Crude oil characteristics

Each year, Enbridge compiles a summary of selected chemical and physical properties of crude oils and condensates moved in the liquids pipelines system, which are included in the PDF file below.

Enbridge 2020 crude oil characteristics

Click here to view the 2020 Crude Characteristics Booklet, a summary of selected chemical and physical properties of crude oils and condensates moved in the Enbridge Pipelines Inc. (Enbridge)/Enbridge Energy Partners, L.P. system.

Samples were collected over a limited period of time and may or may not be representative of shipments over the entire year. These samples tabulated density at 15ºC, and vapour pressure in kilopascals (kPa), while sulphur by weight (per cent), pour point (in º C) and viscosity results (in centistokes) were each tabulated at 10, 20, 30, 40 and 45ºC.

Viscosity-temperature relationship

The viscosity test of a commodity characterizes its resistance to flow in pipeline movement. The test itself may exaggerate the low temperature viscosity of paraffinic crude oils. Previous testing has shown that the viscosity behaviour of a crude oil in a pipeline follows a curve somewhere between the apparent viscosity (the extrapolated straight line portion of the viscosity-temperature plot) and the measured viscosity.

Measured values of viscosity should be used for interlab comparisons. Apparent values should be used for head loss calculations and surcharge grouping.

To increase pumping capacity, Enbridge has limited receipt viscosities to 350 centistokes. As seasonal temperatures vary, the blends of heavier crude oils with diluent will change to meet the viscosity limit.

Testing of shipments on the Enbridge network

Enbridge conducts various standard tests for commodities transported on the pipeline system from time to time. Click here to view a summary of these standard tests for each commodity, with respect to location, frequency, and type of test.

Shippers are fully responsible for testing their own shipments as well as the accuracy of shipment quality at injection. Testing by Enbridge is not intended to replace high quality control standards at production or refining facilities.

Quality pooling

Enbridge will begin the formalized expanded use of Quality Pooling on its Mainline as of May 1, 2014, whereby similar types of crude will be grouped into common pools in order to optimize system capacity.

Click here to view and download a Crude Oil Commodity Map summarizing the commodity transport method for each commodity as well as a more detailed Crude Oil Commodity Management Reference.

Click here for the Quality Pooling Specification Package.

Click here for Frequently Asked Questions related to Quality Pooling.

Click here for a copy of Table 5: Tank Utilization (effective Nov. 10, 2020).