Inter Pipeline (TSX:IPL) is a major petroleum transportation and natural gas liquids processing business based in Calgary. Inter Pipeline owns and operates energy infrastructure assets in Western Canada and is building Canada’s first integrated propane dehydrogenation and polypropylene facility. Inter Pipeline has several operating business segments that include the oil sands transportation business, the natural gas liquids (NGL) processing business, the conventional oil pipelines business, and the bulk liquid storage business.
Oil sands transportation
Inter Pipeline’s oil sands transportation business segment involves the transportation of petroleum products and related blending and handling services in northern Alberta. It is comprised of the 100% owned Cold Lake, Corridor, and Polaris pipeline systems. Oil sands transportation services are generally provided to shippers pursuant to long-term contracts that provide for a defined annual capital fee, the recovery of substantially all operating costs, and do not involve exposure to commodity price fluctuations.
Valuable pipeline systems
The Cold Lake pipeline system gathers bitumen blend and transports it to major petroleum terminals hubs at Edmonton. Diluent gets transported to the Cold Lake area. The system has a current total bitumen blend throughput capacity of 1.2 million barrels per day (b/d) and an ultimate total bitumen blend throughput capacity of 1.9 million b/d. Inter Pipeline has installed surplus mainline capacity on the Cold Lake pipeline system, which is available for new third-party shippers, and the company continues to pursue development opportunities.
The Corridor pipeline system is a bitumen blend, diluent, and products pipeline system. The products portion of the system transports upgraded products and feedstock materials to Edmonton. The system has a current total bitumen blend throughput capacity of 465,000 b/d and an ultimate total bitumen blend throughput capacity of 1.4 million b/d. Inter Pipeline is also the owner of the line fill for the Corridor pipeline system.
The Polaris pipeline system is a diluent pipeline system which transports diluent from Edmonton to the Athabasca areas of Alberta and provides metering services for bitumen blend at the company’s terminal in Alberta. The system has a current total throughput capacity of 879,000 b/d and an ultimate total throughput capacity of 1.3 million b/d. Inter Pipeline has installed surplus mainline capacity on the Polaris pipeline system, which is available for new third-party shippers.
The Mid-Saskatchewan pipeline system is a crude oil gathering system which gathers crude oil from established oil fields near Saskatchewan and transports it to a pipeline system in Alberta. The system has a current total ultimate throughput capacity of approximately 150,100 b/d and tank storage capacity of approximately 798,700 b/d.
Other valuable assets
Inter Pipeline’s conventional oil pipelines business segment involves the transportation of petroleum products and related blending, handling, and storage services. In aggregate, Inter Pipeline’s three conventional oil pipeline systems have total ultimate throughput capacity of 429,600 b/d and transported 161,600 b/d of crude oil in 2020.
Inter Pipeline continues to own eight bulk liquid storage terminals located in Sweden and Denmark which have approximately 19 million barrels of aggregate storage capacity. These are valuable assets that could be worth a lot more in the future.
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