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Updated June 2021

 

Oil Pipelines

Alberta is serviced by four major export lines. These pipelines provide the bulk of export capacity leaving the province (Figure 8.2).

Alberta also has a number of intraprovincial pipelines, as listed in Table 8.1.

Market Access

In 2020, total design capacity to move oil from the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin to outside markets was 727.6 thousand cubic metres per day (103 m3/d) (4578.2 103 bbl/d).

Table 8.2 lists the pipelines that remove oil from Alberta, their destinations, and their design capacities in 2020.

In 2020, there was an estimated 650.9 103 m3/d (4096 103 bbl/d) of pipeline export capacity for oil from the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin (Figure 8.3). This amount does not reflect design capacity but available capacity, which is higher due to enhancement and optimization work that took place during 2020.

North American Pipeline Projects

Table 8.3 lists selected proposed pipeline projects in North America, along with their anticipated start-up dates and capacities.

Natural Gas Pipelines

Figure 8.4 shows the major gas pipeline systems in Canada and major export points for Alberta’s natural gas.

Tables 8.4 and 8.5 list Alberta’s intraprovincial pipelines and the removal and import pipelines, respectively.

Natural Gas Liquid Pipelines

Alberta has a number of pipelines that transport natural gas liquids, including ethane, butanes, and condensates. Demand for condensate has been greater than Alberta’s supply since 2004 since condensate is a common diluent for oil sands bitumen. Alberta now relies on imports of condensate to meet demand. Imports of condensate are from the United States, primarily through the Southern Lights pipeline (from Manhattan, Illinois, to Edmonton, Alberta) and Cochin pipeline (from Kankakee, Illinois, to Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta). Alberta’s diluent demand is expected to increase with growing oil sands production.

Ethane Gathering and Delivery Systems

Figure 8.5 shows the ethane gathering and delivery systems in Alberta.

NGL Pipeline Capacity

Tables 8.6, 8.7, and 8.8 list Alberta’s intraprovincial NGL pipelines, interprovincial NGL pipelines, and proposed NGL pipeline projects, respectively.

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