• North West Upgrading announced that Alberta Environment approved its planned $12.6 billion, 231,000 bpd oil sands upgrader. This was the final major approval step needed for the facility. Site preparation has already begun, but major construction is not expected to begin until North West has secured a financial backer for the project. The first phase of construction is expected to be complete in 2011 with the other phases scheduled to be completed in 2015.
  • The Canadian portion of Enbridge's $2.2 billion Southern Lights pipeline has been approved by the National Energy Board (NEB). This line will carry 180,000 bpd of ultra-light blending oils or diluent from the Chicago region to the oil sands region in Alberta. The pipeline is expected to be in service in late 2010. The NEB called the project an "innovative and cost-effective solution" for diluent supplies as need for the product increases with increased production in the oil sands.
  • Enbridge also received approval this month to build the Canadian portion of its $3 billion Alberta Clipper pipeline, which will carry 450,000 bpd of crude from the oil sands to US refiners. The 1,607-kilometre Alberta Clipper line will run from the storage hub of Hardisty, Alberta, to Superior, Wisconsin, where it can be distributed on other lines to refiners in the Midwest and elsewhere. This line is expected to be completed in the middle of 2010. The Clipper pipeline could also be expanded to carry 800,000 bpd of crude if needed.