A long-delayed Enbridge Inc. pipeline extending from Canada’s oil sands to the U.S. Midwest will enter service Friday after years of opposition from environmentalists and indigenous groups.
The company said its Line 3 replacement project, which will nearly double the capacity of the older line, is substantially completed and set to be fully operational. Enbridge will begin filling the line with crude Friday, according to a letter to shippers. Once that that’s complete, oil should begin to move to U.S. refineries. The company plans to reinstate surcharges for shipment on the new Line 3 from Oct. 1.
Canada’s oil-sands producers have struggled for years with a shortage of export pipelines as projects face increasing scrutiny. U.S. President Joe Biden, on his first day in office, rescinded a permit for TC Energy Corp.’s Keystone XL project, which would have helped increase shipments of Canadian crude to the U.S. Gulf Coast.
The start of Line 3, which can carry 760,000 barrels a day of crude from Alberta to Wisconsin, is happening after Enbridge fought court and regulatory battles for years, delaying construction multiple times. The pipeline was fiercely opposed by many environmentalists and indigenous groups, who argued the pipeline would sully waterways and contribute to climate change.
Protesters had urged Biden to stop Line 3. In June, groups of anti-Line 3 protesters clashed with law enforcement along the construction route, resulting in hundreds of arrests.
The start of the first new cross-border Canadian oil export pipeline built in years is poised to help alleviate a shortage of export conduits that depressed prices for Canadian crude oil and prompted some producers to ship oil to U.S. refineries on rail cars.