Market Snapshot: Enbridge’s Market Access Programs Part II: Capacity on the Canadian Mainline could reach 2.89 Million barrels per day by 2018

Release date: 2015-04-21

Enbridge has identified $34 billion in growth projects, both under construction and prospective, for it and its affiliates. Many of these projects would further enhance market access for Canadian oil producers, and are shown in the schematic below.

Enbridge’s Market Access Projects

Figure Source and Description

Source: Enbridge March 2015 investor presentation

Description: This map appeared in Enbridge’s March 2015 investor’s presentation, and is titled “Low Cost System Expansion and Extension Opportunities: Low cost phased expansions are attractive in a low price environment”. The individual projects are colour-coded with the text boxes, and the sizes of the pipeline expansions are listed in thousand barrels per day. The titles of the green, orange and blue boxes are “Market Access Opportunities”, “Ex-Superior Expansion Opportunities” and “Upstream of Superior Expansion Opportunities”, respectively.

In addition to the numerous pipeline projects completed in 2014, Enbridge is actively expanding capacity on its system from Edmonton to Eastern Canada and the U.S. Gulf Coast. Some of these projects are described below.

  • At Edmonton, the Enbridge Mainline’s origination point, Enbridge has plans to expand its capacity to move heavy crude onward to Hardisty, the other major midstream hub for crude oil in Alberta, with construction of the 800 thousand barrels per day Edmonton-Hardisty pipeline expected to be complete in 2015.
  • Enbridge applied to the Board to replace most of the existing Line 3 in November 2014. Enbridge had already started work on replacing seven segments of Line 3, which was built in the 1960s, prior to expanding the project’s scope to include the majority of the line between Hardisty and Gretna, MB. The project would enable Enbridge to return the line to full utilization, effectively allowing an additional 370 thousand barrels per day to flow, at an estimated cost of $4.9 billion.
  • Enbridge has identified a couple of growth projects to enhance capacity on Line 2A/Line 65 and 2B/Line 4 by about 100 thousand barrels per day and 120 thousand barrels per day, respectively. Enbridge describes these as "bolt-on projects", as they would primarily consist of adding relief infrastructure to Line 2A, adding pumping capacity to the Line 65 (which ships Light-Sour crude or LSR) and recovering currently-constrained capacity on Line 2B/Line 4.
  • Following the initial phase of the Southern Access project, completed in August 2014, the next steps to expand capacity to move oil south from Superior involves further expansions to Line 61. The second phase, which would increase the line’s capacity to 1.2 million barrels per day, has been split into two “tranches”. Enbridge expects to increase the line’s capacity to 800 thousand barrels per day in 2015, while the second tranche to bring the capacity to the full 1.2 million barrels per day may be delayed until the Sandpiper Pipeline project is completed.
  • A factor that limits the amount of Canadian crude oil that Enbridge can carry is the amount that it receives from the U.S. Bakken. Currently, Enbridge’s North Dakota system can deliver about 145 thousand barrels per day of oil to Enbridge’s Saskatchewan system (on-route to the Mainline) and 210 thousand barrels per day from the Bakken area to Clearbrook, MN. The proposed Sandpiper project, now expected to be complete in 2017, would twin the North Dakota to Clearbrook line (adding 225 thousand barrels per day of capacity), while stretching further west into producing regions. The project would also increase Clearbrook to Superior capacity by 375 thousand barrels per day.

Enbridge’s capacity at Cromer, MB was estimated by Muse Stancil [Document A4E6G8] (hired by Enbridge for the Line 3 replacement program) to reach 2.891 million barrels per day by 2018, assuming a 95 per cent utilization factor. Cromer was chosen as a reference point as it is where Enbridge’s Saskatchewan system interconnects with the Canadian Mainline, and is the last receipt point on that system.

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