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Canada’s NEB approves Enbridge pipeline reversal plan to carry crude to refineries in Ontario and Québec

Canada’s National Energy Board has approved, with conditions, the Line 9B Reversal and Line 9 Capacity Expansion Project application submitted by Enbridge Pipelines Inc. (Enbridge). As a result, Enbridge will be permitted to operate all of Line 9 in an eastward direction in order to transport crude oil from western Canada and the US Bakken region to refineries in Ontario and Québec. (Earlier post.)

Line 9 is a 30-inch oil pipeline that currently transports offshore and foreign oil in the westward direction from Montreal to Sarnia. It was brought into service in June 1976 and originally flowed in a west to east direction. In 1998 the pipe was reversed to flow east to west. It is approximately 831 km (550 miles) long with a capacity of 240,000 bpd.

In its application, Enbridge requested approval from the Board to reverse the direction of flow on a 639-kilometer (397-mile) segment of pipeline (Line 9B) located between North Westover, Ontario and Montreal, Québec, as well as approval to increase the overall capacity from 240,000 to 300,000 barrels per day of the Line 9 pipeline from Sarnia to Montreal. Enbridge also requested a revision to its Line 9 Rules and Regulations Tariff to allow for the transportation of heavy crude oil.

Previously in a 27 July 2012 decision, the Board approved the reversal of the western portion of Line 9 (Line 9A), a 194-kilometer (121-mile) segment linking Sarnia to North Westover, Ontario. Enbridge completed the reversal in August, 2013 and Line 9A is flowing in a west to east direction providing supply to Ontario’s Nanticoke refinery.

Click to enlarge.

The NEB’s approval is subject to fulfillment of 30 conditions. The Line 9B Reversal and Capacity Expansion Project team is reviewing requirements and developing a scope of work to fulfill the conditions outlined in the NEB’s decision, which comes after nearly two years of Enbridge’s engagement and consultation with stakeholders.

The National Energy Board is an independent federal regulator of several parts of Canada's energy industry with the safety of Canadians and protection of the environment as its top priority. Its purpose is to regulate pipelines, energy development and trade in the Canadian public interest.



Good news for Alberta Oil and Eastern Canada. Montreal's refineries will get local crude at $78/barrel instead of imported crude at $108/barrel.

Pipelines capacity will have to be increased by (3X to 4X) to supply enough crude for Quebec City and St-John NB refineries. That's another project.

Alternatively, tankers could be used from Montreal to Quebec City and St-John NB. Port facilities already exist.

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