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Minnesota Pipe Line Company looks to make improvements

UNDATED (WSAU-Wheeler News)  A Minnesota company is asking that state to endorse improvements to a crude oil pipeline that helps provide gas-and-diesel fuel to a good share of Wisconsin.

The Minnesota Pipe Line Company has asked the Public Utilities Commission in the Gopher State to approve a half-dozen new pumping stations, and improvements at two existing sites. It would allow the newest of the company's four pipelines to carry 350,000 barrels of crude each day to two refineries in the Twin Cities region. That's twice the line's current capacity. The firm says the added capacity is not meant to increase the amount of refined oil -- but it will keep the raw product flowing whenever the other three pipelines are down for maintenance or emergencies. The output at the two refineries is already close to their capacities most of the time.

The Pipe Line Company also emphasizes that the project would not expand its actual pipelines, or create new ones.