Enbridge Inc, Canada's No. 2 pipeline company, said it will spend about $551 million to raise the capacity of its Bakken crude oil pipeline by 145,000 barrels per day to handle production surge from the oil-rich rock formation.

New technology has enabled companies to extract gas and oil from previously uneconomic shale plays, triggering a boom in production. Bakken -- lying under parts of North Dakota, Montana and southern Saskatchewan -- is touted as having the highest percentage of liquids.

The news of expansion comes even as Enbridge's U.S. affiliate Enbridge Energy Partners EEP.TO said recently the oil spill that fouled a Michigan river system in July could cost it as much as $400 million. [ID:nN17156822]

The current expansion is a series of projects that will provide incremental capacity from North Dakota into the Enbridge mainline at Cromer, Manitoba, by the first quarter of 2013, the company said.

In January, the company had completed an expansion of its North Dakota oil pipeline system, raising its capacity to 161,000 barrels per day. [ID:nN0546884]

Calgary-based Enbridge, whose pipelines ship the bulk of Canada's oil exports to the United States, said the expansion program will involve U.S. projects that will be undertaken by Enbridge Energy Partners for about $370 million.

Canadian projects, on the other hand, will be undertaken by its other affiliate Enbridge Income Fund at a cost of about C$190 million ($180.8 million), the company added. Enbridge Energy Partners has proposed a separate project to expand its pipeline system south of the Missouri river, the company said. Enbridge's shares, which have risen 13 percent in the last six months, were trading flat at C$52.26 Tuesday on the Toronto Stock Exchange. ($1=1.051 Canadian Dollar)

Source: Reuters

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