More easements are filed as Enbridge delays project
By Sarah Smithssmith@parkrapidsenterprise.com Forty-five new easement agreements have been filed in Hubbard County over the Sandpiper oil pipeline as Enbridge announced Tuesday the project will likely be delayed a year into 2017. Delays in the re...
By Sarah Smith
Forty-five new easement agreements have been filed in Hubbard County over the Sandpiper oil pipeline as Enbridge announced Tuesday the project will likely be delayed a year into 2017.
Delays in the regulatory process have prompted the company to file a “material change” document that alerts stockholders to modifications in the project, something required under law by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The 45 easement agreements filed locally were to take advantage of supposedly higher payments to landowners by Oct. 1. What those incentives were and how much the company has paid for the easements is unknown and a closely guarded secret. All 45 were recorded Oct. 1.
Officials at the Hubbard County Recorder’s Office said they didn’t know what the incentives were.
The 616-mile pipeline from Tioga, N.D., to Superior, Wis., has run into regulatory hurdles in Minnesota.
Foremost was the decision to split the certificate of need process from the route process, something Enbridge officials had hoped would be considered simultaneously. The initial projection was to begin construction in late 2014 or early 2015, with a completion date of 2016.
Pipes for the Sandpiper oil pipeline are piling up in northern Hubbard County on a site east of Lake George for the project.
Earlier, Enbridge executed 11 leases on property designated for the Sandpiper.
Last month, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission indicated it might consider other possible routes. The route preferred by Enbridge runs along the western edge of Hubbard County, then juts east near Park Rapids and follows the county’s southern borderline.
The pipeline has been proposed to ease a bottleneck of crude oil coming from North Dakota’s Bakken formation.
Enbridge says the cheapest and most effective way to ship the crude to terminals out east is to use pipelines. The project will cost an estimated $2.6 billion and move nearly 16 million gallons of crude oil per day.
Separation of the route and need hearings means the project will likely undergo stricter scrutiny as each element is analyzed.