With the Canadian energy industry seeking diversification from the US and potential greenhouse gsa regulations, the Globe and Mail reports that commercial backing is growing for Enbridge Inc.’s stalled Northern Gateway pipelines project.
|The Northern Gateway Project. Click to enlarge.|
The Northern Gateway is a proposed 1,170-kilometer twin pipeline capable of carrying 525,000 barrels per day of oil sands crude from Edmonton, Alberta to Kitimat on the British Columbia coast and more than 190,000 barrels per day of condensate back from Kitimat to Edmonton.
In 2005, when Enbridge Inc. sought shippers for its Northern Gateway project...support was too low and the proposed project lost traction. By early next year, however, Enbridge expects to announce for the first time that it has secured “solid” commercial backing for Gateway, marking a major step forward in the country’s plans to diversify its oil exports.
That comes amid a shifting of the landscape, as industry executives, politicians and economists increasingly promote the idea that it is risky to rely solely on the United States to buy Canadian crude, especially as the oil sands grow in importance and demand for oil stagnates south of the border.
Northern Gateway’s West line, 36 inches in diameter, will transport an average of 525,000 barrels of oil sands crude per day. The East Line, 20 inches in diameter, will carry 193,000 barrels of condensate per day back to Edmonton. Condensate is used to thin petroleum products for pipeline transport.
Enbridge would build and operate a marine terminal at Kitimat with two ship berths. The terminal would include storage tanks for petroleum and condensate.
The Globe and Mail also notes that Kinder Morgan Canada, which currently owns the 300,000 barrels per day Trans Mountain pipeline to the Pacific, is drafting two expansion plans, one to expand Trans Mountain capacity by 80,000 barrels, and another to add a further 320,000, which it plans to detail in the next three to six months.
Kinder Morgan is also working with Vancouver port authorities to sail huge, one-million barrel Suezmax tankers into harbour there, in hopes of boosting exports, which have already seen a dramatic rise this year.