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Enbridge launches open season for Canadian mainline as it reworks tolling setup

Enbridge Inc. is looking for long-term shipper contracts for priority transportation service on its Canadian Mainline crude oil pipeline system as the company revamps its tolling setup for the largest pipe network for crude shipments to the U.S.

The common carrier pipeline system currently has all of its capacity available to shippers on an uncommitted basis, but the tolling agreement is scheduled to expire on June 30, 2021, according to an Aug. 2 news release. Enbridge is looking to shift to a long-term, take-or-pay contract basis for the pipeline system, leaving at least 10% of capacity reserved for uncommitted volumes.

Shippers who sign up during the open season would get priority access in Canada for contracted volume, a 20-year contract term and toll discounts for longer terms and higher volumes. Upon completion of the Line 3 replacement project, capacity on the mainline will be at 3.2 million barrels per day, with up to 2.9 million bbl/d locked into contracts. The remaining 325,000 bbl/d will stay open for spot service.

The contracting is expected to take effect July 1, 2021, subject to regulatory approval. Enbridge said it plans to seek approval from Canada's National Energy Board later this year to change its existing tolling agreement. The open season is scheduled to close on Oct. 2.