By Heather Libby
In its largest capital project in history, Enbridge plans to do what Transcanada so far can’t — ship more than half a million barrels of heavy oil across the U.S. border without President Barack Obama’s direct approval.
Late Monday evening, Enbridge announced plans for its largest capital project in history— a $7 billion replacement of its Line 3 pipeline.
The existing Line 3 pipeline is part of Enbridge’s extensive Mainline system. The 34-inch pipe was installed in 1968 and currently carries light oil 1,660 km from Edmonton to Superior, Wis.
While the Line 3 pipeline currently has a maximum shipping capacity of 390,000 barrels of light crude oil per day, pumping stations along the line have a much larger capacity (and can accommodate heavier oils). Enbridge plans to take advantage of this. Under the company’s replacement plans, the new Line 3 pipeline will be widened by two inches, and built « using the latest available high-strength steel and coating technology. » By the time it goes into service in 2017, Line 3 will ship 760,000 barrels of oil across the border every day, nearly double what it currently moves.