... Canada was planning six major oil export pipelines that have much higher stakes for international energy markets and the environment than the much-hyped, much-demonized Keystone XL. As I describe in my new article in The National Interest, it's highly unlikely that all six will be built, but it's just as likely that some of them will. Here are the six:
- Northern Gateway. Construct twin pipeline 730 miles from Bruderheim, Alberta, to the Pacific Ocean at Kitimat, British Columbia. Volume: 525,000 barrels daily. Canadian government approval is expected by mid-2014, but First Nations are expected to file lawsuits that could cause multi-year delays.
- Trans Mountain. Expand existing pipeline from Edmonton, Alberta to Vancouver, British Columbia from 300,000 barrels per day to 890,000 barrels per day. Government approval for 710 mile project not yet obtained but seems likely. However, local opposition in Vancouver area could cause major delays.
- Energy East. Convert existing natural gas pipeline and construct new pipeline a total of 2,730 miles from Alberta to Saint John, New Brunswick. Volume: 1.1 million barrels per day. Initial review process underway. The plan has unusually broad political support, including the opposition New Democratic Party.
- Alberta Clipper. Expand existing 1,000-mile oil pipeline from Hardisty, Alberta, to Superior, Wisconsin from 450,000 barrels per day to 800,000 barrels per day. The project is awaiting approval from the U.S. State Department, under a review process that is less intensive than Keystone XL.
- Line 3. Upgrade existing 1,000-mile pipeline from Hardisty, Alberta, to Superior, Wis., raising output from 390,000 to 760,000 barrels daily. Project is classified as “replacement” and “maintenance,” meaning it operates under an existing U.S. cross-border permit and does not require a new one.
- Line 9. Reverse the flow and expand an existing 515-mile pipeline between Sarnia, Ont., and Montreal. Instead of pumping foreign imported oil westward, it will connect to other eastward-flowing U.S. pipelines (including the extensions of Canada’s Alberta Clipper and Line 3) to send 300,000 barrels per day from the tar sands and North Dakota to refineries and ocean ports in Quebec. The Canadian government has approved the project; completion is expected by 2016.