Canadian Manufacturing

Enbridge toying with idea of $1B Alberta dilutent pipeline

Proposed Norlite line would run from Edmonton to Fort McMurray, Alta.

CALGARY—Energy giant Enbridge Inc. is  of building a $1-billion pipeline in Alberta that would be used to transport a thinning agent used in oil and gas operations.

Reuters first reported the Calgary-based firm is exploring options to build a pipeline between Edmonton and Fort McMurray, Alta., that would carry 200,000 barrels per day of dilutent to oil sands operators working in northeastern Alberta.

According to spokesperson Graham White, the project has not been formally announced, but was brought up by Enbridge vice-president of business development Vern Yu during the company’s investor day in Toronto.

The so-called Norlite line could be expanded to carry as much as 300,000 barrels per day of the dilutent if demand from producers exists, according to White.

The next step in the process is seeking out commercial support for the project over the coming months before Norlite would be officially announced.

Dilutent is blended with heavy crude oil to allow it to flow through pipes more easily.

According to Reuters, Enbridge also plans to spend $700-million to expand its Southern Lights pipeline by 95,000 barrels per day to a total of 275,000 barrels per day.

The line carries diluent from Chicago to Edmonton.

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