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Alberta Clipper Oil Pipeline

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This article is part of the Global Fossil Infrastructure Tracker, a project of Global Energy Monitor and the Center for Media and Democracy.
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Alberta Clipper Oil Pipeline (also known as Line 67) is an oil pipeline in the United States and Canada.[1]

Location

The pipeline runs from Hardisty, Alberta, to Superior, Wisconsin, passing through Metiskow, Kerrobert, Milden, Craik, Regina, White City, Odessa, Cromer, Glenboro, Gretna, Viking, Clearbrook, and Deer River. It crosses the US/Canada border at Neche, North Dakota, then enters Minnesota soon after.[1]

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Project Details

  • Operator: Enbridge[1]
  • Current capacity: 440,000 barrels per day
  • Proposed capacity: 880,000 barrels per day
  • Length: 1607 km
  • Status: Operating
  • Start Year: 2010 (current line)

Background

Alberta Clipper (also known as Line 67) is an oil pipeline in North America. It is owned and operated by Enbridge and is part of the extensive Enbridge Pipeline System. The pipeline runs from Hardisty, Alberta, in Canada, to Superior, Wisconsin]], in the United States, integrating the company's Canadian oil sands pipeline system with the Lakehead system in the United States.[2]

Construction on the pipeline began in summer 2008.[2] Detailed engineering for the Canadian portion was carried out by WorleyParsons. The majority of pipeline was built by the consortium of Michels Corporation, Precision Pipeline and US Pipeline, while Willbros Group built the portion between Sherwood Park and Hardisty, and the joint venture of Robert B Somerville and Techint Canada built three sections of the pipeline.

The pipeline was placed into service on April 1, 2010. The first shipment was moved in October 2010.[3]

Expansion

The initial capacity of the1607 km pipeline is 450,000 barrels per day which after expansion may be increased up to 800,000 barrels per day.[4] It has pump stations at Hardisty, Alberta, Kerrobert, Milden, Cromer, Glenboro, Gretna, Viking, Minnesota, Clearbrook, and Deer River.[3] The diameter of the pipe is Template:Convert.[2] The pipeline cost US$3.3 billion.[3][5]

In 2013, Enbridge applied for the expansion project. At the first stage by 2014, the capacity would have increased up to Template:Convert and at the second stage by 2015, the capacity would have increased up to Template:Convert.[6] According to Enbridge, Line 67 Upgrade Project Phase 2 was completed, and entered into service in July 2015.[7] As the United States presidential permit is still pending, oil is pumped before the Canada–US border into the Enbridge Line 3 pipeline and after the border crossing back to the Alberta Clipper.[8]

Opposition

2009 Presidential Permit challenge and border "switcheroo"

Because it would cross an international border, U.S. law required the pipeline to receive a Presidential Permit from the U.S. State Department. Environmental groups challenged the approval process of the Presidential Permit in federal court, saying the review should have been based on an eventual capacity of 800 barrels per day. The challenge was unsuccessful. About two years after the line was build, Enbridge announced that it would see approval for 570,000 bpd by mid-2014 and 880,000 bpd by late 2015. While the State Department considered the application for new capacity, Enbridge began diverting large quantities of oil around the Line 67 border crossing, using an existing pipeline, Line 3, that had no capacity limit. Writing in MinnPost, Ron Meador referred to the diversion as the "Pipeline switcheroo."[9]

Position of tribes and tribal governments

The group Honor the Earth describes the approval of the original line by the Leech Lake and Fond du Lac tribal governments, and the current concerns about further expansion, as follows:[10]

The Alberta Clipper pipeline is already constructed. It was forged through our land in 2009, over the opposition of many people concerned about the water, air and future. Both the Leech Lake and Fond du Lac bands of Ojibwe signed agreements with Enbridge, after much discussion and in a very controversial set of decisions. At the same time, both tribal governments hoped for the best. The Leech Lake Ojibwe already have six pipelines crossing their territory and this has caused major problems already, including a not yet cleaned up Enbridge spill. Fond du Lac does not have a spill, but the tribal council made a decision to locate the original Alberta Clipper pipeline in a place they thought was the safest for their wild rice beds and people. While both tribal governments signed agreements with Enbridge, the true threats and increased risks of expansion were not revealed. This is a problem with the expansion, as there is a very great risk of a spill, so great that a similar recent Enbridge proposal in British Columbia was rejected by that government in June. The pipelines however, are also destined for export markets. Many Anishinaabe people and other northerners are also concerned about the tar sands themselves – as this is oil from the tar sands region – the Athabascan River system. This oil is considered to be the most destructive oil in terms of it’s impact on the environment, including the land, water, and climate change. The tar sands have no way out except, essentially, by pipeline. Rail infrastructure is, as yet, undeveloped and only moves a minor amount of oil. And the Enbridge line is the essential line, since most other proposals are being rejected (Gateway, Kinder Morgan, and now new challenges to the West East Pipeline in Canada).

Articles and resources

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Alberta Clipper Oil Pipeline, Wikipedia, accessed September 2017
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Anderson, Scott (2008-08-27). "Enbridge begins construction on Alberta Clipper". Retrieved on 2014-03-15. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Alberta Clipper Pipeline Project, Canada. hydrocarbons-technology.com. Retrieved on 2014-03-15.
  4. Haggett, Scott (2008-02-22). "Canada regulator OKs C$3 bln Enbridge oil pipeline". Retrieved on 2014-03-15. 
  5. Rascoe, Ayesha (2010-03-18). "U.S. mustn't discriminate against Canadian oil sands". Retrieved on 2014-03-15. 
  6. "Enbridge Expansion Could Turn Into Keystone-Like Fight" (2013-05-02). Retrieved on 2014-03-15. 
  7. Line 67 Upgrade Project (Phase 2). Enbridge. Retrieved on 2016-12-05.
  8. Mandel, Charles (2016-02-18). "Enbridge expansion of U.S. pipelines the new Keystone XL, report contends". Retrieved on 2016-12-05. 
  9. Ron Meador, [https://www.minnpost.com/earth-journal/2015/09/alberta-clipper-pipeline-switcheroo-beyond-power-us-courts "Is Albert Clipper pipeline switcheroo beyond the power of U.S. courts?" MinnPost, 11 September 2015
  10. "Alberta Clipper," Honor the Earth, accessed September 2017

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