Vantage gains NEB approval of ethane pipeline

Vantage Pipeline Canada ULC has received National Energy Board approval of its Vantage Pipeline Project ethane line. The $240 million project will carry 45,000 b/d of liquid ethane from Hess Corp.’s natural gas processing plant near Tioga, ND, through Saskatchewan to interconnect with the Alberta Ethane Gathering System (AEGS) near Empress, Alta., for use in Alberta’s petrochemical industry.

The Canadian portion of the 700-km project will involve building and operating 578.3 km of new 273-mm OD, high-vapor pressure steel pipeline, from the Canada-US border near Beaubier, Sask., to the AEGS, crossing 573.8 km in Saskatchewan and 4.5 km in Alberta. Vantage has routed the pipeline so it will be within or alongside existing pipelines and road right-of-way for about 503.7 km.

Vantage’s capacity will be expandable to 60,000 b/d if warranted by production expansion in the Williston basin. Vantage expects to begin construction in this year’s first-half and finish late this year (OGJ Online, Feb. 14, 2011).

NEB accepted Vantage’s arguments that Alberta’s domestic ethane supply is declining and will continue to decline for some time and that there will be sufficient future ethane supplies and processing capacity available for the project to be viable over its economic life.

Contact Christopher E. Smith at chriss@ogjonline.com.

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