According to Enbridge, the Southern Lights Project is designed to bridge the gap between the available supply of diluent (light hydrocarbon) from U.S. refineries and supply centers while increasing the demand for diluent by petroleum producers in the oil sands and heavy crude oil production regions in Western Canada.
The pipeline will connect Canada’s oil sands to refinery markets in the U.S. Midwest, and new pipeline will be constructed while the use of some segments of existing Enbridge pipeline will be reversed for south-to-north diluent service. Another diluent pipeline might be built from Edmonton, Alberta, to the heavy oil sands region in northern Alberta.
The Southern Lights Project consists of 136 miles of 20-inch-diameter crude oil pipeline and 190 miles of 20-inch-diameter diluent pipeline. The project also calls for the construction of five new 6,500-hp pump stations and the reversal of six new 200,000-bbl storage tanks. Another component of this project is the construction of the Canadian portion of a new 313-mile, 20-inch crude oil pipeline to expand capacity of its existing mainline system by the end of 2008.
The project encompasses constructing 674 miles of 16-inch pipe from the Chicago area to Clearbrook, Minn. Roughly 442 miles of the construction utilizes the same right-of-way as Enbridge’s Southern Access expansion between Flanagan, Ill., and Superior, Wis. The pipeline between Superior and Clearbrook will follow the system’s existing right-of-way. The project will be constructed in five phases.
Gulf Interstate Engineering Co. will provide detailed engineering, design and procurement services for the US portion of the Southern Lights Projects in North Dakota, Minnesota, and northern Wisconsin.
ShawCor will provide pipeline coating for the Southern Lights project.