Canada’s Pipeline Transportation System 2016

Montreal Pipe Line Limited’s Montreal Pipe Line

Table 9.5.1: Montreal Pipe Line Limited’s Montreal Pipe Line
Commodity and NEB Group Crude Oil
(Group 2)
Average Operating capacity 44 500 m³/d
(280 Mb/d)
Average utilization 2015 22%
Primary receipt points Portland, ME
Primary delivery points Montreal, QC
Abandonment Cost Estimate and Collection PeriodNote a $19.9 million;
40 years


The Montreal Pipe Line is the Canadian portion of the Portland Montreal Pipe Line (PMPL). PMPL is a 380 km pipeline system that transports eastern Canadian and international crude oil from Portland, ME to Suncor’s refinery and Enbridge’s terminal in Montreal, QC. The PMPL system is comprised of three pipelines along the same right-of-way. The largest pipeline (24-inch) is the only line in operation. The other two pipelines (12-inch and 18-inch) were deactivated in 1982 and 2011, respectively.

Key Developments

The Montreal Pipe Line reported no throughputs from January to March 2016. In December 2015, the Enbridge Line 9 Expansion and Line 9B Reversal Project came into service, enabling Quebec refiners to access western Canadian and U.S. crude oil supply by that pipeline.

Due to the implementation of the Financial Resource Requirements of the Pipeline Safety Act Regulations, Montreal Pipe Line Limited (MPL) indicated its intention in May 2016 to reduce the capacity of its system to less than 39 700 m³/d (250 Mb/d).

MPL submitted an application to the Board in April 2014 to deactivate its St.-Césaire Pump Station and related facilities. The NEB approved the application in May 2014 and deactivation was completed in December 2014.

MPL received regulatory approval on April 2011 to deactivate its 18-inch pipeline between Highwater and Montreal East, QC and deactivation was completed in December 2011.


Figure 9.5.1 illustrates Montreal Pipeline throughput and capacity. Throughput has fallen steadily between 2010 and 2015, averaging 14 200 m³/d (89 Mb/d) in 2014 and 9 700 m³/d (61 Mb/d) in 2015.

Figure 9.5.1: Montreal Pipeline Throughput vs. Capacity

Figure 9.5.1: Montreal Pipeline Throughput vs. Capacity

Sources: Montreal Pipeline, NEB

Text version of this graphic

This bar chart shows throughput and capacity for the Montreal Pipeline between 2010 and 2015. Capacity in 2015 was 44.5 10³m³/d (280 Mb/d). Throughput averaged 9.7 10³m³/d (61 Mb/d) in 2015, compared to 14.2 10³m³/d (89 Mb/d) in 2014.


Figure 9.5.2 shows the Montreal Pipeline benchmark toll (transportation from the U.S. border to Montreal East) and the GDP deflator (normalized) for 2010-2015. The sharp increase in tolls between 2013 and 2014 was a result of decreased throughput. Tolls are regulated on a complaint basis.

Figure 9.5.2: Montreal Pipeline Benchmark Toll

Figure 9.5.2: Montreal Pipeline Benchmark Toll

Source: NEB

Text version of this graphic

This graph shows the Montreal Pipe Line benchmark toll as a solid red line and the GDP deflator as a black dashed line.The toll remained steady between 2010 and 2013 at approximately $0.40. The toll increased to $1.40 in 2014 and again in 2015 to $1.48.


Revenue and net income have decreased due to reduced throughput.

Table 9.5.2: Montreal Pipe Line Ltd. – Yearly
Montreal Pipe Line Ltd. 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Revenues (millions) $77.3 $71.5 $71.2 $64.3 $49.3 $38.6
Net Income (millions) $19.9 $19.1 $22.9 $18.1 $10.1 $6.1
Equity (millions) $38.7 $51.3 $74.2 $90.9 $101.0 $107.1
Top of Page Photos: left: A pump jack silhouetted against the setting sun; centre: The grey valves and wheels of a pump station on clear day; right: Folded hands hold a pen on a board room table in a large meeting room.
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