Enbridge Line 3 Replacement Completed, Online in October

Eight-year project to replace key Canada-to-US crude oil pipeline completed.

Enbridge Line 3.PNG
The $4-billion US portion of the Line 3 Replacement Program replaced 34-in. pipe with 36-in. pipe.
SOURCE: Enbridge

Enbridge has completed substantially the Line 3 Replacement Project and will bring the new pipeline in service on 1 October, despite years of opposition by environmentalists and others who argued the project would worsen climate change and risk spills in waters vital to regional farm land.

The milestone marks the full replacement of the entire 1,097-mile-long pipeline from Edmonton, Alberta, to Superior, Wisconsin. The new 337-mile Minnesota segment of Line 3, which follows other segments already placed into service in Canada, North Dakota, and Wisconsin, restores the full pipeline capacity of 760,000 B/D to meet the energy needs of refineries in the Midwest. The new line should be filled to capacity sometime in mid-October.

“After more than 8 years of many people working together, extensive community engagement, and thorough environmental, regulatory, and legal review, we are pleased that Line 3 is complete and will soon deliver the low-cost and reliable energy that people depend on every day,” said Al Monaco, Enbridge president and chief executive. “Line 3 was developed and executed with the most state-of-the-art approach to design, construction, and environmental management.”

In Minnesota, the Line 3 replacement was the most studied pipeline project in state history, with input gathered from 71 public comment regulatory meetings and more than 3,500 community engagement meetings. Scientific review exceeding legal and regulatory requirements resulted in support and project approvals from federal, state, and local agencies, and Native American tribes.

More than 1,500 Indigenous people worked on replacing the line in the US and Canada, according to Enbridge. Specifically, in Minnesota, where Native Americans made up 7% of the Line 3 workforce, over $300 million went directly to Native-owned contractors, tribal community investments, and training and hiring Native individuals.

Line 3 originally entered service in 1968. The replacement program was the largest project in Enbridge history. The $4-billion US portion of the program consisted of replacing existing 34-in. pipe with new 36-in. pipe for 13 miles in North Dakota, 337 miles in Minnesota, and 14 miles in Wisconsin.