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Enbridge wants to build Cdn$ 1 billion diluent pipeline to oilsands

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World Pipelines,

Enbridge Inc. is planning to build a Cdn$ 1 billion pipeline to the oilsands, carrying diluent.

The pipeline company has announced it wants to build a pipeline that would transport 200 000 bpd of diluent – essential to the oilsands process – from Edmonton to Fort McMurray.

Diluent is used to thin the heavy oilsands crude, so that it can flow through pipelines.

The Norlite line

Enbridge, Canada's number one pipeline company, said the planned Norlite line may be expanded to carry 300 000 bpd should it receive enough support from oilsands producers.

“The key to oilsands growth is to ensure that there’s enough diluent,” Al Monaco, Enbridge’s Chief Executive, told reporters after the company’s investor day in Toronto. “In terms of where we are on the project, I would characterise it as the commercial discussions are going very well. They are not finalised yet, but certainly, we’re on the right track.”

Major expansion of the pipeline network

Enbridge is in the midst of a major expansion of its pipeline network, which carries the bulk of Canada's crude exports to the USA, to accommodate rising production from Alberta and North Dakota's shale oilfields and to move that oil to new markets on the Gulf Coast of America.

"You're seeing essentially a reconfiguring of the (oil) transportation grid in North America," said Monaco.

Edited from various sources by Elizabeth Corner

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