Alberta Clipper Oil Pipeline

From Global Energy Monitor
This article is part of the Global Fossil Infrastructure Tracker, a project of Global Energy Monitor.
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Alberta Clipper Oil Pipeline (also known as Line 67) is an oil pipeline in the United States and Canada.[1]

Location

The pipeline runs from Hardisty, Alberta, to Superior, Wisconsin, passing through Metiskow, Kerrobert, Milden, Craik, Regina, White City, Odessa, Cromer, Glenboro, Gretna, Viking, Clearbrook, and Deer River. It crosses the US/Canada border at Neche, North Dakota, then enters Minnesota soon after.[1]

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Project Details

  • Operator: Enbridge[1]
  • Capacity: 440,000 barrels per day
  • Length: 1,112 miles (1,790 km)[2]
  • Diameter: 36-inches[2]
  • Status: Operating
  • Start Year: 2010

Background

Alberta Clipper (also known as Line 67) is an oil pipeline in North America. It is owned and operated by Enbridge and is part of the extensive Enbridge Pipeline System. The pipeline runs from Hardisty, Alberta, in Canada, to Superior, Wisconsin]], in the United States, integrating the company's Canadian oil sands pipeline system with the Lakehead system in the United States.[3] It is a 36-inch-diameter heavy crude oil pipeline, originating at Enbridge’s Edmonton Terminal near Edmonton, AB, and terminating at Enbridge’s Superior Terminal near Superior, WI.[2]

Construction on the pipeline began in summer 2008.[3] Detailed engineering for the Canadian portion was carried out by WorleyParsons. The majority of pipeline was built by the consortium of Michels Corporation, Precision Pipeline and US Pipeline, while Willbros Group built the portion between Sherwood Park and Hardisty, and the joint venture of Robert B Somerville and Techint Canada built three sections of the pipeline.

The pipeline was placed into service on April 1, 2010. The first shipment was moved in October 2010.[4]

Expansion Projects

The original project had a capacity of 400,000 barrels per day, but following five expansion projects between 2014 and 2015 the capacity is now 800,000 barrels per day.

Expansion Project 1

According to June 2020 data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), the project was approved in October 2017. The capacity already existed from previous infrastructure upgrades, and just needed the proper permit to put the additional capacity into service. The expansion project represents the last 3 miles that connects North Dakota to the Canadian border. It brought the capacity of the pipeline at the border to about 800,000 barrels per day, up from 450,000 barrels per day, allowing the entire pipeline to then flow at 800,000 barrels per day. The total capacity can be almost 890,000 barrels per day if the pipeline is carrying light crude instead of heavy crude.[5]

Expansion Project 1 Details

  • Owner: Enbridge[1]
  • Capacity: 350,000 barrels per day[5]
  • Length: 3 miles / 4.8 kilometers[5]
  • Diameter: 36-inches[5]
  • Status: Operating[5]
  • Start Year: 2015[5]

2015 Pump Upgrade Expansion Project, Canada

According to June 2020 data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), Line 67 goes from Alberta, Canada to Wisconsin. Upgrading of pumps brought Canadian capacity up from 570,000 b/d to 800,000 b/d (north of the 3-mile segment in North Dakota that connects the U.S. and Canadian pipeline). The expansion effects Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba provinces in Canada.[5]

2015 Pump Upgrade Expansion Project Details, Canada

  • Owner: Enbridge[1]
  • Capacity: 230,000 barrels per day[5]
  • Length: 0.0 new miles of pipeline[5]
  • Diameter: 36-inches[5]
  • Status: Operating[5]
  • Start Year: 2015[5]

2015 Pump Upgrade Expansion Project, U.S.

According to June 2020 data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), Line 67 goes from Alberta, Canada to Wisconsin. Upgrading of pumps brought U.S. capacity up from 570,000 b/d to 800,000 b/d (south of the 3-mile segment in North Dakota that connects the U.S. and Canadian pipeline). The expansion effects North Dakota, Minnesota, and Wisconsin states in the U.S.[5]

2015 Pump Upgrade Expansion Project Details, U.S.

  • Owner: Enbridge[1]
  • Capacity: 230,000 barrels per day[5]
  • Length: 0.0 new miles of pipeline[5]
  • Diameter: 36-inches[5]
  • Status: Operating[5]
  • Start Year: 2015[5]

2014 Pump Upgrade Expansion Project, Canada

According to June 2020 data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), Line 67 goes from Alberta, Canada to Wisconsin, USA. Pump upgrades in 2014 brought Canadian capacity up from 450,000 b/d to 570,000 b/d (north of the 3-mile segment in North Dakota that connects the U.S. and Canadian pipeline).[5]

2014 Pump Upgrade Expansion Project Details, Canada

  • Owner: Enbridge[1]
  • Capacity: 120,000 barrels per day[5]
  • Length: 0.0 new miles of pipeline[5]
  • Status: Operating[5]
  • Start Year: 2014[5]

2014 Pump Upgrade Expansion Project, U.S.

According to June 2020 data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), Line 67 goes from Alberta, Canada to Wisconsin, USA. Pump upgrades in 2014 brought Canadian capacity up from 450,000 b/d to 570,000 b/d (south of the 3-mile segment in North Dakota that connects the U.S. and Canadian pipeline).[5]

2014 Pump Upgrade Expansion Project Details, U.S.

  • Owner: Enbridge[1]
  • Capacity: 120,000 barrels per day[5]
  • Length: 0.0 new miles of pipeline[5]
  • Status: Operating[5]
  • Start Year: 2014[5]

Opposition

2009 Presidential Permit challenge and border "switcheroo"

Because it would cross an international border, U.S. law required the pipeline to receive a Presidential Permit from the U.S. State Department. Environmental groups challenged the approval process of the Presidential Permit in federal court, saying the review should have been based on an eventual capacity of 800 barrels per day. The challenge was unsuccessful. About two years after the line was build, Enbridge announced that it would see approval for 570,000 bpd by mid-2014 and 880,000 bpd by late 2015. While the State Department considered the application for new capacity, Enbridge began diverting large quantities of oil around the Line 67 border crossing, using an existing pipeline, Line 3, that had no capacity limit. Writing in MinnPost, Ron Meador referred to the diversion as the "Pipeline switcheroo."[6]

Position of tribes and tribal governments

The group Honor the Earth describes the approval of the original line by the Leech Lake and Fond du Lac tribal governments, and the current concerns about further expansion, as follows:[7]

The Alberta Clipper pipeline is already constructed. It was forged through our land in 2009, over the opposition of many people concerned about the water, air and future. Both the Leech Lake and Fond du Lac bands of Ojibwe signed agreements with Enbridge, after much discussion and in a very controversial set of decisions. At the same time, both tribal governments hoped for the best. The Leech Lake Ojibwe already have six pipelines crossing their territory and this has caused major problems already, including a not yet cleaned up Enbridge spill. Fond du Lac does not have a spill, but the tribal council made a decision to locate the original Alberta Clipper pipeline in a place they thought was the safest for their wild rice beds and people. While both tribal governments signed agreements with Enbridge, the true threats and increased risks of expansion were not revealed. This is a problem with the expansion, as there is a very great risk of a spill, so great that a similar recent Enbridge proposal in British Columbia was rejected by that government in June. The pipelines however, are also destined for export markets. Many Anishinaabe people and other northerners are also concerned about the tar sands themselves – as this is oil from the tar sands region – the Athabascan River system. This oil is considered to be the most destructive oil in terms of it’s impact on the environment, including the land, water, and climate change. The tar sands have no way out except, essentially, by pipeline. Rail infrastructure is, as yet, undeveloped and only moves a minor amount of oil. And the Enbridge line is the essential line, since most other proposals are being rejected (Gateway, Kinder Morgan, and now new challenges to the West East Pipeline in Canada).

Articles and resources

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 Alberta Clipper Oil Pipeline, Wikipedia, accessed September 2017
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Enbridge’s Energy Infrastructure Assets Enbrdige, July 22, 2020
  3. 3.0 3.1 Anderson, Scott (2008-08-27). "Enbridge begins construction on Alberta Clipper". Reuters. Retrieved 2014-03-15.
  4. "Alberta Clipper Pipeline Project, Canada". hydrocarbons-technology.com. Retrieved 2014-03-15.
  5. 5.00 5.01 5.02 5.03 5.04 5.05 5.06 5.07 5.08 5.09 5.10 5.11 5.12 5.13 5.14 5.15 5.16 5.17 5.18 5.19 5.20 5.21 5.22 5.23 5.24 5.25 5.26 5.27 Petroleum & Other Liquids, Movements, Energy Information Administration, June 4, 2020
  6. Ron Meador, [https://www.minnpost.com/earth-journal/2015/09/alberta-clipper-pipeline-switcheroo-beyond-power-us-courts "Is Albert Clipper pipeline switcheroo beyond the power of U.S. courts?" MinnPost, 11 September 2015
  7. "Alberta Clipper," Honor the Earth, accessed September 2017

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