Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Enbridge announces $1.2 billion looping of Athabasca Pipeline

CALGARY, Alta. - Enbridge Inc. announced on Sept. 12 that it will loop the southern section of its Athabasca Pipeline from Kirby Lake, Alta., to the Hardisty, Alta., crude oil hub at an estimated cost of approximately $1.2 billion.

The looped line will initially add approximately 450,000 barrels per day (b/d) of capacity between these points, with low-cost expansion potential to 800,000 b/d.

The line is expected to be capable of accepting initial volumes by early 2015, with its full initial capacity available by 2016.

The new line will include approximately 210 miles of 36-inch pipeline largely within the existing Athabasca Pipeline right-of-way.

The new line is designed to accommodate the need for additional capacity to serve Kirby area oilsands growth, beyond the expansion of the existing 30-inch pipeline to its maximum capacity of 570,000 b/d which was announced in the fall of 2010.

Transferring existing Kirby area volumes to the new 36-inch line from the existing 30-inch line will also free up the latter to accommodate additional long-haul volumes originating from the Cheecham or Athabasca terminals further upstream on the Athabasca System.

"Twinning our Athabasca system south of Kirby represents a highly efficient solution to the needs we are seeing for additional long-haul and short-haul capacity into Hardisty, leveraging off the advantages of our existing asset base and right-of-way," said Stephen J. Wuori, president, Liquids Pipelines.

"Based on our recent construction experience, we expect to create about 545 person years of employment in building the twinning project," said Wuori. "As we move through construction, those crews will be purchasing goods and services, as well as housing and food from local retailers. Once in operation, the pipeline will generate significant tax revenues for communities along the right-of-way."

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