The Biden administration wants a US appeals court to tell a lower court to reconsider an order that would require Canadian operator Enbridge to drain portions of an oil pipeline that runs through Native American tribal land in Wisconsin.

According to Reuters, the US DOJ told the Chicago-based 7th US Circuit Court of Appeals that forcing Enbridge to drain parts of its Line 5 pipeline could interrupt service in violation of a 1977 treaty between the US and Canada.

The DOJ said the lower court was right to find that Enbridge is trespassing on Native American land but said that it should reconsider demanding Enbridge to cease operating parts of the pipeline by 2026. Canada has previously argued the pipeline should be kept open in light of the treaty.

Native American tribe the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa filed the lawsuit against Enbridge in 2019. In a statement seen by Reuters, Bad River chairman Robert Blanchard said the tribe is grateful that the US agrees that Enbridge’s operation on its land is unlawful but is “disappointed that the US has not unequivocally called for an immediate end to Enbridge’s ongoing trespass”.

Enbridge has offered the tribe $80m (C$110m) to settle the dispute, as it is keen to continue operations, which it sees as vital to the public interest. The pipeline carries 540,000 barrels per day of Canadian oil from Wisconsin to Ontario and is part of the Mainline network.

Enbridge has recently offloaded some of its assets in an attempt to reduce the size of its debts. At the start of this month, the company sold its 50% holding in the Alliance Pipeline and its 42.7% holding in Aux Sable to Pembina Pipeline Corporation for $3.1bn.

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“The divestiture represents a key element of Enbridge’s financing plan. The sale proceeds will fund a portion of the company’s strategic US gas utilities acquisitions and be used for debt reduction,” the company said.