Enbridge Inc. plans to file with regulators a new shipping-fee proposal for users of its vast Mainline oil pipeline later this year, a move intended to increase flows on the system amid increasing competition from other projects.
North America’s largest pipeline company is evaluating two tolling options, after a proposal to offer long-term contracts was rejected last year by Canada’s energy regulator. Industry consultations are expected to continue through the first half of 2022, according to Enbridge’s fourth quarter earnings report. The Calgary-based company is seeking the new system as it faces increasing competition from projects that have contracted space, including the Trans Mountain expansion scheduled to be completed as early as this year.
The Mainline pipeline network ships more than 3 million barrels of crude a day from Alberta to the U.S. Midwest, where it connects to the Gulf Coast, as well as Ontario and Quebec. It includes the Line 3 and Line 5 conduits that have faced opposition in the U.S. Shipment volumes are expected to average 2.95 million barrels a day this year, up 7% from last year, company executives said on an earnings call, citing the report.
One of the proposals to encourage more flows is a modified, incentive-based version of its current arrangement, which allows producers to decide the volumes they want to ship each month. The other is a so-called cost-of-service application that would ensure tolls are enough to cover costs and provide a return on investments. Enbridge is collecting interim tolls which are consistent with levies that ended on June 30 when the Competitive Toll Settlement (CTS) expired.
“We’re looking to land on a path by this summer hopefully, and then file,” Chief Executive Officer Al Monaco said on the call.
Meanwhile, Enbridge plans to add some 2 million barrels of permitted storage and a solar facility of up to 60 megawatts at its newly acquired Moda Ingleside facility in Texas, the company said in its earnings release. The storage project is slated for completion by the end of this year.
As part of a previously announced plan, it will add 90,000 barrels a day of new capacity at its Flanagan South crude pipeline which transports supplies from Pontiac, Illinois, to Cushing, Oklahoma, the delivery point of the Nymex oil futures contract.
Enbridge shares gained as much as 1.3% in Toronto trading on Friday. The stock is up almost 12% this year.