Enbridge Inc.’s Line 3 pipeline replacement project, a critical piece of export infrastructure for Canada’s energy sector, will be in service on Friday.
The pipeline giant said Wednesday that the 1,765-kilometer Line 3 – which will carry oil from Alberta to the Enbridge terminal in Superior, Wisconsin – is “essentially complete.”
“After more than eight years of many-to-many collaboration, extensive community engagement, and extensive environmental, regulatory and legal review, we are delighted that Line 3 is complete and will soon provide reliable, low-cost power. that people depend on every day, ”Enbridge CEO Al Monaco said in a statement.
The last stage of the $ 9.3 billion project to be completed was the Minnesota 542-kilometer section of the pipeline. Other sections of the pipeline had already been commissioned in Canada, North Dakota and Wisconsin, but in Minnesota, Enbridge faced legal challenges and protests from environmental and Indigenous groups.
In June, Enbridge won a victory in the Minnesota Court of Appeals, which upheld approvals from independent regulators that allowed construction to begin on the Minnesota section last December.
Opponents of the project said the Line 3 expansion would accelerate climate change and also pose a risk of an oil spill in environmentally sensitive areas.
But Enbridge said the project was necessary to replace and expand a deteriorating pipeline built in the 1960s. The thicker-walled tip pipe used for the replacement will ensure a “safe and reliable supply of North American crude oil to refineries. American, “the company said on Wednesday.
The Line 3 project is expected to add approximately 370,000 barrels per day to western Canadian crude oil export capacity to the United States.
The Canadian energy sector has been crippled by the lack of pipeline infrastructure in recent years. A December IHS Markit report found that delays in expanding export pipeline capacity contributed to lower prices in Western Canada, costing the industry $ 17 billion. of crude oil over the past five years.
In June, TC Energy Corp. canceled its Keystone XL pipeline project, leaving Enbridge’s Line 3 and Trans Mountain pipeline project (federally owned) as the main pipeline projects in Canada. The Trans Mountain pipeline project, which twins a line between Alberta and British Columbia, is expected to be in service by December 2022.
Between the two projects, the total addition of exports of nearly one million barrels per day is expected to meet western Canadian oil export needs for at least the first half of the decade.