UPDATE 1-Enbridge defends plan to sell capacity on Mainline oil network

(Adds details on Mainline conversion)

By Rod Nickel

WINNIPEG, Manitoba, Jan 30 (Reuters) – Canadian pipeline company Enbridge Inc said on Thursday its plan to sell nearly all capacity on the Mainline oil network for the long term is fair to shippers of all types and would benefit the western Canadian industry.

Enbridge plans to allow shippers to book 90% of space under contracts on the nearly 3 million barrel per day Mainline, Canada’s biggest oil pipeline system, rather than continue to ration space on a monthly basis.

It made its application in December to the Canada Energy Regulator.

“We went to great lengths in this proposal to make sure every producer, no matter how big or small, had an option to be involved,” Chief Executive Al Monaco said at a CIBC investor conference in Banff, Alberta. “Fair access to everyone is a key tenet.”

The change will result in improved netback pricing for shippers and will better link the region’s oil with U.S. refiners and export channels, Monaco said. (Reporting by Rod Nickel in Winnipeg, Manitoba; Editing by Tom Brown)

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