Enbridge gets government approval for pipelines

Enbridge received Canadian Governor-in-Council approval on its Alberta Clipper expansion and Southern Lights pipeline projects—an important step towards final government certification, including NEB approval.

Christopher E. Smith
Pipeline Editor

HOUSTON, May 16 -- Enbridge Inc. received Canadian Governor-in-Council approval on its Alberta Clipper expansion and Southern Lights pipeline projects—an important step towards final government certification, including National Energy Board approval. Certain state and federal approvals remain pending in the US.

Alberta Clipper involves construction of a 36-in. OD, 1,000-mile oil pipeline from Hardisty, Alta., to Superior, Wis. Pending US regulatory approvals, the pipeline will be in service mid-2010. The pipeline will have an initial capacity of 450,000 b/d, with possible expansion up to 800,000 b/d. Alberta Clipper will be integrated with, and form part of, the existing Enbridge Pipelines system in Canada and the Enbridge Energy Partners' Lakehead system in the US. Enbridge anticipates beginning construction of Alberta Clipper project Canada later this summer.

This line is designed to resolve expected capacity constraints after the 2009 completion of Enbridge's Southern Access expansion (42-in., 800,000-b/d maximum capacity from Hardisty to the international border near Neche, ND, with new pipeline between Superior, Wis., and Flanagan, Ill., on Enbridge's Lakehead system) as supplies from Western Canada continue to increase. Initial Clipper capacity will be 450,000 b/d, with ultimate capacity of up to 800,000 b/d available.

Enbridge expects crude supply from Western Canada oil sands developments to grow by as much as 1.8 million b/d by 2015 (OGJ, Feb. 18, 2008, p. 46).

Southern Lights is a proposed pipeline to transport diluent from the US Midwest to Edmonton, Alta. The project includes reversal of an existing Enbridge crude oil pipeline as well as new construction in Canada and the US. The Southern Lights diluent pipeline will have a capacity of 180,000 bpd. Enbridge anticipates beginning construction in Canada later this summer for the line to enter service by 2010.

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

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