Oil Sands TransportationPrint Page

The oil sands transportation business transports roughly 1,096,000 b/d of bitumen blend and diluent in 2016 or approximately 30% of Canada’s oil sands production. Consisting of the Cold Lake, Corridor and Polaris pipeline systems, this business segment has over 3,300 km of pipeline and 3.8 million barrels of storage.

The Cold Lake pipeline system is the largest transporter of Cold Lake area bitumen production. It provides pipeline transportation service for Cold Lake area production for the founding shippers; FCCL Partnership, Canadian Natural Resources and Imperial Oil, and also provides product transportation service for OSUM and Cenovus. The producers’ heavy bitumen is blended with diluent which is transported by Inter Pipeline from the Strathcona region to the Cold Lake area. This blended product is then shipped by the Cold Lake pipeline system to major crude oil terminalling hubs in Edmonton and Hardisty, Alberta. In 2016, the Cold Lake pipeline system transported approximately 558,000 b/d.

The Corridor pipeline system provides bitumen transportation services for the Athabasca Oil Sands Project (AOSP) near Fort McMurray, Alberta. Owned by Shell Canada Energy, Chevron Canada and Marathon Oil Corporation, AOSP is a major mining and bitumen upgrading project in the Alberta oil sands. The Corridor system links the AOSP production site and the oil processing and marketing hub near Edmonton, Alberta. In 2016, the Corridor system transported approximately 379,000 b/d.

The Polaris pipeline system is a diluent pipeline system which transports diluent from the Edmonton area to the Athabasca and Cold Lake areas of Alberta. The pipeline began operating as a stand-alone diluent transportation system serving the Athabasca oil sands region in 2012 and has rapidly developed as a major diluent transportation system. In 2016, the Polaris pipeline system transported approximately 159,000 b/d of diluent.

Both the Cold Lake and Polaris pipeline systems have had recent major expansions to meet demand for diluted bitumen and diluent transportation services and capture new development opportunities. For further details, please see our Pipeline Construction Projects page.

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Specifications
System Type Storage Capacity (bbls) 2016 Throughput (b/d)
Cold Lake Oil sands & condensate gathering system 376,000 558,000
Corridor DilBit, diluent, feedstock & products pipeline 3,450,000 379,000
Polaris Diluent transportation system - 159,000