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The proposed Line 3 Replacement Program involves replacement of all remaining segments of our Line 3 pipeline between Hardisty, AB and Superior, WI, along with construction of associated facilities. The project involves replacing existing 34-inch-diameter pipe with 36-inch-diameter pipe from Hardisty to Gretna, MB, and Neche, ND, to Superior. Segments of Line 3 from the U.S.-Canada international border to Neche, and near the Minnesota-Wisconsin border to Enbridge’s Superior Terminal, will be replaced with 34-inch-diameter pipeline, and are under separate segment replacement projects.
The $7.5-billion Line 3 Replacement Program (L3RP) is the largest project in Enbridge history, and includes replacing the existing pipe with modern pipe materials utilizing modern construction methods—resulting in restoration of one of Enbridge's primary pipelines along its Mainline crude oil system.
Under the L3RP, the majority of the existing Line 3 will be fully replaced with new pipeline and associated facilities on either side of the Canada-U.S. international border. The total length of the pipeline replacement is 1,031 miles (1,660 km).
On the Canadian side of the border, Enbridge Pipelines Inc. has announced plans to undertake an approximately $4.9-billion replacement program for most of its Line 3 pipeline running between Enbridge’s existing Hardisty Terminal in east-central Alberta and Gretna, Manitoba. Similarly, in the U.S., Enbridge Energy Partners L.P. will undertake an approximately US$2.6-billion replacement program for its Line 3 pipeline running between Neche, North Dakota, and Enbridge's existing Superior Station and Terminal Facility in Superior, Wisconsin.
Collectively, these programs are known as the Line 3 Replacement Program—an important undertaking that will address integrity requirements, improve the reliability and safety of Enbridge’s Mainline system, and restore pipeline capability. The Canadian federal government announced on Nov. 29, 2016 its approval of the Line 3 Replacement Program. The anticipated in-service date for this project is 2019, pending U.S. regulatory approvals.
The L3RP will replace the existing 34-inch-diameter pipeline with a 36-inch-diameter pipeline from Hardisty to Gretna on the Canadian side, and from Neche, N.D., to Superior on the U.S. side. Segments of Line 3 outside of Cromer, Man., from the Canadian border to Neche, N.D., and near the Minnesota-Wisconsin border to the Superior terminal, are being replaced under separate segment replacement projects.
Under the L3RP, all segments of the line between Hardisty and Superior will be replaced with new pipe using the latest available high-strength steel and coating technology, while the existing segments will be removed from operation.
Replacing the pipeline is the most efficient way to maintain the reliability of Line 3, and it’s also the most timely and reliable transportation solution for transporting Western Canadian crude oil to refinery markets in Chicago, the U.S. Gulf Coast, and the Eastern U.S. and Canada.
The oral portion of the National Energy Board's (NEB) hearings on Enbridge's proposed Line 3 Replacement Program began on Nov. 30, 2015 in Winnipeg and concluded on Dec. 14, 2015 in Calgary. Filings and transactions pertaining to the project, as well as hearing process updates, can be found on the NEB website. The Project Description can also be viewed, downloaded, and/or printed by clicking on the link at the right side of this page.
As part of the L3RP, the existing Line 3 pipeline will be decommissioned—and Enbridge will be responsible for the decommissioned line forever.
Decommissioning refers to the permanent cessation of operation, such that the cessation does not result in the discontinuance of service to end-users.
In general terms, the process of decommissioning a pipeline involves: removing the oil from the pipeline; cleaning the pipeline; physically disconnecting the pipeline; segmenting the pipeline and continuing to monitor it.
For more information on the decommissioning process, visit our L3RP Decommissioning webpage.
Over the past decade, Enbridge has transported more than 15 billion barrels of crude oil with a safe delivery record that’s better than 99.999 per cent. We 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. Over the past four years, ending in 2015, we spent $4.56 billion on system integrity and leak detection across our crude oil and liquids pipeline operations.
Click here for a more thorough description of Enbridge's dedication to pipeline safety, including the areas of monitoring, prevention, and emergency response.
Replacing Line 3 is in the public interest because it reduces both the frequency and the magnitude of ongoing maintenance activities that would otherwise occur in order to maintain the safe operation of Line 3. This means significant benefits to landowners, local communities, and the environment.
Replacing Line 3 is also in the public interest because it would better serve the current and future petroleum requirements of the general public, who are dependent on refineries to meet their refined petroleum product needs.
Listening to you, understanding your views, and working to address your concerns are important to Enbridge. Our team is dedicated to ensuring you have informative materials and are given the opportunity to share your feedback with us. We want to hear from you.
We have hosted a variety of consultation activities. We're committed to continuing to give you the opportunity to meet and talk with team members, keep you informed with program updates, and engage our Mainline communities. Please see our Community Outreach section for information on how to contact us.
Line 3 is a “mixed-service” line, meaning it carries a variety of crude oils, including sweets, light and high sours, and light synthetics.
Shippers are permitted to ship crude oil blends or types on Enbridge’s liquids pipelines system that meet stringent 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.
If you have any questions or concerns, or if you require further information regarding this program or Enbridge’s public involvement process, please call our program toll-free line:
1-888-967-3899 (leave your contact information)
Or send an e-mail to email@example.com
We will respond to calls and e-mails promptly.
Media: Please call the Enbridge toll-free media line at 1-888-992-0997
As part of the Line 3 Replacement Program, the existing Line 3 pipeline will be decommissioned—and Enbridge will be responsible for the decommissioned line forever.
In the Canadian pipeline industry, a line is said to be decommissioned when its operations permanently cease, but its end users along that right-of-way do not see a discontinuance of service. Using a traffic analogy, when one lane of a four-lane highway is closed down, traffic still uses the remaining lanes to travel from city to city.
In advance of the potential decommissioning of a line, engineering and environmental assessments are completed in consultation with landowners. And once the National Energy Board approves a decommission application, the process generally involves:
The process does not end there. Enbridge is committed to monitoring decommissioned lines, just as we do with active lines, in various ways. They include:
Generally speaking, Enbridge leaves a decommissioned line in place to avoid major construction activities, and to reduce the risk of soil stability issues that could compromise the integrity of operating pipelines sharing the right-of-way.
This also means refraining from using the heavy equipment that would be needed to excavate and remove the buried pipeline – and that reduces the risk involved with maintaining the safe operation of those other pipelines.
A more thorough explanation of the L3RP's decommissioning process can be found in our application and Project Description document, which have been filed with the NEB.