FLANAGAN — An oil pipeline project that will stretch from Flanagan in Livingston County to Oklahoma will carry an increased load of Canadian oil, according to plans announced by Enbridge.

The Canadian oil firm said Monday it plans to upsize the Flanagan South Pipeline from its initial design of a 30-inch pipeline to a 36-inch pipeline capable of carrying 600,000 barrels per day.

The expanded project would boost the price tag of the pipeline from $1.9 billion to $2.9 billion, according to Enbridge. Construction is expected to begin next year and be completed in 2014.

Enbridge spokesman Joe Martucci said the pipeline would generally follow the existing Spearhead pipeline built in the 1960s.

In Central Illinois, the project would cut through LaSalle, Livingston, Woodford and Tazewell counties before heading southwest to Quincy and into Missouri on its way to Cushing, Okla.

Livingston County Board member Carl Borngasser views the project as a possible economic boost for the area.

“I hope there’s new jobs with it because we do need them,” said Borngasser, who said he supports the project.

The project will carry crude oil as part of a larger pipeline between Alberta, Canada, and the Gulf of Mexico.

According to Enbridge, a proposed pipeline between the Flanagan terminal and an oil hub in Patoka in southern Illinois remains on hold because of economic conditions.

In 2010, an appellate court upheld a decision by the Illinois Commerce Commission granting Enbridge permission to build the Central Illinois pipeline.

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(1) comment

mik diel

Your article got one big thing wrong. The Spearhead and after it's completed Enbridge's new pipeline will not carry crude oil. It will carry tar sands oil. Tar sands oil is known in the oil industry as diluted bitumen, or “dilbit.” Dilbit is denser than water and a spill would sink to the bottom of rivers and streams, making any cleanup effort impossible, and indefinitely harming drinking water, wildlife, and recreation.

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