Enbridge Inc., an affiliate of Enbridge Energy Partners, has withdrawn a regulatory application for its $2 billion Sandpiper pipeline which was planned to run from northwestern North Dakota through Minnesota to Lake Superior.
In a press release Enbridge Energy Partners said it plans to defer implementation of the Sandpiper pipeline until such time when crude oil production in North Dakota area recovers from the current slump. Enbridge Energy Partners estimates that new pipeline capacity will not be needed for at least five more years.
Enbridge faced strong opposition in Minnesota including the Ojibwe communities near the headwaters of the Mississippi River. Environmentalists contended Sandpiper would threaten ecologically sensitive areas. Late last year the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission ordered a full environmental impact review of Sandpiper.
Separately, Enbridge has reached a tentative agreement to invest in the Bakken pipeline system as announced in early August. When settled, Enbridge will acquire a 27.6 precent interest in the Bakken system.