| CALGARY, Alberta
CALGARY, Alberta Aug 15 Canada's largest
pipeline company Enbridge Inc expects maintenance work
over the next three months to cut throughput on the western leg
of its crude export network by up to 9 percent, a company
document seen by Reuters on Friday showed.
Pipeline space lost to maintenance by November will total
nearly 190,000 barrels per day of the 2.4 million bpd of
operating capacity on the Canadian portion or western leg of the
Mainline system, which carries the bulk of Canada's crude
exports to the United States.
Traders in Canada's oil capital Calgary keep a close eye on
Enbridge pipelines as outages can leave crude bottlenecked in
Alberta and Canadian grades trading at steep discounts to U.S.
In its August capacity forecast for September to November,
Enbridge said it expects 2.19 million bpd to move through the
western leg in November, a drop of 7 percent from 2.36 million
bpd moved in June.
The 2.2 million bpd eastern part of the system, which starts
in Superior, Wisconsin, and feeds refineries and markets across
the Midwest, will be hardest hit in October when 154,000 bpd or
7 percent of operating capacity is expected to go offline.
Enbridge is undertaking a multi-billion dollar Mainline
expansion to meet booming oil sands production. However, some
traders have warned chokepoints on the system will move upstream
as congestion in the Midwest eases.
One Calgary-based trader said he expected crude prices to
fall as maintenance ramps up in November, with some barrels
getting stranded in Edmonton, Alberta.
He said the light to heavy crude spread could widen as
"there is basically zero maintenance on the light lines",
particularly in the eastern part of the system.
Front-month light synthetic crude last traded at $4.25 per
barrel below U.S. crude futures, while Western Canada
Select heavy blend changed hands at $17.75 per barrel below the
The Enbridge document showed that on the 2.4 million bpd
western part of the Mainline system between Alberta and Superior
83,000 bpd of capacity will be lost to maintenance in September,
120,000 bpd in October and 188,000 bpd in November.
Meanwhile, expansion work on the eastern part of the system
means available capacity will rise to 2.2 million bpd in
November from 2.1 million bpd in October.
Operating capacity on Line 61 between Superior and Flanagan,
Illinois, part of the Mainline, is set to rise to 623,000 bpd by
November - although 44,000 bpd will still be curtailed by
Capacity on Line 6B between Griffith, Indiana, and Sarnia,
Ontario, will reach 401,000 bpd.
As Enbridge moves forward with its Line 9 reversal project
to pump Western Canadian crude refineries around Montreal and
Quebec City, outages are expected on other lines in the United
States and eastern Canada.
"Maintenance activities for the next three months centre
around several outages on line 7,9,5,6 in order to accommodate
the line 9 reversal project," Enbridge said in the document.
Enbridge spokesman Graham White said the company would not
provide detail on specific volumes if outages occurred and would
manage the impacts with shippers.
(Reporting by Nia Williams in Calgary; editing by Jessica
Resnick-Ault and Marguerita Choy)