A formal open season process, in which potential customers can bid to ship crude on the Southern Access Extension pipeline, began Wednesday and will run until Jan. 18.
The pipeline will start at Pontiac, Ill. — where it will receive crude from an Enbridge system serving the Great Lakes region — and end up in Patoka, Ill., a key U.S. Midwest pipeline hub.
The pipeline is expected to be in service in early 2015.
Enbridge (TSX:ENB) has said previously that initial cap acity on the line, which will cost $800 million to build, will be 300,000 barrels per day and that Marathon Petroleum has signed up as an anchor shipper.
Marathon's commitment supports Enbridge going ahead with a 61-centimetre line, as planned. But if the open season shows other shippers are eager to join, Enbridge can build a wider pipe.
Enbridge announced the Southern Access Extension pipeline as part of a $6.2-billion program to bring more Alberta and North Dakota crude to refineries in the U.S. Midwest, Ontario and Quebec.