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Enbridge's (ENB) Line 5 Tunnel Proposal Gains Michigan Approval

Enbridge Inc. (ENB) emerged victorious in its protracted dispute with the state of Michigan, as the Michigan Public Service Commission (PSC) granted approval for the construction of the Line 5 pipeline tunnel beneath the Straits of Mackinac channel, linking Lake Michigan with Lake Huron, per media reports.

The PSC highlighted the dual importance of the project, citing both a public need for the energy products transported by Line 5 and the necessity of replacing the aging underwater section to safeguard the water of the Great Lakes. According to the commission, Enbridge's tunnel plan emerged as the most prudent option to address these concerns.

Enbridge has consistently argued that the tunnel would substantially reduce the risk of an oil spill in the region. However, governor Gretchen Whitmer issued an order in 2020, calling for the shutdown of Line 5, which plays a crucial role in supplying refineries in Quebec and Ontario.

The Line 5 pipeline, operational under Enbridge's management since 1953, facilitates the transportation of up to 23 million gallons of crude oil and natural gas liquids daily between Superior, WI, and Sarnia, OH.

While the approval from the Michigan PSC marks a significant development, Enbridge's plan must still navigate through additional regulatory hurdles. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is currently in the process of compiling an environmental impact statement, and the final decision on Enbridge's proposal may not be reached until 2026.

Zacks Rank & Key Picks

Currently, Enbridge carries a Zack Rank #3 (Hold).

Some better-ranked stocks in the energy sector are Matador Resources Company MTDR, Liberty Energy Inc. LBRT and Oceaneering International, Inc. OII. While Matador Resources sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), both Liberty Energy and Oceaneering International carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) at present. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Matador Resources is among the leading oil and gas explorers in the shale and unconventional resources in the United States. The company’s prime intention is to create more value for shareholders and generate lucrative returns from the capital invested in unconventional plays.

MTDR’s earnings beat estimates in each of the trailing four quarters, delivering an average surprise of 13.89%.

Liberty Energy is a North American provider of hydraulic fracturing services to upstream energy operators. The company’s multi-basin presence offers an attractive upside opportunity compared with most of its peers. Liberty's strong relationship with high-quality customers provides revenue visibility and business certainty.

LBRT’s earnings beat estimates in three of the trailing four quarters and missed once, delivering an average surprise of 9.88%.

Oceaneering International is a leading provider of integrated technology solutions, active at all phases of the offshore oilfield lifecycle. Its strong relationship with high-quality customers provides revenue visibility and business certainty. OII is well-positioned to supply equipment for deep-water projects.

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