Enbridge files ERCB application to twin Athabasca oil line

Enbridge Pipelines (Athabasca) Inc. applied with Canada’s Energy Resources Conservation Board for licenses to build a crude oil pipeline with two pump stations from Kirby Lake Terminal south to Battle River Terminal, in the Hardisty, Alta., crude hub. The 344-km pipeline would transport hydrogen sulfide-free crude using new pump stations at the existing Kirby Lake and at Bonnyville Station facilities.

The construction is part of Enbridge’s Athabasca Pipeline Twinning Project and will generally follow the company’s existing Athabasca Pipeline right-of-way, using 36-in. OD pipe. 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 (OGJ Online, Sept. 13, 2011).

Enbridge expects to start work on the project in late 2013 pending regulatory approvals, starting with pump station construction in October 2013 and continuing with clearing the right-of-way and building the pipeline once frozen ground conditions exist in December 2013. Enbridge expect initial shipments by early 2015 and full initial capacity to be available by 2016.

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.

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

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