Line 9B Reversal and Line 9 Capacity Expansion Project

The reversal of Line 9B, a 639-kilometre section of Line 9 from North Westover, Ont., to Montreal which was approved by the National Energy Board (NEB) on March 6, 2014 represents the second and final phase of Enbridge’s Eastern Canadian Refinery Access Initiative.

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Enbridge has been operating the Line 9 pipeline – an existing 762-mm (30-inch) diameter pipeline, with a current capacity of approximately 300,000 barrels per day – safely and reliably since 1976. The company’s Eastern Canadian Refinery Access Initiative is expected to help to level the playing field for Canadian refineries, safeguard jobs, and bolster the security of Canada’s energy supply at the same time.

Originally flowing eastward, Line 9 was reversed in 1998 as foreign oil from areas such as West Africa and the Middle East became more affordable (Quebec’s two remaining refineries currently process 90% foreign-sourced crude). However, Western Canadian crude is now priced significantly lower than foreign oil, and as a result, Enbridge successfully applied to the NEB in November 2012, to reverse the flow of Line 9 once again.

The Line 9B reversal is considered a critical step in ensuring the future of Quebec’s refining and petrochemical industries, according to an economic paper written by public policy analyst Jean-François Minardi and published by the Montreal Economic Institute in August 2013.

Quebec’s two refineries represent 20 per cent of Canadian capacity, employing about 1,000 workers, while the petrochemical sector in Montreal’s east end employs approximately 3,600 workers, writes Minardi.

Latest update:

The safe operation of the pipeline is our top priority. Line 9B is in normal operation under a voluntary pressure restriction. Any capacity increase will be requested to the NEB and this information is published on their website.

As always, if you observe anything out of the ordinary near the pipeline, call our emergency response line at 1-877-420-8800.

NEB Application

The NEB previously approved Enbridge’s standalone application for the reversal of the section known as Line 9A, from Sarnia, Ont., to North Westover, Ont., in July 2012. Project work was completed in November 2013, and that section of Line 9 is now flowing in a reversed direction.

Enbridge filed a project application with the NEB for the section known as Line 9B in November 2012, proposing at the same time to expand the capacity of Line 9 from 240,000 bpd to 300,000 bpd. The NEB gave approved the Line 9B Reversal and Line 9 Capacity Expansion Project, with conditions, on March 6, 2014.

Pipeline Safety

Over the past decade, Enbridge has transported nearly 14 billion barrels of crude oil with a safe delivery record of 99.9993 per cent. We also know that’s not good enough, because our goal – simply, unequivocally – will always be zero incidents.

At Enbridge, we back up our safety priorities by investing heavily in the tools, technologies, and strategies to ensure our energy transportation and distribution systems operate safely, reliably, and in an environmentally responsible manner. In 2012 and 2013 we invested a total of $4 billion in programs and initiatives to maintain and further enhance our pipelines and facilities in all parts of our business.

Click here for a more thorough description of Enbridge's dedication to pipeline safety, including the areas of monitoring, prevention, and emergency response.

Answering Your Questions

We are committed to engaging the public in meaningful discussions regarding the Line 9 reversal and capacity expansion. We speak frequently with landowners, municipalities, interested individuals and organizations to provide information and answer questions. Please don’t hesitate to contact us with your questions or concerns (see below for our Line 9B team's contact information).

Minimizing the Impact

The Line 9 reversal and capacity expansion will use the existing pipeline. No new pipe will be added. Except for some temporary workspace, all work will take place within existing Enbridge properties and rights-of-way.

As part of our successful proposal to expand the capacity of Line 9 from 240,000 bpd to 300,000 bpd, Drag Reducing Agent (DRA), a tested and safe polymer compound found in wool, nylon, and silicone, will be injected into the crude oil along Line 9, allowing oil to flow with less friction. Use of this technology allows for increased capacity with minimal requirement for new infrastructure – which ultimately minimizes the impact to the environment and stakeholders.

Project work will be performed at Sarnia Terminal, North Westover Station, Westover Terminal, Hilton Station, Cardinal Station, Terrebonne Station, and Montreal Terminal. Modification or replacement of existing equipment (including small pumps injecting DRA into the oil flow) and the installation of piping will take place within facility boundaries.


Contacts:

If you have any questions or concerns regarding the proposed Line 9B Reversal and Line 9 Capacity Expansion Project, or if you require further information, please call our toll-free phone line at 1-888-767-3098 and leave your contact information, or send an email to line9reversal@enbridge.com. Calls and emails will be responded to promptly.

Media: please call the Enbridge toll-free media line at: 1-888-992-0997

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Project Information:

Pipeline Safety

Enbridge operates the longest and most complex liquids pipeline system in the world. Over the past decade, we’ve transported nearly 14 billion barrels of crude oil with a safe delivery record of 99.9993 per cent. And we also know that’s not good enough. Our goal – simply, unequivocally – will always be zero incidents.

At Enbridge, we back up our safety priorities by investing heavily in the tools, technologies, and strategies to ensure our energy transportation and distribution systems operate safely, reliably, and in an environmentally responsible manner. In 2012 and 2013 we invested a total of $4 billion in programs and initiatives to maintain and further enhance our pipelines and facilities in all parts of our business.

Government regulations for the approval and maintenance of pipelines are transparent and rigorous. With our focus on safety, and our commitment to adopting state-of-the-art technology, Enbridge meets and often exceeds those regulations – and that has earned us recognition as an industry leader.

But we know that’s not good enough. Nothing is more important to us than the safety of our pipelines, our communities, and the environment. We continue to strive in the areas of monitoring, prevention, response, and new technology for a delivery record of 100%.

Monitoring

Enbridge’s Pipeline Control Centre is equipped with sophisticated, computerized monitoring and control systems that operate 24/7 and provide continuous, real-time information.

We also bolster our leak-detection monitoring system with routine inspections and aerial patrols of rights-of-way.

Prevention

We’ve got numerous ways of ensuring the fitness of our pipelines. We carefully select and test pipe prior to and during manufacture. We use X-ray or ultrasonic testing of all welds made to a pipeline section during construction. We also make use of durable coating systems and cathodic protection – that’s the use of low-voltage electric current – to protect pipe from external corrosion. Internally, we add corrosion inhibitors to the oil to nullify the potentially corrosive effect of water.

And we are particularly proud of our custom inline inspection tools, whose diagnostics are every bit as leading-edge as those in the medical industry. These tools regularly travel inside our pipelines, collecting data and evaluating the condition of the pipeline.

Sophisticated and refined, these inline inspection tools ensure pipeline safety by measuring the size, frequency, and location of even small changes in pipeline walls – as well as inspecting the insides and outsides of our pipes on an inch-by-inch scale. Using repeated inspections, we monitor changes in features over time. Occasionally, we find features that do require a visual inspection. In that case, we would perform a prevention-based Integrity Dig – which would involve excavation, cleaning, coating removal, pipe inspection, maintenance and repair if necessary, pipe recoating, and backfill.

We conduct all Integrity Digs professionally and responsibly. And, following our own advice to the public, we dig safely.

Emergency Response

At Enbridge, we do our very best to minimize any risk, but we are also prepared to respond to any incident, no matter how small. In case of any emergency, we have considerable combined resources in the Line 9 region at our disposal, in order to enhance response.

We have an on-call, 24/7 protocol in place for rapid response to incidents. We have significant caches of equipment and resources along the Line 9 right-of-way, and these resources can be moved and concentrated at any point along the line to support a response.

We also employ, and have access to, key contract responding resources and personnel in the region, including Quantum Murray and the Eastern Canadian Response Corporation.

Line 9 Products

Line 9 will carry mainly light crude oil. However, shippers will be permitted to ship crude oil blends or types that meet quality specifications set by Enbridge, and filed with the National Energy Board. This includes heavy crudes such as diluted bitumen – which has been studied by numerous scientific bodies, including the highly respected and influential National Academy of Sciences, and found to be non-corrosive and safe for pipelines.

At Enbridge, we’ve been transporting crude oil produced from Canada’s oil sands region since 1968. There is nothing new about transporting this form of crude oil – and after nearly half a century, there is no evidence that internal corrosion is caused by transporting oil from the Canadian oil sands. In fact, Enbridge has never experienced an internal corrosion failure on its mainline pipeline system.