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Enbridge confident in pipeline project after Dakota Access decision

Enbridge Energy Partners is confident that a replacement of an oil pipeline that cuts across northern Minnesota will be completed, despite recent outcry over the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline in neighboring North Dakota.

Enbridge is planning to replace much of its Line 3 pipeline, which runs from Edmonton, Alta., to Superior, Wis. The oil pipeline was constructed in the 1960s, and the Calgary, Alta., company hopes to have the new line in service in 2019.

Before then, it will need to go through the regulatory process in Minnesota, which provided some challenges for Enbridge's Sandpiper, a new pipeline that was to run from western North Dakota to Superior. The company shelved that project in early September after low prices caused a slowdown in oil production.

The Sandpiper decision also came after Enbridge and Marathon Petroleum Corp. announced plans to invest in the Dakota Access Pipeline, which has been delayed by months-long protests near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in southern North Dakota. The Department of the Army handed protesters a victory Sunday by announcing it would deny an easement for the pipeline to cross under Lake Oahe.

Still, Paul Eberth, project director for Enbridge, said the company was confident in the success of the Line 3 project. The new pipeline would run from Kittson County in northwest Minnesota to Clearbrook before heading south to the northern edge of Wadena County, where it would turn east toward the Duluth area.

"It'll improve the safety and efficiency of transportation in Minnesota," Eberth said.