|Saturday, May 25, 2013|
Our Pipeline System
The Access Pipeline consists of two distinct pipeline systems. The first pipeline is a 345 kilometer NPS (Nominal Pipeline Size) 16” diluent pipeline originating at Edmonton delivering diluent to the two projects located at the northern end of the pipeline. The second pipeline system consists of both a 295 kilometer NPS 24” and a 50 kilometer NPS 30” blended bitumen (“Blend”) pipeline. The Blend system originates at the north end of the Access’ System and terminates in Edmonton where it is delivered through existing pipeline systems to downstream markets.
Diluent is currently received through the Provident Redwater Facility and from the Enbridge Terminal in Sherwood Park. The diluent stream is delivered into Access Pipeline’s Sturgeon Terminal and stored within Access’ three dedicated diluent tanks.
The pipeline system is designed to deliver continuous volumes of diluent to the northern heavy oil batteries, where break out diluent storage is available. Pipeline operations can redirect incremental diluent as required at these battery locations, directly from the northbound diluent pipeline into the downstream southbound Blend Pipeline, to assist with reducing the viscosity thereby reducing the power required to pump the blend.
The diluent from the Sturgeon Terminal tanks is also injected into the southbound NPS 30” Edmonton Blend Pipeline at Access’ Sturgeon Terminal. This “Trim Blending” process adjusts the blend to meet downstream pipeline and crude oil storage specifications, namely viscosity and density. Access’ operations will adjust the density and the viscosity of the blend into the Edmonton area based on downstream pipeline operators guidelines which are geared toward optimizing seasonal temperature changes.
The Blend from Access Pipeline’s southbound pipeline currently is delivered into Enbridge tankage at Edmonton, with other possible future delivery points.