Enbridge Inc. been selected by the Fort Hills partners (Suncor Energy Inc., Total E&P Canada Ltd. and Teck Resources Limited) as well as Suncor Energy Oil Sands Limited Partnership to develop a new $1.6 billion pipeline to transport crude oil production under long term transportation commitments to Enbridge’s mainline hub at Hardisty, Alberta.
The Wood Buffalo Extension pipeline will transport volumes from the proposed Fort Hills oil sands project as well as growth from Suncor’s existing oil sands operations. The pipeline remains subject to Suncor board approval, as well as customary regulatory approvals.
Enbridge will transport as much as 490,000 bpd of diluted bitumen produced at the Fort Hills Partners’ project in northeastern Alberta and Suncor’s growing oil sands production in the Athabasca region. The pipeline, designated Norlite, will be an extension of the recently commissioned Wood Buffalo Pipeline and will be constructed from Enbridge’s Cheecham Terminal to its Battle River Terminal at Hardisty.
The project will include a 450-km, 30-inch diameter pipeline from Cheecham to the Battle River Terminal, and associated terminal upgrades. The initial term of the transportation agreement is 25 years, with the Fort Hills Partners and Suncor having the right to extend the agreement for successive five-year terms.
Enbridge intends to file an application with the Alberta Energy Regulator and other regulatory authorities in the spring of 2014. Subject to the receipt of regulatory and environmental approvals, it is anticipated the project will begin construction in the summer of 2015 and be in-service by the spring of 2017.
Once completed, the proposed Fort Hills oil sands project will become the eleventh oil sands project to be connected to Enbridge’s infrastructure in the Athabasca region.