Line 3 oil pipeline would take the place of the old Line 3 that dates back to 1960 and can no longer run at full capacity due to safety issues and lack of latest technologies. The new 1,031-mile Line 3 would follow the existing Line 3 route from North Dakota to Minnesota and then create a new path to Wisconsin.

Source:
Pipeline Technology Journal
StarTribune

Magellan Midstream Fuel Pipeline Leaks 500 Barrels of Gasoline in Minnesota

Magellan Midstream Partners on Monday said it estimates a total of 500 barrels of gasoline leaked from its 12-inch pipeline system in Eagan, Minnesota.

The leak was caused by third-party excavation equipment, according to Magellan Midstream.

Several roads near the area were temporarily closed down, and some businesses in the immediate area were evacuated.

Emergency responders and regulators are on site, but Magellan said it does not yet have a definitive timeline for repairs to be complete.

Source:
Reuters

Minnesota Regulators Reject Environmental Review of Enbridge Line 3, Ask for Revisions

The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission has rejected the Environmental Impact Statement for Enbridge's proposed Line 3 oil pipeline, saying it is inadequate and needs revision.

The commission has directed the Minnesota Department of Commerce, which conducted the environmental review, to revise three parts of the statement within 60 days. The commission also requested that the Commerce Department give more information on how an alternative route could be altered to avoid geologic formations.

Opponents of the pipeline project, such as American Indian tribes and environmental groups, criticized the review made by the state Department of Commerce, saying it does not address the impact of a potential oil spill into waterways or wilderness.

Enbridge's Line 3 is the pipeline operator's largest project to date, spanning 1,031 miles. It would replace an aging existing pipeline with advanced materials, the latest technology, and would undergo construction with the most superior methods, according to Enbridge.

The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission won't make a decision on the 340-mile segment that runs through the state until at least April next year.

Source:
Houston Chronicle

Minnesota PUC Says Enbridge Must Publicly Report Line 3 Oil Spill Projections

The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) voted Thursday that Enbridge Energy must publicly disclose its projections for potential oil spills from its proposed Line 3 pipeline replacement project.

Enbridge submitted its modeling dataset, which includes the probability of large spills at seven water crossings in northern Minnesota, to the Minnesota Department of Commerce but had much of the data redacted from the public version of the dataset for safety and security reasons.

The state's PUC voted to release the spill information to the public anyway, arguing that the data should be public and that the information is not likely to cause a security threat.

Enbridge Energy is seeking permission in Minnesota to replace a part of its aging Line 3 pipeline that currently only runs at approximately half of its original capacity for safety reasons. The pipeline runs from Alberta through North Dakota and Minnesota to Wisconsin. Construction on the $7.5 billion project has already begun in Canada and Wisconsin.

Environmentalists and tribal groups are strongly against the pipeline and have cut short public hearings on the project. Minnesota's PUC recently canceled two hearings that had been scheduled in St. Cloud on Thursday due to logistical and safety issues.

Source:
Houston Chronicle

Minnesota Department of Commerce Argues Against Enbridge Proposed Line 3

The Minnesota Department of Commerce said Monday that Enbridge has not established enough need for its proposal to replace its aging Line 3 pipeline across the state and that it might be better to just shut down the existing line.

Enbridge has proposed to replace its Line 3 crude oil pipeline, built in the 1960s, which carries Canadian crude to its terminal in Superior, Wisconsin. The company says the existing line needs replacing because it currently only handles about half of its potential capacity and is constantly in need of maintenance due to its age.

The Minnesota Department of Commerce argues that refineries in Minnesota and the upper Midwest already have enough supply of crude oil and do not have much capacity to process more of it. It also argues that the environmental risks of the proposed Line 3 outweigh the benefits to Minnesota.

The state's Public Utilities Commission will make the ultimate decision whether to grant Enbridge a certificate to build, which is independent from the Department of Commerce.

The Public Utilities Commission is scheduled to make a decision in April on the proposed $2.9 billion, 1,031-mile project after extensive further proceedings and more changes for public comment.

Enbridge calls the proposed infrastructure critical and says the line would be replaced with advanced materials, the latest technology, and would undergo construction with the most superior methods.

Source:
Enbridge
Houston Chronicle

Minnesota Regulators Release Final Environmental Review of Enbridge Proposed Line 3 Replacement

The Minnesota Commerce Department on Thursday released its final environmental review of Enbridge's proposal to replace its aging Line 3 oil pipeline that carries Canadian tar sands crude across Minnesota to Wisconsin.

The final review has been updated and expanded several times since its draft release in May, growing to more than 2,000 pages with 12,000 pages of appendices.

The review will inform Minnesota Public Utilities Commission as it decides whether the pipeline project is needed. The commission is scheduled to make a decision by December 11 whether the final review meets the legal requirements and should give its final approval or disapproval to the project on April 30.

The proposed $7.5 billion project would restore the original capacity of the old pipeline to 760,000 barrels per day from its restricted 390,000 barrels. Enbridge says the replacement would help the vital line continue to meet the demand for Canadian oil from refineries in the U.S.

Source:
ABC News

Minnesota to Hold 22 Meetings On Largest Pipeline Project in Enbridge History

Minnesota regulators are planning to open a series of 22 meetings on Enbridge's Line 3 oil pipeline project, its largest pipeline project in history, to give the public a chance to comment on a draft environmental review for the project that was released last month.

The meetings will be held along the proposed route of the line across northern Minnesota. A final decision on the route from the state is not expected until next year.

Enbridge's Line 3 pipeline would replace an existing 1960s pipeline that has been subject to deterioration due to age and can no longer perform at maximum capacity. The $7.5 billion, 1,031-mile replacement project would restore the pipeline from 390,000 barrels per day back to 760,000 barrels per day. The existing line runs from Alberta, Canada to northwestern Minnesota.

The Minnesota Department of Commerce will host public meetings from June 6 to June 22, taking both public testimony and written statements. Those hearings will be followed by more hearings in September and October.

A decision is expected next April by the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission on whether to grant a certificate of need and route permit for the project.

Source:
Enbridge Energy
Houston Chronicle