TransCanada Corporation recently completed a binding open season to obtain firm commitments from interested parties for a pipeline to transport crude oil from Western Canada to Eastern Canadian markets.
The Energy East Pipeline project involves converting natural gas pipeline capacity in 3,000 km of TransCanada’s existing Canadian Mainline to crude oil service and constructing up to 1,400 km of pipeline. Subject to the results of the open season, the project will have the capacity to transport as much as 850,000 bopd, greatly enhancing producer access to markets in Eastern Canada.
In 2012, Canada imported more than 600,000 bopd to supply its eastern refineries. The Energy East Pipeline could eliminate Canada’s reliance on higher priced crude oil now being imported.
The open season follows an expression of interest phase and subsequent discussions with prospective shippers. Following a successful open season, TransCanada plans to proceed with regulatory applications for approvals to construct and operate the required facilities, with a potential in-service date in late-2017. TransCanada is beginning Aboriginal and stakeholder engagement and field work as part of the initial design and planning work for the project.
In other news, Irving Oil and TransCanada have a joint venture to develop and construct the $300 millon Canaport Energy East Marine Terminal in Saint John.
The project timeline for the marine terminal, which is expected to begin with engineering and design work in 2015, will coincide with development of the Energy East Pipeline project. The Canaport Energy East Marine Terminal will be adjacent to Irving Oil’s existing import terminal and will be operated by Irving Oil. The Canaport Energy East Marine Terminal will connect TransCanada’s Energy East Pipeline to an ice-free, deepwater port.
Once completed, it will allow Canadian producers direct access to world markets for exporting Canadian oil via the world’s largest crude carrying vessels.