Oil Sands Truth: Shut Down the Tar Sands

Enbridge mulls re-reversal of Canada oil pipeline

Enbridge mulls re-reversal of Canada oil pipeline
Scott Haggett, Reuters
Published: 6:49 am

EDMONTON, Alberta (Reuters) - Enbridge Inc is looking at moving oil sands crude to the U.S. Northeast and Eastern Canada by reversing the flow of one of its pipelines or building a new one, its chief executive said on Monday.

Enbridge, whose pipelines carry the lion's share of Canada's crude exports to the United States, may construct a new line to Philadelphia from southern Ontario or re-reverse the flow of Line 9 to Montreal from Sarnia, Ontario, Enbridge CEO Pat Daniel said.

Enbridge switched direction of Line 9's oil flow a decade ago so it could ship imported oil into central Canada.

Speaking to reporters following a speech to the World Heavy Oil Congress in Edmonton, Daniel said the company could revamp the existing line at relatively low cost.

The price of changing the direction of Line 9's flow would be C$100 million ($100 million) or slightly more, he said.

The company could reverse Line 9, which was built in the 1970s as part of a protectionist federal energy policy, before it completes its proposed Gateway pipeline to the Pacific Coast from Alberta. That project is expected to be in service some time between 2012 and 2014.

"If we move to reverse Line 9, that could come before Gateway," Daniel said. "If it is large volume, 400,000 barrels a day, Gateway would come first."

Line 9 currently has a capacity of 240,000 barrels a day.

It could move oil sands-derived crude to Portland, Maine, where it would be shipped down the East Coast of the United States by tanker.

Enbridge is in the midst of a C$12 billion expansion program to accommodate rising production from the oil sands. Output from the northern Alberta region is expected to nearly triple to 3 million barrels a day by 2015.

Daniel said new lines are necessary because the refinery-ready synthetic oil produced in the oil sands region is being priced at a discount to conventional crude.

Enbridge recently dusted off plans for the C$4 billion Gateway line after advancing other capacity expansions to the U.S. Midwest and beyond.

Line 9 was built during the energy crises of the 1970s so refineries in Quebec could have secure access to Western Canadian crude.

By the late 1990s it sat idle, prompting Enbridge, with the support of major Ontario refiners, to reverse the flow of the pipeline at a cost of about C$90 million.


Oilsandstruth.org is not associated with any other web site or organization. Please contact us regarding the use of any materials on this site.

Tar Sands Photo Albums by Project

Discussion Points on a Moratorium

User login


Syndicate content