Enbridge received Canadian Government approval
The Calgary-based midstream company Enbridge Inc. (Enbridge) received the formal approval from the Canadian Government to proceed with the as sensitive as strategic Northern Gateway Pipeline project to unlock Alberta bitumen reserves toward Asia export throughout British Columbia in western Canada.
For decades Canada has been exporting 99% of its crude oil to USA, but local campaigns against Alberta bitumen exploration-production and the development of unconventional oil in USA triggered some strategic revisions of the Canadian crude oil export policy.
View from the north pole, we can realize how close is western Canada from Asia justifying to investigate solutions to go west instead of south.
In this context, Enbridge started the first studies on the Northern Gateway Pipeline project in 1998.
But crossing British Columbia to export Alberta crude oil was not a given at that time.
Since then, British Columbia started to develop its own unconventional resources with the same goal, to export them to Asia.
In addition the multiplication of rail carriage accidents helped to convince Authorities to move forward with this sensitive project.
In that respect Enbridge, local communities and Authorities worked the last two years to design the Northern Gateway Pipeline in order to minimize its environmental foot print and build it as the safer pipeline ever to operate.
Despite its 1,177 kilometers between Bruderheim in north of Alberta and Kitimat on the British Columbia West Coast, the Northern Gateway Pipeline project will use existing corridors or industrial areas on 70% of the distance.
Ten pumping stations along Northern Gateway Pipeline
The Northern Gateway Pipeline will include two pipelines running in parallel for crude oil and condensates.
The crude oil pipeline will have a capacity of 525,000 barrels per day (b/d) of crude oil.
The condensate pipeline should carry out 193,000 b/d.
Along the pipeline, Enbridge has planned ten pumping stations using electrical pumps driven by variable frequency converters in order to reduce carbon dioxide and noise emissions.
In Kitimat, the Northern Gateway Pipeline will end up in a terminal with direct access on Douglas Channel.
The Enbridge Kitimat Marine Terminal will include:
– 19 Tanks for crude oil and condensate
– 2 Marine berths for LNG carriers
– Offloading marine facilities
In the approval process, Enbridge committed to address 209 environmental and social conditions.
With $6.5 billion capital expenditure, the Northern Gateway Pipeline should be the most environment friendly and safer crude oil and condensate pipeline ever built.
Along the pipeline, Enbridge will use remotely operated valves and will deploy a permanent monitoring system in connection with the supervisory control and data acquisition (Scada) system.
The control room will be located in Bruderheim in the north of Edmonton, Alberta.
With the Canadian Government approval delivered on-time according to plans, Enbridge will start the construction of the Northern Gateway Pipeline project in targeting its completion in 2017.