Minnesota regulators are to examine plans for a new pipeline that would carry crude oil from the Bakken Shale in North Dakota to Minnesota and Wisconsin, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
The proposal for the construction of the Sandpiper pipeline has been submitted to the state's Public Utilities Commission by Canadian pipeline operator Enbridge Energy. It is planned that the facility would run 299 miles from the oilfields in North Dakota to a terminal that Enbridge runs in Superior, Wis. The part going through Minnesota is estimated to create about 1,500 temporary jobs and would cost $1.2 billion out of the total value of $2.6 billion. If the project gets approved, pipeline construction is set to start in the final quarter if 2014 and is expected to be completed by early 2016.
Enbridge has chosen to follow the route of an existing pipeline that leads to Clearbook in northern Minnesota and then goes south, around Park Rapids, and then east through Carlton County before reaching Superior. About three-quarters of this segment will be following existing rail and transmission lines, the company said.
The approval process will include assessments, public meetings and opportunities for members of the public to submit written comments. Pat Mikesh, mayor of Park Rapids, told the Star Tribune of Minneapolis that the pipeline would bring valuable jobs to the area but also stated that he was pleased the project would not run through the city.