TransCanada submitted its project description to the National Energy Board for the so-called Energy East oil pipeline. It involves the construction of a new 930-mile segment and converting 1,800 miles of gas line for oil service, the company said.
"Work on temporary construction-related infrastructure is anticipated to begin in first quarter 2016," the company said in a letter published Tuesday by the NEB. "The scheduled in-service date for the project is in fourth quarter 2018."
The Energy East pipeline is designed to carry 1.1 million barrels of oil per day from Alberta and Saskatchewan to eastern Canadian refineries.
Canadian Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver said the project would help offset the estimated 700,000 bpd imported for eastern refineries from overseas markets.
TransCanada said it was working in environmental assessments needed to support a comprehensive application for the project to the NEB, the nation's energy regulator.
Provincial authorities along the route said they were wary of the economic benefits of the pipeline.