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article imageEnbridge’s Line 3 Replacement will ship its first oil on Dec. 1

By Karen Graham     Nov 29, 2019 in Business
In just a couple of days, the first rush of oil that will amount to an additional 100,000 barrels per day of new pipeline capacity will begin flowing through the Canadian portion of Enbridge's Line 3 Replacement pipeline.
The Calgary-based pipeline giant has been putting the finishing touches to the $5.3-billion Canadian portion of its Line 3 replacement project in preparation for it to become operational on Sunday. The new pipeline stretches approximately 1,070 kilometers (665 miles) from Hardisty, Alberta to Gretna, Manitoba.
The Minnesota portion of the pipeline has not been built yet, owing to continued delays - with the construction on Line 3 pushed back because the Minnesota permitting process won't be completed until November and it could take an additional 60 days before the federal permits are received.
But that does not mean the Line 3 pipeline is not in operation. According to Pipeline News, the new pipe meets the old pipe at the international border at Gretna, Manitoba. And the old pipe, in the U.S., continues to be in usage until it is replaced.
Line 3 is but one of five pipelines that make up the Enbridge Mainline System. The mainline system runs from Hardisty, Alberta, east-southeast through southern Saskatchewan and Manitoba. It then crosses into North Dakota at its very northeast corner before going on through Minnesota to Superior, Wisconsin.
File photo: Crews load section of pipe that will be examined by investigators after the Enbridge pip...
File photo: Crews load section of pipe that will be examined by investigators after the Enbridge pipeline oil spill near Marshall, Michigan in 2010.
U.S. EPA
From Wisconsin, the pipeline splits system splits, going through Wisconsin and Michigan to Sarnia, Ontario, and south to Chicago, around Lake Michigan, and again to Sarnia. A sixth pipeline, called the Southern Lights, goes in the opposite direction, back into Canada. It is used to bring diluent into the country.
Enbridge optimization projects
The Financial Post notes that Enbridge has plans to open up another 90,000 bpd of capacity by the end of the year. “There’s a sense of excitement,” said Leo Golden, vice-president of major projects at Enbridge, of placing Line 3 into service. Golden is also excited that the opening of a new pipeline out of the country is something that hasn't occurred in quite a few years.
"Line 3 is one part of what we’re doing,” Golden said, adding that by the end of the year the pipeline company expected to make a total of 100,000 bpd of new pipeline export capacity available to Canadian oil producers through optimizations and by using drag-reducing agents to push more crude through its existing pipes.
Drag-reducing agents (DRA) are additives in pipelines that reduce turbulence in a pipe. Usually used in petroleum pipelines, they increase the pipeline capacity by reducing turbulency and therefore allowing the oil to flow more efficiently
TC Energy Corp - what used to be called TransCanada - will also begin using DEA's by the end of this year. The company informed oil producers earlier of the change, claiming DRA will add 50,000 bpd of capacity out of Canada by the end of the year.
More about Enbridge Line 3, operational, December 1, canadian portion, 10,000 bpd
 
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