En­bridge ex­ec­u­tive hopes Line 9 pipeline ship­ping oil this year

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - BUSINESS -

An En­bridge ex­ec­u­tive says he hopes the com­pany will be al­lowed to start ship­ping crude to Mon­treal through its Line 9 pipeline later this year.

But se­nior vice-pres­i­dent Vern Yu says there should be more clar­ity on the timeline when En­bridge re­ports its sec­ond quar­ter-earn­ings within the com­ing weeks.

Work to re­verse the flow of Line 9 be­tween south­ern On­tario and Mon­treal was com­pleted last fall, but En­bridge was been wait­ing for the Na­tional Energy Board to al­low it to start up.

The latest de­lay came last month when the board or­dered hy­dro­static test­ing on three seg­ments of pipe in densely pop­u­lated ar­eas to en­sure it won't leak.

Yu says it's an in­volved process that's likely to take a few months rather than weeks as the tech­ni­cal de­tails need to be worked out with the board and var­i­ous per­mits need to be ob­tained.

Yu was speak­ing Wed­nes­day to re­porters at the TD Se­cu­ri­ties Energy Con­fer­ence in Cal­gary.

Hy­dro­static test­ing in­volves fill­ing the pipe with wa­ter at much higher than its usual op­er­at­ing pres­sure to en­sure the pipe is strong enough and won't burst. The re­sults must be pro­vided to and ap­proved by the Na­tional Energy Board.

“You have to work out the tech­ni­cal de­tails with the NEB, what ex­actly are you go­ing to do,” said Yu.

“Then you need to get all the per­mits to ac­quire the wa­ter, to move the wa­ter, to dis­charge the wa­ter. That takes time. Then you ac­tu­ally have to do the test. Then you have to re­view the re­sults of the test. So it is a lengthy process.”

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