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Crude Oil September 30, 2021 03:01:54 AM

Enbridge’s Long-Delayed Line 3 Oil Pipeline Project to Startup Oct 1.

Anil
Mathews
OilMonster Author
The finished project assures Canadian producers their growing oil sands crude output will have access to U.S. markets and global exports via the U.S. Gulf Coast.
Enbridge’s Long-Delayed Line 3 Oil Pipeline Project to Startup Oct 1.

SEATTLE (Oil Monster): Enbridge Inc (ENB.TO) said on Wednesday its Line 3 pipeline replacement project will begin operating on Oct. 1, the first successful major expansion of Canadian crude export capacity in six years, clearing hurdles that other projects were unable to overcome.

Its completion is welcome news for the Canadian energy sector after a number of proposed pipelines, including TC Energy's (TRP.TO) Keystone XL, were scrapped due to environmental opposition and regulatory delays.

The $8.2 billion project allows Enbridge to roughly double its capacity to 760,000 barrels per day on the 1,765 km-long (1097 mile-long) pipeline.

Line 3, built in the 1960s, carries oil from Edmonton, Alberta, to refineries in the U.S. Midwest, but for years was transporting less than its capacity because of age and corrosion. The project was opposed by environmental and Native American groups, particularly in Minnesota, the last stage of the expansion.

Construction in both the United States and Canada took more than seven years to finish, butthe project succeeded where other projects have run aground because it was replacing an old line, rather than one starting from scratch, Leo Golden, Enbridge’s vice president of Line 3 Project Execution, told Reuters in an interview.

"This was a safety driven project about replacing existing, aging infrastructure so that set it apart from some of those other projects," Golden said.

The 542-kilometre Minnesota section of Line 3 is the last part of the pipeline to come in service, following already-completed segments in Canada, North Dakota and Wisconsin.

Golden said Enbridge will start filling the line on Oct. 1 and offer full capacity of 760,000 barrels per day in November. Earlier this month, the company told shippers it would offer 620,000 bpd of crude capacity in October. 

He said in future adding capacity through optimizing and expanding existing pipelines would likely be the way the industry goes, given the challenges around building new infrastructure, a view echoed by trade union leaders in the United States.

"The maintenance industry is our future, the lifeline of the oil and gas (pipeline) industry," said Phillip Wallace, business representative for Pipeliners Union 798, which worked on the proejct in Minnesota. "Line 3 was the big boy that needed replacing badly."

The finished project assures Canadian producers their growing oil sands crude output will have access to U.S. markets and global exports via the U.S. Gulf Coast.

Line 3 is the first major Canadian oil pipeline expansion to be completed since Enbridge's Alberta Clipper project, finished in 2015. However, since 2019 Enbridge has also optimized parts of its existing Mainline system, adding roughly 150,000 bpd of capacity.

 Courtesy: www.reuters.com

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