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Enbridge has completed the Line 3 replacement project and set the in-service date for the oil pipeline for October 1, the Canadian pipeline giant said on Wednesday, marking the completion milestone of the project that has been delayed with years and faced many court battles.
“This step marks the full replacement of the entire 1,765-kilometre/1,097-mile-long pipeline from Edmonton, AB. to Superior, WI. With new state-of-the-art, thicker-walled pipe, its completion ensures a safe, reliable supply of North American crude oil to U.S. refineries, helping fuel the quality of life for millions of people,” Enbridge said in a statement.
The Line 3 Replacement program is expected to boost the pipeline takeaway capacity of Canada’s oil sands producers.
Enbridge’s Line 3 Replacement project replaces the existing 34-inch pipe with new 36-inch pipe for 13 miles in North Dakota, 337 miles in Minnesota, and 14 miles in Wisconsin. The average annual capacity of Line 3 after replacement is planned to be 760,000 barrels per day (bpd), which would be a capacity increase of 370,000 bpd compared to the capacity of the original Line 3.
“After more than eight years of many people working together, extensive community engagement, and thorough environmental, regulatory and legal review, we are pleased that Line 3 is complete and will soon deliver the low cost and reliable energy that people depend on every day,” Enbridge’s president and CEO Al Monaco said in a statement today.
The Line 3 replacement is already three years late compared to its original proposed in-service date, 2018, and it is expected to begin operations at full capacity in the fourth quarter of this year, according to the CER’s latest report Canada’s Pipeline System 2021.
At the end of August, the Line 3 oil pipeline replacement project scored a victory at a Minnesota court, which rejected a challenge to Enbridge’s water permit for the pipeline.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
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Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com