Southern Access Crude Oil Pipeline

From Global Energy Monitor
This article is part of the Global Fossil Infrastructure Tracker, a project of Global Energy Monitor.

Southern Access Crude Oil Pipeline, or Line 61, is an oil pipeline in Canada and the United States.[1]


The pipeline originates in Edmonton, Alberta, and terminates in Pakota, Illinois.

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Project Details

  • Operator: Enbridge[1]
  • Current capacity: 300,000 barrels per day
  • Length:
  • Status: Operating
  • Start Year: 2010


The Southern Access pipeline features a 36-inch diameter and 42-inch diameter crude oil pipeline that transports crude oil from western Canada to the Midwest, United States.


In 2015, the Illinois Extension Pipeline Company, L.L.C. (IEPC) -- a joint venture in which Enbridge Energy Company, Inc. owns 65% and Lincoln Pipeline, L.L.C., a subsidiary of Marathon Pipeline Company, Inc. owns 35% -- completed construction of the Southern Access Extension (SAX) Pipeline Project.[2] The 168-mile long, 24-inch-diameter pipeline transports crude oil from Enbridge's Flanagan Terminal near Pontiac, Illinois to a crude oil terminal near Patoka, Illinois.[2] The SAX pipeline project was cost more than $900 million.[2]

The SAX project is part of Enbridge's Lakehead System Mainline Expansion, which will increase the pipeline capacity to 1,200,000 barrels per day upon the addition of additional pumping horsepower; however, the in-service date of this phase of the SAX was delayed until 2019.[3]


A number of landowners along the Southern Access pipeline's original proposed route opposed the project. At least one Illinois landowner reportedly refused an Enbridge offer to $6,000 per acre for a permanent easement, plus $1,8000 per acre for a temporary right-of-way during construction.[4] Enbridge did successfully negotiate contracts with all 321 Wisconsin landowners in the pipeline's route, and at least 560 Illinois landowners.[4] Enbridge sought authority from the Illinois Commerce Commission to condemn land along the pipeline's route in cases in which landowners refused to permit an easement.[4]

Environmental Impact

In 2009, Enbridge affiliate Enbridge Energy Partners agreed to a $1.1 million settlement in a lawsuit after the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources cited nearly 100 violations of laws protecting the environment during the course of constructing the pipeline.[5]

Articles and resources


  1. 1.0 1.1 Southern Access Crude Oil Pipeline, A Barrel Full, accessed September 2017
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Southern Access Extension Pipeline Project, Enbridge, accessed October 2017
  3. 2016 Annual Report, Enbridge, accessed October 2017
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Pipeline plan draws critics among lawndowners, Lake Expo, 25 May 2008
  5. Enbridge mapping possible 'twin' of major tar sands line through Wisconsin, Wisconsin State Journal, 8 Nov. 2015

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