by Liane Angerman, Associate Editor

    Invited to the Table: Energy East Pipeline Feeds a Nation

    Nothing could be more exciting for Canada than learning that one of North America’s leading energy infrastructure companies has invited all its citizens to share in the benefits of its most ambitious pipeline project to date. On August 1, 2013, TransCanada announced its intent to build the Energy East Pipeline, a $12-billion project that will involve converting a portion of the company’s Canadian Mainline natural gas pipeline into a west-east conduit for crude oil.

    Energy East is preparing to tap the keg of prosperity to serve a nation with the promise of interprovincial commerce, job creation, and realizing better value for Canada’s natural resources, Energy East aims to provide greater market access for Canada’s energy industry by literally connecting its provinces, with receipt points in Alberta and Saskatchewan, to provide refineries in Montreal, Lévis, and Saint John’s with crude oil from Western Canada, as well as create export terminals in Québec and New Brunswick.

    In reference to the results of the “Open Season,” an industry term inviting commercial interest in the pipeline, Russ Girling, TransCanada’s president and CEO. said, “This response confirms the overwhelming industry support for innovative solutions to move crude oil to markets in Eastern Canada and to elsewhere in the safest, most efficient means possible, which is in a pipeline.” He adds that Canadian refiners are eager for access to Western Canadian supply, as of most what they refine now is imported from overseas for the production of gas, diesel and other carbon-based fuels.

    At the same time, TransCanada is reassuring residents of Ontario and Québec that they will continue to receive the natural gas they require, and that the cost of natural gas transmission in those provinces does not increase as a result of Energy East.

    Map for the Energy East Pipeline.

    “Energy East will give new purpose to the underutilized capacity of our Mainline, making it more competitive and attractive for our natural gas customers,” say’s Girling. “We are committed to maximizing the utilization and benefits of our infrastructure for all customers –gas and oil–and we are committed to ensuring sufficient capacity is available to meet all their growing needs.”

    Benefits of Energy East:

    • Thousands of new jobs created (laborers, entrepreneurs, service industries, professionals).
    • New revenues and business opportunities for entrepreneurs.
    • Lower cost energy sources.
    • Reduction on foreign oil dependency.
    • Funded privately.
    • Access for other Canadian production companies to tidewater for export.

    Details of the Project:

    • 3,000 km of Mainline will be converted between Burstall, SK, and Cornwall, ON.
    • 1,500 km of new pipe constructed in AB, SK, MB, QB, and NB.
    • Capacity to transport 1.1 million barrels of crude daily from Hardisty, AB, and SE Sask. terminal (not yet built) to serve eastern markets.
    • Energy East will supply eastern refineries with a more reliable domestic supply of oil from Western Canada and will potentially replace more than 700,000 bbl/d of oil, of which 86% is currently imported oil from foreign countries like Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Venezuela, and Algeria.

    Altering the Landscape:

    Approximately 180 First Nation and Métis communities currently live along the proposed pipeline route. According to Alex Pourbaix, president of Energy and Oil Pipelines, “these
    residents, like all of our estimated 100,000 stakeholders on this project, will be consulted extensively about their concerns and their insights into local conditions and local circumstances … their advice will help us select the best possible route for this pipeline.”

    Environment and Safety:

    It seems one of the loudest cries heard inside all arenas within the energy industry is the environmental cry. TransCanada is doing its very best to assure all concerned that Energy East will work with all parties involved, while fielding all concerns as they relate to the pipeline. “Seventy percent of the needed pipe for the project is already in the ground and does not need to be dug up for this conversion to occur,” says Pourbaix.

    TransCanada plans to replace existing compressor stations along the converted Mainline portion with pump stations. These pump stations will be powered by electricity and will have no direct emissions, meaning they will have minimal environmental impact –a consistent theme with Energy East.

    Numerous studies have proven the safest way to transport oil is via a pipeline. In 2012 alone, TransCanada invested $1-billion in pipeline safety and integrity programs to ensure the safety of its assets and the environment in which they operate.

    With broad support expressed for Energy East from politicians across the country and around the political spectrum, optimism for Energy East is high. Sound rationale aside, TransCanada as a corporation has a very large task ahead. The company plans to file its formal application for the project with the National Energy Board next year, with hopes that it will be able to begin construction on the pipeline in 2016, followed by service beginning in 2017 to Québec and 2018 to Saint John’s.

    Energy East is just one of the $38-billion in pipeline and power generation projects underway for TransCanada. This ambitious company can only hope that its other big projects will receive such a congenial reception from Canadians.

    Gdp Impact Of Project By Province (2013 $Millions) – Deloitte Study

    Development and Construction
    Phase (6 years)
    Operations Phase
    (40 years)
    Ontario 2,694 10,335 13,029
    Alberta 1,742 6,128 7,870
    Quebec 3,114 3,236 6,350
    New Brunswick 1,170 1,629 2,799
    Saskatchewan 577 1,980 2,557
    Manitoba 361 1,446 1,807
    British Columbia 244 396 640
    Others 144 147 291
    TOTAL 10,046 25,297 35,343

    Total Government Tax Revenue, By Province (2013 $M) – Deloitte Study

    Development and Construction
    Phase (6 years)
    Operations Phase
    (40 years)
    Ontario 798 2,864 3,662
    Alberta 463 1,734 2,197
    Quebec 1,089 936 2,025
    New Brunswick 194 627 821
    Saskatchewan 266 428 694
    Manitoba 111 505 616
    British Columbia 59 82 141
    Others 34 29 63
    TOTAL 3,014 7,204 10,218

    FTE Job Creation Per Year, By Province, Operations Phase – Deloitte Study

    Operations Phase ( 40 years)
    Direct Indirect Induced TOTAL
    Ontario 181 1,086 539 1,806
    Alberta 418 200 261 879
    Quebec 203 162 172 537
    New Brunswick 121 205 59 385
    Saskatchewan 70 126 69 265
    Manitoba 94 97 56 247
    British Columbia 0 37 63 100
    Others 0 15 18 33
    TOTAL 1,087 1,928 1,237 4,252

    FTE Job Creation Per Year, By Province, Development And Construction Phase – Deloitte Study

    Development Phase (3 years) Construction Phase (3 years)
    Direct Indirect Induced TOTAL Direct Indirect Induced TOTAL
    Ontario 837 878 502 2,217 2,764 2,899 1,656 7,319
    Alberta 528 854 500 1,882 1,743 2,819 1,652 6,214
    Quebec 382 510 241 1,133 1,260 1,684 796 3,740
    New Brunswick 332 407 129 868 1,095 1,344 427 2,866
    Saskatchewan 159 215 76 450 524 711 250 1,485
    Manitoba 104 97 52 253 343 320 170 833
    British Columbia 0 116 88 204 0 383 390 673
    Others 0 75 36 111 0 247 121 368
    TOTAL 2,342 3,152 1,624 7,118 7,729 10,407 5,362 23,498

    About TransCanada

    TransCanada is a leader in the responsible development and reliable operation of North American energy infrastructure.

    Natural Gas

    • TransCanada moves 14 billion cubic feet (Bcf) of natural gas per day, (20% of North American total consumption), delivering to local distribution companies and businesses across Canada and the U.S.
    • Network of approximately 68,500 km (42,500 mi.) natural gas pipelines connect virtually every major natural gas supply basin and market.

    Gas Storage

    • TransCanada is one of the largest developers of new storage facilities and providers of underground natural gas storage services in the U.S.
    • Offer approximately 400 Bcf of natural gas storage capacity.

    Power Generation

    • Includes hydro, simple cycle, combined cycle, and natural gas-fired cogeneration plants.
    • Plants across North America make innovative use of natural gas, cogeneration, and waste by-products, such as waste heat exhaust from nearby pipeline compressor stations.


    • TransCanada has identified a unique opportunity to link the growing supply of Canadian crude oil with North America’s increasing demands for energy.
    Liane Angerman, Associate Editor

    Angerman’s background is in communications and marketing. She holds a bachelor’s degree with an English focus and a myriad of publishing credits under her belt, including, SEASON OF HAZE, a young adult novel on hazing. She's operated her own professional writing company for more than a decade.rnrnCurrently, she is the key features writer and editorial administrator for The OGM. rnrnPrior, she invested several years selling exempt market securities for two Calgary-based oil and gas juniors before joining forces as a founder of Dragonfly and Aeviex Inc., two Alberta startups.rnrnA resident of Calgary for more than two and a half decades, her insights and networks in Cow Town is vast and growing.

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