Oil Sands Transportation
The Oil Sands Transportation business is the largest oil sands gathering business in Canada, transporting roughly 813,000 b/d of bitumen blend in 2012 or approximately 40% of Canada’s oil sands production. Consisting of the Cold Lake, Corridor and Polaris pipeline systems, this business segment has over 2,500 km of pipeline and 3.8 million barrels of storage.
The Cold Lake pipeline system is the largest transporter of Cold Lake area bitumen production. It provides pipeline transportation service for Cold Lake area production for the founding shippers; Cenovus, Canadian Natural Resources and Imperial Oil, and also provides product transportation service for Shell Canada Energy’s Orion project. The producers’ heavy bitumen is blended with diluent which is transported by Inter Pipeline from the Strathcona region to the Cold Lake area. This blended product is then shipped by Cold Lake to the major crude oil terminalling hubs in Edmonton and Hardisty, Alberta. Inter Pipeline is currently adding pump stations to the west leg of the Cold Lake pipeline system, which will boost Cold Lake throughput capacity from 535,000 to 650,000 b/d by mid 2013. In 2012 the Cold Lake pipeline system transported approximately 494,000 b/d.
The Corridor pipeline system provides bitumen transportation services for the Athabasca Oil Sands Project (AOSP) near Fort McMurray, Alberta. Owned by Shell Canada Energy, Chevron Canada and Marathon Oil Corporation, AOSP is a major mining and bitumen upgrading project in the Alberta oil sands. The Corridor system links the AOSP production site and the oil processing and marketing hub near Edmonton, Alberta. In 2012 the Corridor system transported approximately 318,000 b/d.
With the completion of the Corridor system expansion in 2011, the existing 12 inch pipeline between the Muskeg River mine and the Scotford upgrader became available for alternative service. Redesignated as the Polaris pipeline system, the 12 inch pipeline is being developed as a stand-alone diluent transportation system serving the Athabasca oil sands region. The Polaris system entered service in 2012, initially anchored by two long-term contracts that will utilize 90,000 b/d of initial capacity and a five year contract that will utilize a further 10,000 b/d of capacity.
Both the Cold Lake and Polaris pipeline systems are undergoing major expansions to meet demand for diluted bitumen and diluent transportation services and capture new development opportunities. For further details, please see our New Projects page.
|System||Type||Length (km)||Storage Capacity (bbls)||2012 Throughput (b/d)|
|Cold Lake||Oil sands & condensate gathering system||986||376,000||494,400|
|Corridor||DilBit, diluent, feedstock & products pipeline||1,046||3,500,000||318,200|
|Polaris||Diluent transportation system||495||-||In commercial service August 2012|
In This Section
- Operating Areas
- Operations Overview
- Conventional Oil Pipelines
- Oil Sands Transportation
- NGL Extraction
- Bulk Liquid Storage
- New Projects
- Customer Services
- Environmental Health & Safety
- Oil & Gas Terminology
Inter Pipeline Fund made the Venture 250 list, Alberta Venture magazine's 2012 list of the 250 highest grossing Alberta companies.