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Enbridge merges Athabasca Twin and Wood Buffalo Extension pipes

Enbridge to connect 11 oil sands projects to Edmonton

2B1st_Project_Smart_Explorer_Sales_Pursuit_ToolThe Calgary-based midstream company Enbridge Inc. (Enbridge) has decided to merge the Athabasca Twin Pipeline project with the Wood Buffalo Extension Pipeline  project as part of its Regional Oil Sands System across the Province of Alberta in western Canada.

Originally Enbridge had announced to proceed with these two pipelines as separate projects.

Enbridge Athabasca Twin Pipeline project and Wood Buffalo Pipeline Extension project were both required to meet the future demand for crude oil transportation from Athabasca oil sands fields currently under development from companies such as Suncor, ConocoPhillips, Nexen or Cenovus.

Enbridge_Athabasca-Twin-Pipeline_and_Wood-Buffalo-Extension_Pipeline_MapEnbridge proposed these projects to consolidate its position as key midstream company to operate the corridors from the Fort McMurray oil sands fields down to Edmonton and Hardisty hubs for further export.

In that respect Enbridge secured shipping agreements to connect no less than 11 oil sands projects currently under development to Edmonton and Hardisty by 2017.

In this perspective, Athabasca Twin Pipeline currently under construction will connect the existing Enbridge Kirby Lake Terminal to the Hardisty Terminal.

With its 345 kilometers length and 36-inch diameter, the Athabasca Twin Pipeline is designed with a capacity of 450,000 barrels per day (b/d) that should come on stream in 2015.

In parallel the Wood Buffalo Pipeline is connecting since 2012 the Athabasca Terminal to the central Cheecham Terminal.

Running along 95 kilometers with a 30-inch diameter, the Wood Buffalo Pipeline provides Enbridge with a 550,000 b/d capacity.

Enbridge extends its Alberta Regional Oil Sands System

The Wood Buffalo Extension Pipeline project was due to link the Cheecham Terminal to Hardisty in passing by the Kirby Lake Terminal.

With 495 kilometers length and a 30-inch diameter the Wood Buffalo Extension was planned to double Athabasca Twin Pipeline capacity in adding 490,000 b/d in the same corridor between Kirby Lake Terminal and Hardisty.

Enbridge_Athabasca-Twin-Pipeline_and_Wood-Buffalo-Extension_Pipeline_Merge_MapEnbridge budgeted the Wood Buffalo Extension Pipeline project to C$1.8 billion capital expenditure.

In merging this Wood Buffalo Extension Pipeline project with the Athabasca Twin Pipeline project, Enbridge will save C$500 million on the Wood Buffalo Extension Pipeline project and will have to add C$100 million to the Athabasca Twin Pipeline project to increase capacity.

As a result Enbridge is saving C$400 million out of a total amount C$3 billion for both projects. 

From the previously planned 495 kilometers and 30-inch diameter Wood Buffalo Extension Pipeline, the new expansion project will be reduced to 100 kilometers from Cheecham to Kirby lake terminal but will enlarged in diameter to 36-inch to increase capacity.

The project will also include the connection between the Wood Buffalo Extension pipeline and the Athabasca Twin pipeline at Kirby Lake.

Then in order to compensate the scrapped Wood Buffalo Extension Pipeline from Kirby Lake to Hardisty, Enbridge will boost the capacity of the Athabasca Twin pipeline project under completion from 450,000 b/d to 800,000 b/d by the addition of pumping power.

All these changes from the initial projects require Enbridge to submit amendment application to the Alberta Energy Regulator by Q2 2015 in expecting these Athabasca Twin Pipeline Expansion and Wood Buffalo Extension projects to come on stream by early 2018.

For more information about oil and gas and petrochemical projects go to Project Smart Explorer

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