TransCanada launches binding open season for eastern oil pipeline; oil sands crude to Eastern Canada
TransCanada Corporation will hold 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 approximately 3,000 kilometers (1,864 miles) of TransCanada’s existing Canadian Mainline to crude oil service and constructing up to approximately 1,400 kilometers (870 miles) of new pipeline. Subject to the results of the open season, the project will have the capacity to transport as much as 850,000 barrels of crude oil per day, greatly enhancing producer access to markets in Eastern Canada.
In 2012, Canada imported more than 600,000 barrels per day to supply its Eastern refineries. The Energy East Pipeline could eliminate Canada’s reliance on higher priced crude oil currently being imported, TransCanada suggests.
The open season follows a successful expression of interest phase and subsequent discussions with prospective shippers. Following the completion of the open season, if it is successful, TransCanada intends to proceed with the necessary 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.
While the exact pipeline route will only be determined after public and regulatory review, the planned starting point is a new tank terminal in Hardisty, Alberta. Three other new terminals will be built along the pipeline’s route: one in Saskatchewan, one in the Québec City area and another in the Saint John, New Brunswick area. The terminals in the Québec City and Saint John areas will include facilities for marine tanker loading. The project will also include delivery to existing Québec refineries in Montréal and near Quebec City as well as the refinery in Saint John, New Brunswick.
The open season will begin on 15 April 2013 and will close on 17 June 2013.