Access Pipeline applies to expand bitumen blend shipments

Access Pipeline Inc. applied with Alberta’s Energy Resources Conservation Board (ERCB) for approval to build and operate a 295-km, 42-in. OD expansion to its existing pipeline system. The Access Northeast Expansion pipeline would transport low vapor pressure bitumen blend with no hydrogen sulfide from a pump station near Conklin, Alta., to Access’ existing Sturgeon terminal near Redwater, Alta., roughly paralleling the existing line.

The current Access Pipeline includes a 345-km, 16-in. OD diluent line running south-to-north and 345 km of 24- and 30-in. OD line shipping blended bitumen south to Sturgeon. Terminals operated by Provident and Enbridge supply diluent for the northbound line. Enbridge stores the southbound blend in tankage at Edmonton.

Access is jointly owned by MEG Energy and Devon ARL Corp. ERCB is accepting comments on the project through July 6.

Devon received approval for a third Jackfish steam-assisted gravity drainage oil sands project 15 km southeast of Conklin late last year (OGJ Online, Dec. 6, 2011). MEG moved ahead with its Christina Lake Phase 2B SAGD, also near Conklin, earlier in 2011 (OGJ Online, June 20, 2011).

Contact Christopher E. Smith at chriss@ogjonline.com.

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