Enbridge to twin Athabasca crude oil pipeline

Enbridge Inc. will build a second pipeline beside the existing southern section of its Athabasca crude oil pipeline from Kirby Lake, Alta. to the Hardisty, Alta., hub. Enbridge estimates the cost at $1.2 billion, bringing total planned expansion or additions to its Regional Oil Sands System to $3.6 billion during 2011-15.

The twin line initially will add about 450,000 b/d of capacity between these points, with low-cost expansion potential to 800,000 b/d, according to Enbridge. Enbridge expect initial shipments by early 2015 and full initial capacity to be available by 2016.

The new line will use roughly 345 km of 36-in. OD pipeline largely within the existing Athabasca Pipeline right-of-way.

Enbridge described the new line as addressing the need for additional capacity to serve Kirby area oil sands growth, beyond already announced plans to expand the existing 30-in. OD pipeline to its maximum 570,000 b/d capacity.

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

Enbridge agreed in September 2010 to provide pipeline and terminaling services through Cheecham to the Husky Energy-operated Sunrise Oil Sands Project (OGJ Online, Sept. 10, 2010). Sunrise Phase 1 construction is scheduled for 2010-14 (OGJ Online, Feb. 7, 2011), while Phase 2 is in pre-engineering and cost review. Husky expects Phase 1 to produce 60,000 b/d and has regulatory approvals in place for 200,000 b/d total production.

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