The Challenge

Enbridge is developing the Woodland Pipeline Extension Project to bring additional crude oil transportation capacity into the Edmonton area by 2015. This new pipeline will run from Enbridge Athabasca’s existing Cheecham Terminal, located about 100 km south of Fort McMurray, to Enbridge Pipelines Inc.’s existing Edmonton Terminal, effectively extending the Woodland Pipeline which is now in-service. The Project includes approximately 385-km of pipeline with a diameter of up to 914 mm (36 inches) to transport blended bitumen.

Enbridge Woodland submitted an application for the Project to the Alberta Energy Resources Conservation Board (ERCB) in May 2011. In August 2012, the ERCB approved the Project. Construction activities began in the late summer/early fall of 2013. The anticipated in-service date for the Woodland Pipeline Extension is the spring of 2015.

Scope of Work

Altus Geomatics was retained to develop a detailed timber salvage plan, operational execution plan, access plans and to provide on-site clearing supervision and right-of-way (ROW) development for the project.

The pipeline was divided into four spreads in the Green Area, and one spread in the White Area for the clearing operations. Within the Green Area, the pipeline traverses different operational and geographic constraints, as well as many wildlife/biodiversity zones. Within the White Area, the pipeline traverses through crown and private land. Planning and execution included considerations for summer and winter conditions, which create operational challenges due to changing ground (muskeg) conditions.

Timber salvage, clearing and hauling operations were conducted during the 2013-2014 fall and winter season.


Through the use of remote sensing data (LiDAR), aerial photography, geospatial data and ground based timber surveys, Altus Geomatics provided Enbridge with detailed planning data for operational execution. Existing watercourses, pipelines, access and other land uses were identified from existing spatial data sets. Interpreting this data, Altus Geomatics analyzed tree species, heights and timber volume to estimate clearing costs for Enbridge’s budgeting and planning requirements, as well as Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development (AESRD) forest removal permit applications.

Implementing the planning and operational execution plans, Altus Geomatics provided clearing inspection services and operational execution for the timber salvage, brushing and log delivery including the negotiation of purchase wood agreements with the local mills on behalf of Enbridge. Access and right-of-way (ROW) development included Alberta One calls, execution of pipeline crossings, fencing and bridge installations and removals, 3rd party crossing agreements, line lists, TFA Applications and reclamation on the ROW and crossings.

The Altus Geomatics team included Project Managers, Registered Professional Foresters and Forest Technologists, Clearing Inspectors and Licensed Timber Scalers who successfully navigated these operational challenges for Enbridge.