There's two sides or more to an issue.
High Prairie Pipeline proposes to build the pipeline from the Bakken in North Dakota to an interconnect with Enbridge Energy's Lakehead system at or near Clearbrook, Minn.
High Prairie Pipeline, LLC is a company based in Durango, Colo.
Enbridge, with headquarters in Calgary, Alberta, has numerous offices in other areas in Canada and the United States including in Minot, and transports and distributes energy across North America. It operates the world's longest crude oil and liquids transportation system.
High Prairie Pipeline maintains that Enbridge has refused an interconnection with the High Prairie Pipeline in Clearbrook, Minn., despite having extra capacity in its system, and a legal obligation as a common carrier and interstate pipeline to accept oil for transport in a non-discriminatory fashion, according to the High Prairie Pipeline website update on the project.
Earlier this month, the National Wildlife Federation issued a new global-warming report that includes the High Prairie Pipeline and Enbridge matter.
According to a case study in "Big Oil vs. Medium Oil" that appears in the NWF report:
"Colorado-based High Prairie Pipeline Co. had been in talks with Enbridge to link up to Enbridge's Midwestern system, in order for High Prairie to ship crude produced in the suddenly-booming Bakken oil fields of North Dakota. Current pipeline capacity running out of the Bakken is limited, forcing distributors to use expensive and inefficient means like trucks and rail. High Prairie had planned to build a pipeline from the Bakken to Enbridge's mainline system (the Alberta Clipper) but Enbridge reneged on the agreement, saying that it no longer expected to have capacity on that system in the near future."
"The problem with this argument is that Enbridge operates as a 'common carrier,' which allows it to take advantage of eminent domain laws but also forces Enbridge to share its pipeline space with other companies. High Prairie Pipeline is alleging that Enbridge plans to expand its own shipments in order to boost profits - if Enbridge's scheme involves tar sands (a high likelihood) this would effectively box out domestic producers of conventional crude oil."
Katie Haarsager, community relations adviser with Enbridge in Minot, explained Enbridge's stand on the matter:
High Prairie Pipelines, LLC ("High Prairie") held an open season for a new project which proposed to deliver crude from the Williston Basin of North Dakota to various delivery facilities, including rail, the Minnesota Pipe Line, and Enbridge Energy, Limited Partnership's ("Enbridge") Lakehead System at or near Clearbrook, Minn.
However, High Prairie only requested an interconnection with Enbridge after that open season closed.
After announcing a successful open season, High Prairie approached Enbridge about a possible connection at Clearbrook. Enbridge explained that with the additional 145,000 barrels per day of Bakken crude entering its mainline in January, it would not have sufficient capacity to receive crude from High Prairie at Clearbrook. However, Enbridge presented several reasonable alternatives to allow High Prairie to connect with the Lakehead System while taking into consideration the need for additional pipeline capacity to avoid further apportionment of North Dakota production on existing pipeline infrastructure. Enbridge understood High Prairie to reject these alternatives based on High Prairie's filings, one in opposition of Enbridge's tariff filing and a separate complaint against Enbridge that was filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Committee.
On May 18, the FERC denied High Prairie's protest, noting among other things that "it is not clear that Enbridge Energy has actually denied any request from High Prairie for an interconnection" and that "there is no statutory authority, or judicial or Commission precedent that gives the commission jurisdiction to compel Enbridge Energy to interconnect." We continue to believe High Prairie's additional claims are wholly without merit. Enbridge's response is on file with the FERC requesting that the commission dismiss this complaint just as it denied the earlier protest.
Enbridge has successfully worked with a number of third-party pipeline companies, including Saddle Butte Pipeline, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of High Prairie Pipelines, LLC, to provide pipeline connections and access to its North Dakota system where it is physically capable of receiving and transporting the crude without causing increased apportionment of its system. Enbridge is seeking a business solution to High Prairie's request and remains open to discussing those options. High Prairie has chosen not to engage in further discussions along those lines.