Enbridge Inc. says its Line 3 pipeline replacement is on track to be in service by the end of 2021 – potentially as early as mid-September.
The $9.3-billion project, connecting a major crude oil terminal in Hardisty, Alberta to a hub and distribution point in Superior, Wisconsin, will add about 370,000 barrels per day (b/d) of new pipeline capacity from Western Canada into the U.S. The project replaces an existing 34-inch-diameter pipeline with capacity of 390,000 b/d with new 36-inch pipe, increasing overall capacity to 760,000 b/d.
Read more: Enbridge Line 3 timeline and map
Initially expected to be in service in 2020, the project has faced numerous delays due to legal challenges and protests. In June 2021, the Minnesota Court of Appeals affirmed previously granted project approvals that allowed construction on the Minnesota leg to begin last December. However, groups opposed to the project have appealed to the Minnesota Supreme Court to overturn the lower court ruling. The Minnesota Supreme Court has until mid-September to decide whether or not to hear the case.
Read more: How safe are our pipelines?
Meanwhile, construction has proceeded and Line 3 is now 80 per cent complete.
Are Pipelines Safe?
Pipelines are a proven safe way to transport oil and natural gas resources to market. They are major, nation-building infrastructure projects that create good jobs for Canadians. They also provide access to markets, ensuring Canada can get full value for its resources.
Read more: Lack of pipelines cost Canada $14 billion
Line 3 and Canada’s Economy
The Line 3 project is a perfect example: it’s critical for Canada’s energy sector, which has been challenged by a lack of pipeline infrastructure and export capacity. An IHS Markit report from December 2020 found that delays in the expansion of the export pipeline capacity have contributed to lower prices for western Canadian crude oil, representing a loss of $14 billion over the past five years.