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Line 3 Replacement Program (Canada)
Construction of the $5.3-billion Canadian portion of the Line 3 Replacement Program is nearing completion; we anticipate bringing the pipeline into service in the latter half of 2019.
Meanwhile, we continue to await final permitting before construction can begin on the majority of the US$2.9-billion American portion of the project.
As of April 2019:
- We have successfully installed all of the pipe in the ground along the 1,070-kilometer Canadian right-of-way (Hardisty, Alberta to Gretna, Manitoba);
- The installation of 55 new remotely operated valves is essentially complete;
- Facilities work is nearing completion (18 new pump stations and associated infrastructure, as well as three new oil storage tanks at the Hardisty Terminal with capacity of approximately 150,000 cubic metres); and
- Reclamation is complete in three of the nine construction spreads, with reclamation of the remaining six 2018 construction spreads scheduled to begin in May.
In the U.S., the Wisconsin segment of the project entered service in May 2018, after construction was completed in December 2017. Enbridge expects to have certification for all remaining Minnesota permits required for construction by November 2019 (with remaining federal permits expected to be finalized in the ensuing 30 to 60 days), after the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (MPUC) approved the Line 3 Replacement Project on June 28, 2018. Construction in Minnesota and North Dakota will begin concurrently, upon receipt of all permits and approvals; the remaining American portion of the project is expected to enter service in the later half of 2020.
As part of the L3RP, the existing Line 3 pipeline will be decommissioned—and Enbridge will be remain responsible for the decommissioned line.
A decommissioned pipeline is taken out of service safely and permanently, but left in place while other existing or new pipelines in the same right-of-way continue to provide service to end users.
The process of decommissioning a pipeline typically involves: removing the oil from the pipeline; cleaning the pipeline; physically disconnecting the pipeline; segmenting the pipeline and continuing to monitor it.
Leaving the decommissioned pipeline in place is the safest and least disruptive option— it means minimal disturbance during project construction and significantly reduces the risk of future soil and slope instability.
For more information on the decommissioning process, visit our L3RP Decommissioning webpage.
Over the past decade, from 2008 through 2017, Enbridge has transported more than 22 billion barrels of crude oil, with a safe delivery record of 99.99966 per cent. We know that’s not good enough, because our goal—simply, unequivocally—will always be zero incidents.
At Enbridge, we back up our safety priorities by investing heavily in the tools, technologies, and strategies to ensure our energy transportation and distribution systems operate safely, reliably, and in an environmentally responsible manner. In 2017, we spent $1.95 billion on programs that help us to maintain the fitness of our systems, including our crude oil and liquids network, across our operations in Canada and the U.S.
Click here for a more thorough description of Enbridge's dedication to pipeline safety, including the areas of monitoring, prevention, and emergency response.
Answering Your Questions
Replacing Line 3 is in the public interest because it reduces both the frequency and the magnitude of ongoing maintenance activities that would otherwise occur in order to maintain the safe operation of Line 3. This means significant benefits to landowners, local communities, and the environment.
Replacing Line 3 is also in the public interest because it would better serve the current and future petroleum requirements of the general public, who are dependent on refineries to meet their refined petroleum product needs.
Listening to you, understanding your views, and working to address your concerns are important to Enbridge. Our team is dedicated to ensuring you have informative materials and are given the opportunity to share your feedback with us. We want to hear from you.
We have hosted a variety of consultation activities. We're committed to continuing to give you the opportunity to meet and talk with team members, keep you informed with program updates, and engage our Mainline communities. Please see our Community Outreach section for information on how to contact us.
Line 3 Products
Line 3 is a “mixed-service” line, meaning it carries a variety of crude oils, including sweets, light and high sours, and light synthetics.
Shippers are permitted to ship crude oil blends or types on Enbridge’s liquids pipelines system that meet stringent quality specifications set by Enbridge, and filed with the National Energy Board. This includes heavy crudes such as diluted bitumen—which has been studied by numerous scientific bodies, including the highly respected and influential National Academy of Sciences, and found to be non-corrosive and safe for pipelines.
At Enbridge, we’ve been transporting crude oil produced from Canada’s oil sands region since 1968. There is nothing new about transporting this form of crude oil—and after nearly half a century, there is no evidence that internal corrosion is caused by transporting oil from the Canadian oil sands. In fact, Enbridge has never experienced an internal corrosion failure on its mainline pipeline system.
If you have any questions or concerns, or if you require further information regarding this program or Enbridge’s public involvement process, please call our program toll-free line:
1-888-967-3899 (leave your contact information)
Or send an e-mail to email@example.com
We will respond to calls and e-mails promptly.
Media: Please call the Enbridge toll-free media line at 1-888-992-0997
- Type: Crude oil and liquids pipeline
- Status: Planned
- Length: 1,031 miles (1,660 km)
- Expected in-service date: 2H 2019 (Canada), 2H 2020 (U.S.)
- Expected initial capacity: 760,000 barrels per day
- Estimated to transport: Light, medium and heavy crude
- Estimated capital cost:C$5.3 billion in Canada, US$2.9 billion in United States
As part of the Line 3 Replacement Program, the existing Line 3 pipeline will be decommissioned—and Enbridge will be responsible for the decommissioned line forever.
In the Canadian pipeline industry, a line is said to be decommissioned when its operations permanently cease, but its end users along that right-of-way do not see a discontinuance of service. Using a traffic analogy, when one lane of a four-lane highway is closed down, traffic still uses the remaining lanes to travel from city to city.
In advance of the potential decommissioning of a line, engineering and environmental assessments are completed in consultation with landowners. And once the National Energy Board approves a decommission application, the process generally involves:
- Removing the vast majority of crude oil from the pipeline with specially designed cleaning instruments;
- Wiping and cleaning the pipeline, using a combination of cleaning instruments and cleaning solution;
- Physically disconnecting the pipeline and sealing it off from active operational facilities, such as pump stations;
- Segmenting the pipeline, where required, by creating permanent physical barriers inside the pipe (including gate valves and permanent segmentation plugs) to prevent the pipeline from acting as a water conduit.
The process does not end there. Enbridge is committed to monitoring decommissioned lines, just as we do with active lines, in various ways. They include:
- Right-of-way monitoring and maintenance, including depth-of-cover surveys;
- Maintaining cathodic protection;
- Maintaining signage, with appropriate contact information, that identifies a decommissioned line in the right-of-way or corridor;
- Maintaining the line’s profile for Call/Click Before You Dig programs.
Generally speaking, Enbridge leaves a decommissioned line in place to avoid major construction activities, and to reduce the risk of soil stability issues that could compromise the integrity of operating pipelines sharing the right-of-way.
This also means refraining from using the heavy equipment that would be needed to excavate and remove the buried pipeline – and that reduces the risk involved with maintaining the safe operation of those other pipelines.
A more thorough explanation of the L3RP's decommissioning process can be found in our application and Project Description document, which have been filed with the NEB.