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Officials: Canadian oil won't hurt ND production

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 10, 2014 at 12:41 pm •  Published: March 10, 2014

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The proposed but controversial multibillion-dollar pipelines that would bring a flood of Canadian tar sands oil to the U.S. likely won't hinder North Dakota's soaring crude production, state and industry officials say.

More than 1 million total barrels of tar sand oil from Canada's Alberta province would move through the pair of pipelines, destined for different U.S. refineries than North Dakota's crude, according to Justin Kringstad, director of the North Dakota Pipeline Authority, and Ron Ness, president of the North Dakota Petroleum Council.

The heavy sour crude from Canada is of lower value and more difficult to refine than North Dakota's light sweet crude.

"Here we are awash in oil," said Ness, whose company represents more than 500 companies in western North Dakota's oil patch. "But all these refineries have different crude requirements."

The Calgary-based pipeline companies planning the projects also have a big stake in moving crude from North Dakota, the nation's No. 2 oil producer behind Texas.

"I don't think it will have an impact," Kringstad said of the competing crude from Canada on North Dakota production.

Enbridge Inc. announced a $7 billion plan last week to replace and increase the capacity of a crude oil pipeline that runs from Canada to Wisconsin. That project, which would bump the pipeline's capacity from 410,000 barrels daily to 760,000, is in addition to Calgary-based TransCanada Inc.'s long-delayed $5.3 billion Keystone XL pipeline.

TransCanada's project, which has been stalled by environmental objections, would move 830,000 barrels of oil a day from Canada to Texas' Gulf Coast refineries, as well as about 100,000 barrels of domestic oil daily from North Dakota's Bakken region.

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