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The Wood Buffalo Extension Project involves construction of a 36-inch-diameter crude oil pipeline, originating at Enbridge’s Cheecham Terminal, near Fort McMurray, AB, and terminating at Enbridge’s Kirby Lake Terminal, also near Fort McMurray, AB, along with associated pumping infrastructure.
The 106 km Wood Buffalo Extension Project (WBE) will ship diluted bitumen from the Enbridge Cheecham Terminal, south of Fort McMurray, to the Enbridge Kirby Lake Terminal, northeast of Lac La Biche. This pipeline will tie into our existing Athabasca Pipeline Twinning (APT). In order to reduce stakeholder and environmental disruption we are using this as an opportunity to utilize the APT pipeline to transport WBE volumes south of the Enbridge Athabasca Kirby Lake Terminal, rather than constructing an entirely new line. Wherever possible, the pipeline route will follow existing pipeline rights-of-way, utility corridors and road allowances to ensure minimal environmental impact. Enbridge will employ industry-proven construction techniques for each of the planned crossings such as water courses, railways, roads and other pipelines. On August 17, 2015, Enbridge received AER approval for the Project; construction started in Fall 2015 with the expected project in-service date in Q4 of 2017.
If you have any questions or concerns, or if you require further information regarding this Project or Enbridge’s public involvement process, please contact us and a Project team member will respond to your call or e-mail.
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Enbridge Athabasca was proposing to construct a new pipeline, the Wood Buffalo Pipeline Extension (WBE) that would deliver crude oil to Enbridge Athabasca’s Battle River Terminal.
Originally, the WBE was planned as a new project that would follow our existing Athabasca Pipeline right-of-way, starting at our Cheecham Terminal, south of Fort McMurray, to the existing Battle River Terminal, near Hardisty. This pipeline was expected to run parallel with the Athabasca Pipeline Twinning (APT) Project that stars at our Kirby Lake Terminal near Winifred Lake and runs to our Battle River Terminal.
There is now an opportunity to use the APT pipeline to transport WBE volumes south of the Enbridge Kirby Lake Terminal, rather than constructing an entirely new line. Due to commercial drivers and our shippers’ changing needs, we are able to use the existing APT line to transport product south of the Kirby Lake Terminal. Therefore, we will no longer be proposing to build the WBE section of pipeline between the Kirby Lake Terminal and Battle River Terminal.
As mentioned above, these proposed changes are a result of a significant change in commercial drivers since the application for WBE was filed in April 2014. The in-service date for the recently constructed APT Project was original scheduled for 2015; however, at the request of Enbridge’s shippers, the in-service date has been delayed until 2017. This was caused by changes in production estimates from oil sands operations.
Enbridge determined it would be possible to take advantage of the existing capacity available on the APT pipeline by combining the transportation of both WBE and APT product within the existing APT pipeline. By using existing infrastructure, we will help to reduce environmental impacts and land disturbance, as well as eliminate the use of two partially filled pipelines running side by side.
This also means that WBE will no longer run through the Cold Lake Air Weapons Range (CLAWR), located in north-central Alberta. A separate application was filed and approved with the AER in 2013 for work within the CLAWR. Clearing in the CLAWR was completed in early 2014. The rationale for clearing the CLAWR portion of WBE in 2014 was to reduce the impacts to stakeholders and the environment by clearing it at the same time as APT. Reclamation activity within the CLAWR is already underway and is expected to be completed by summer of 2016. Reclamation will be focused on reforestation in order to restore caribou habitat, in accordance with the commitment in WBE’s Caribou Protection Plan.