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File photo of Enbridge president and CEO Al Monaco.

Chris Young/THE CANADIAN PRESS

Enbridge Inc., Canada's largest oil pipeline operator, plans to spend $38-billion through 2019 on new projects including liquids and natural gas lines, as well as power generation and gas processing, Chief Executive Officer Al Monaco said.

"We have so many opportunities, but many come with a higher degree of risk," he said during an presentation to investors Wednesday in Toronto. Enbridge's previous spending plan lasted from 2014 to 2018 and had $44-billion of projects.

Enbridge is focusing on expanding "low-cost, incremental" projects like twinning existing pipelines to provide producers with new transportation capacity as they struggle with low crude prices, Monaco said. The company's $7.5-billion Line 3 replacement is the largest project.

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While oil and gas producers have been reeling from the collapse of energy prices, firing workers and cutting costs, pipeline fees have provided a steadier source of income. Lines such as Enbridge's Flanagan South and Seaway Twin have expanded Canadian crude shipments to the Gulf Coast, and the operator also plans to expand in Colombia and Australia.

Enbridge is doing "early development" work on a plan to twin Line 61, which runs from Superior, Wisconsin, to Flanagan, Illinois, where the company operates a terminal, said Guy Jarvis, president of the company's liquids pipelines division. Expansion of the Mainline system, which carries crude from Western Canada to Superior and may be increased by 800,000 barrels per day, requires the Line 61 expansion to avoid a bottleneck, he said.

Enbridge rose 1.7 per cent to $55.16 at 9:35 a.m. in Toronto. The stock has fallen 7.5 per cent this year.

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