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Enbridge proposes oil pipeline to Superior, Wis.

MINOT -- An Enbridge Pipelines proposal would transport Bakken crude from northwest North Dakota to Superior, Wis., expanding export capacity and increasing market opportunities.

Enbridge is in the early planning stages for the Sandpiper Pipeline, which could transport about 225,000 barrels per day, said Katie Haarsager, community relations adviser for Enbridge.

If it's approved, the earliest it could go into service is late 2015 or early 2016.

"It's still pretty high level in the development stage," Haarsager said.

The exact route for the 500-plus-mile pipeline is still being determined, but it would run from the Beaver Lodge area south of Tioga to the main Enbridge terminal in Superior.

Where possible, the pipeline would run parallel to Enbridge's existing line, said Bob Steede, general manager of Enbridge Pipelines North Dakota.

"The advantage of getting it to Superior is that it gets it onto the Enbridge mainline system, which can go to any of Enbridge's delivery points in the United States," Steede said. "Getting it to the main Enbridge system gets that combination of market opportunity at a competitive price."

Enbridge's current capacity in North Dakota is 275,000 barrels per day.

By the first quarter of 2013, it's expected to expand to 425,000 barrels per day with the completion of the Bakken Expansion Program.

The Sandpiper Pipeline would be Enbridge's largest project in North Dakota, but its size is not uncommon when compared to other Enbridge projects nationwide, Steede said.

Enbridge officials are working with shippers to see what interest there is in the project, Haarsager said. The next step will be to work with regulatory agencies in North Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin.