CNRL Primrose East Emulsion Pipeline

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Ausenco designed a thermal pipeline to move bitumen emulsion from CNRL’s production facility at Primrose East to the Wolf Lake plant.

Thirty-two kilometres of 24-inch thermal above-ground pipeline was constructed in this $70 MM project to replace an existing underground pipeline.

The route is partially through challenging muskeg terrain. Due to seasonal access, the client required the completion of construction during one winter. To accommodate the schedule constraint, Ausenco modelled the entire pipeline route to position expansion loops, ensuring compatibility with existing pipelines, and incorporating road and wildlife crossings. The route selection minimised pipeline length, reduced environmental impact and maintained ease of access for construction and maintenance activities.

Ausenco designed piping bends with an extended tangent length to reduce the number of field welds at expansion loops by half. Innovative tie-in strategies and P&IDs eliminated the need for hot taps and the requirement for new pig launcher/receiver assemblies. The project was completed within budget and on schedule.

Project highlights:

  • 32 kilometres of 24-inch thermal emulsion pipeline
  • $70 MM capital cost
  • 80,000 m3/day capacity
  • Designed to CSA Z662 2007 Sour specifications
  • Innovative design reduced cost by cutting the number of expansion loop welds required
  • Modelling minimised pipeline length and achieved fast-track construction through muskeg terrain.

Project details

Oil sands
Cold Lake, Alberta
Business line
Oil & Gas, Power
Canadian Natural Resources Limited
March 2009 - April 2010
Engineering, Construction management