vendredi 11 mars 2011

Le projet d'inversion des pipelines entre Sarnia-Montréal et Montréal-Portland est réactivé

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Ce texte est un extrait reprit d'une lettre d'information de mme Gina Jordan, porte parole de Enbridge inc sur le projet d'inversion de la Line 9 entre Sarnia Ontario et le terminal des raffineries de Montréal. Le projet implique la line du pipeline Montréal-Portland vers le port pétrolier du Maine.

Enbridge is proposing to reverse a section of its Line 9 between Sarnia and Westover, Ontario to accommodate our customers’ requests for greater pipeline capacity and access to the Ontario market. Line 9 is an existing Enbridge pipeline that extends from Sarnia, Ontario to Montreal, Quebec and currently transports offshore crude oil in a westbound direction. Only the section of Line 9 between Sarnia and Westover will be affected by this project.

The scope of the proposed Project includes reversing the flow of the section of Line 9 from Sarnia to Westover and modifying existing pump stations in order to allow for the eastbound transportation of incremental western Canadian crude oil. Initially, we expect to flow a minimum of 50,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil through this project, with a maximum capacity of 200,000 bpd.

The Project will take place within existing Enbridge properties and easements. There is no new pipeline construction outside Enbridge-owned facilities involved in this project. Project work at Sarnia Terminal, Westover Terminal and North Westover Station includes modifications to existing equipment and the installation of a short length of pipe. By taking advantage of existing facilities, the Project will minimize potential impacts to the environment and to stakeholders.

The segment of Line 9 from Westover to Montreal, Quebec, would continue to transport crude oil in a westbound direction until the completion and in-service date of the Line 9 Reversal Phase I Project and potentially for some months thereafter. A second project phase, to reverse the Westover to Montreal section of Line 9, may be developed and proposed by Enbridge at a later date, if and when market conditions become favourable.

We plan to file an application for the Line 9 Reversal Phase I Project with the National Energy Board (NEB) in the first quarter of 2011. Subject to regulatory approval, construction is anticipated to begin in Summer 2011 and the Project is expected to be in service in the late Winter or early Spring of 2012.


Media Investment Community

Gina Jordan

(403) 508-6563


In yesterday’s Sarnia Observer, there was a follow-up article on the subject, in which Pat Davidson, the MP for that area stated that she intends to question the plan. She also stated that she didn’t receive a letter (one addressed to her at the House of Commons is on pages 45 and 46 of the PDF document containing copies of all of the letters on the Environmental Defence website), but that she was “disappointed the letter cam to her through the media”, finding the fact that the letter had not reached her office as of yesterday to be “extremely strange”. She was also quoted stating, “I haven’t talked to any other MP’s that got them either…I’m not sure what kind of a game they’re trying to play.”

Considering that the letters are addressed to ‘House of Commons’ and not ‘House of Commons Office, Room 600, Justice Building’, etc., there is probably a big pile of them in a mail room somewhere because nobody feels like looking up over 100 office numbers by MP’s name in order to sort them. Unless they are already in a landfill somewhere. Is it too much to ask that senders properly address mail to elected officials?

In addition to information on the proposed reversal, I also got some background information on the pipeline itself from Steve Wuori, the President of Liquids Pipelines, which was helpful, but not boring.

Line 9 (then called the “Montreal Extension”) was built in 1975 from Sarnia, Ontario (the terminus of Lines 5 and 6B) to Montreal to move western Canadian crude oil to the refineries in the Toronto area and Montreal. Enbridge (then named Interprovincial Pipeline (IPL) was actually ordered to build the line by the Canadian government, to ensure security of supply for the country by ensuring that the eastern Canadian refineries had access to crude produced in western Canada.

The eastbound use of Line 9 steadily dwindled over the ensuing 20 years, as Montreal refineries became increasingly supplied by foreign crudes coming up the Portland Pipeline from Maine or by tanker ship from abroad. In the early 1990′s, we idled the line and purged the crude, and it sat dormant for several years.

In the late 1990′s, in response to Sarnia refiner’s interest in accessing foreign light crudes, we reversed Line 9 to flow westbound from Montreal to Sarnia. This involved installing a pumping station at the Montreal end and reversing the piping and valves in the other stations. If we were to re-reverse the line to again flow east, we would need to redo the piping and valves to be configured as they were originally.

The westbound use of Line 9 has decreased in recent years with increasing production from western Canada making crudes economically available to the Sarnia refineries on Lines 5 and 6B. Given the availability of these crudes, there is some interest in the industry to see Line 9 once again flow east to Montreal. Ironically, this would also fit the original intention of the government – security of Canadian supply flowing to Canadian refineries. The difference is that there is now only one refinery in Montreal (Suncor), as Shell closed its refinery there last year and Imperial Oil’s Montreal refinery has been closed for years. However, Suncor is a very large producer of crude in Alberta and they may wish to run that production in their own refinery in Montreal. Suncor also has a refinery in Sarnia.

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