Fort Hills Energy LP has selected TransCanada Corp. to design, build, own, and operate the proposed Northern Courier Pipeline project. Northern Courier is a 90-km pipeline system to transport bitumen and diluent between the Fort Hills mine site and the Voyageur upgrader north of Fort McMurray, Alta.
Northern Courier is fully subscribed under long-term contract to service the Fort Hills Mine, which is jointly owned by Suncor Energy Inc., Total E&P Canada Ltd., and Teck Resources Ltd. and operated by Suncor Energy Operating Inc.
TransCanada expects to file its initial regulatory application later this year at which time it will provide a more-detailed project schedule. Pipeline routing is still being determined.
The $660 million Northern Courier project is conditional on the Fort Hills project receiving sanction by its co-owners and obtaining regulatory approval. The project will be operated by Northern Courier Pipeline GP Ltd., a wholly owned TransCanada subsidiary.
Total and Suncor formed a strategic oil sands alliance in late 2010 encompassing Fort Hills, the Total-operated Joslyn mining project, and the Suncor-operated Voyageur upgrader. Suncor and Total agreed to develop Fort Hills and Voyageur in parallel so that both come on stream in early 2016 (OGJ Online, Dec. 20, 2010).
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