Line 3 Replacement Project



Petroleum products are an essential part of our everyday lives. They fuel our cars, heat our homes, power industry, schools and hospitals, and are turned into hundreds of consumer goods, from clothing to cosmetics to cellphones. But before those products materialize, crude oil must be refined into petroleum.

Built in the 1960s, Line 3 is a 1,097-mile crude oil pipeline extending from Edmonton, Alberta to Superior, Wisconsin, and is an integral part of Enbridge's Mainline System. Enbridge is proposing to replace Line 3 to maintain our high safety standards, reduce future maintenance activities and create fewer disruptions to landowners and the environment, and restore the historical operating capabilities of Line 3. A new 36-inch diameter pipeline will replace the existing 34-inch diameter pipeline along most of the Line 3 route. In the U.S., the replacement pipeline will follow Enbridge's existing Line 3 route from Joliette, North Dakota to Clearbrook, Minnesota, and then will primarily follow existing pipeline and transmission routes from Clearbrook to Superior, Wisconsin.

Why Minnesota needs Line 3

Line 3 has been, and continues to be, an essential component of Enbridge’s pipeline transportation network to deliver the crude oil needed by refiners, and used by residents. The replacement of Line 3 will ensure that Enbridge can transport the crude oil required by refiners in Minnesota, neighboring states, Eastern Canada and the Gulf Coast. As with the existing Line 3, the Project will be operationally integrated as part of the Enbridge Mainline System and will continue to transport crude oil from Hardisty, Alberta, Canada to Superior, Wisconsin.

Project benefits:

  • Jobs: About 8,600 jobs (6,500 of them local) in Minnesota over a two-year period, including 4,200 construction jobs, half of which are expected to be filled locally.
  • Economic activity: A $2 billion boost to the Minnesota economy during design and construction, with $1.5 billion of that in Enbridge spending alone.
  • Economic impact: About $334 million in payroll to workers (about 50% of that to local workers), and a $162-million construction-related gain for local economies, as a result of non-local workers in Minnesota, through purchase of local products/materials and use of local hotels, restaurants and services.
  • Long-term property taxes: Increase property tax revenue in each county crossed by the Project. Enbridge pays more than $30 million in Minnesota property taxes annually; this will increase incrementally by $19.5 million beginning the first full year of service.
  • Support for Minnesota refineries: The Line 3 Replacement Project will reduce apportionment, and continue reliable crude oil delivery; and provide energy savings on a per-barrel basis.

Line 3 map

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Enbridge's Ecofootprint Grant Program funds grassroots projects near our Line 3 Replacement Project right-of-way that help protect and restore the natural environment.


Project Information:

Project Background

  • The existing Line 3 is a 34-inch-outside-diameter, 1,097-mile-long pipeline that extends from Alberta, Canada to Superior, Wisconsin.
  • Line 3 is an integral part of Enbridge’s Mainline Pipeline System.
  • Line 3 was placed into service in 1968. 
  • The line is physically equipped to transport all grades of crude oil, and the type of crude oil transported in the future (as in the past) will be based on shipper demand.
  • Over the years Line 3 has operated at varying capacities, which is dependent upon the type of crude oil carried by Line 3. 
  • Due to its geographic location, Line 3 has played and continues to play an important and integral role in delivering crude oil to (i) Minnesota Pipe Line Company’s interconnecting facilities at Clearbrook, for ultimate redelivery to Minnesota refineries, and (ii) the Superior Terminal, for ultimate delivery to other refineries in the U.S. and Canada. The Project is generally expected to serve the same markets and transport the same products as the existing Line 3 has done throughout its operating history.
  • Safe and reliable operations are the foundation of Enbridge’s business, and maintaining pipeline safety through our integrity management program is essential. As part of our routine maintenance program, Enbridge conducted an assessment of the Line 3 pipeline in 2013. The assessment identifies strategic and efficient means for maintaining system integrity, including additional in-line tool runs, investigatory digs or segment replacement. Enbridge further determined that a replacement of Line 3 was best to maintain system integrity while minimizing disruption to landowners and communities.
  • The proposed 36-inch replacement pipeline will serve the same purpose as the existing Line 3, which is the transportation of crude oil from Canada to the Enbridge Clearbrook Terminal near Clearbrook, Minnesota and to Enbridge’s Superior Station and Terminal Facility near Superior, Wisconsin. The replacement pipeline is generally expected to serve the same markets, and transport the same product mix as the existing Line 3. Upon replacement, the average annual capacity of Line 3 will be 760 kbpd.