Close
School of Energy - Online October 20-21, 2020

Making Connections Across Energy Markets!

2020 has been a chaotic year for energy markets. Learn to make sense of it all with a structured approach to market analysis, supported by comprehensive spreadsheet models and market updates, all from the comfort of your home or office. Don't miss our Virtual School of Energy!

I've Got to Have You - Enbridge's Line 5 Faces New Scrutiny

The Dakota Access Pipeline isn’t the only interstate liquids pipe facing an uncertain future. The fate of Enbridge’s Line 5, which batches either light crude oil or a propane/butanes mix from Superior, WI, through Michigan and into Ontario, also hangs in the balance as the company renews its battle with Michigan’s top elected officials to keep the 67-year-old pipeline open and its effort win regulatory approval to replace the pipe’s most important water crossing. Line 5 supporters say that closing the 540-Mb/d pipeline would slash supplies to residential and commercial propane consumers in the Great Lakes State, steam crackers in Ontario, and refineries and gasoline blenders in three states and two Canadian provinces. Critics of Line 5 counter that there are plenty of supply alternatives. Today we discuss the pipeline, what it transports, and who it serves, as well as challenges it faces.

Line 5 is part of Enbridge’s much larger Mainline/Lakehead pipeline system from Western Canada to the U.S. heartland. The company’s Superior terminal in northwestern Wisconsin is the end point for the system’s Lines 1, 3, and 4 from Edmonton, AB; Line 67 from Hardisty, AB; and Line 2B from Cromer, MB (all shown as the yellow line in Figure 1) — and has the capacity to handle 2.8 MMb/d of incoming and outgoing liquids (most of them light, medium or heavy crudes). Line 5 (dark blue line) runs from Superior through Michigan’s Upper Peninsula (UP), across the Straits of Mackinac (the last syllable is pronounced “aw”), and Michigan’s Lower Peninsula, which instead of being called the LP is known as “the mitten” because of its shape. (Interesting fact: Michiganders who live on the UP are called “yoopers,” and yoopers call the folks who live in the mitten “trolls” because they live “under” the Mackinac Bridge. Get it?) At the Straits of Mackinac (small red oval) — the four-mile-wide water passage between Lake Michigan and Lake Huron — the 30-inch-diameter, single-pipe Line 5 splits into two 20-inch-diameter, parallel pipes that are anchored along the straits’ lakebed. (More on that crossing in a moment.) The eastern end of Line 5 goes under the St. Clair River to the petrochemical hub in Sarnia, ON.

To access the remainder of I've Got to Have You - Enbridge's Line 5 Faces New Scrutiny you must be logged as a RBN Backstage Pass™ subscriber.

Full access to the RBN Energy blog archive which includes any posting more than 5 days old is available only to RBN Backstage Pass™ subscribers. In addition to blog archive access, RBN Backstage Pass™ resources include Drill-Down Reports, Spotlight Reports, Spotcheck Indicators, Market Fundamentals Webcasts, Get-Togethers and more. If you have already purchased a subscription, be sure you are logged in For additional help or information, contact us at info@rbnenergy.com or 888-613-8874.