Calgary, Alberta, Sept 19 (The Street Press) – Enbridge Inc is thinking about increasing the amount of oil it can transport each day on its Mainline system, which usually carries most of Canada’s oil to the United States. A company executive mentioned this possibility on Tuesday, suggesting they might add 200,000 more barrels per day (bpd) to the existing 3 million bpd capacity.
Enbridge is considering expanding its capacity, but they’ll only move forward with the plan once the Canadian government-owned Trans Mountain expansion (TMX) project becomes operational. Marc Weil, a senior vice president in the company’s Liquids Pipelines business, mentioned this condition.
The Trans Mountain expansion (TMX) project, which will be in competition with the Mainline, is set to increase Canada’s Pacific Coast pipeline capacity by another 590,000 barrels per day (bpd) once it’s finished. However, there have been delays in getting this long-awaited project up and running, mainly due to a last-minute route change request in British Columbia.
“Obviously industry would like to see TMX come online and see how that shakes out”, Marc Weil told Reuters. He added that when TMX becomes operational, it will provide an extra options for moving oil from the region. At the appropriate time, they believe that producers will be interested in additional assurances, and they’ll start discussions with them at that stage.
With TMX coming online, western Canada will have more export capacity than currently necessary. Nevertheless, oil companies are already ramping up production in anticipation of the additional pipeline capacity.
Weil emphasized that the longer the Trans Mountain expansion (TMX) project faces delays, the greater the risk that export pipelines in western Canada could reach their maximum capacity.
Furthermore, Weil pointed out that Enbridge’s Mainline is currently operating at near-full capacity. In fact, the company has announced that in October, they will need to ration the amount of crude that can be transported through the system due to high demand surpassing available capacity. This process, known as apportionment, will result in a 7% reduction in transport capacity for light crude volumes and a 10% reduction for heavy volumes.