Enbridge pipeline project gets boost from Alberta-BC deal

Wed Nov 6, 2013 1:30pm EST
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By Julie Gordon

VANCOUVER (Reuters) - A recent pipeline deal between Alberta and British Columbia is good news for Enbridge Inc's (ENB.TO: Quote) proposed Northern Gateway pipeline, the company's chief executive said on Wednesday.

"We have been confident for awhile in where Gateway is going to head and that the project will move forward," Chief Executive Officer Al Monaco said during a conference call with investors following the release of the company's third-quarter results.

"We are an export-based economy, so we do need access to the Asian markets, which are clearly the growth market going forward."

Enbridge, Canada's largest pipeline company, also reported higher third-quarter earnings on Wednesday as increased volumes on its crude pipelines offset higher costs.

Enbridge's shares were up 1 percent at C$46.24 in early afternoon trading on Wednesday in Toronto.

The 1,177 km (730 mile) Northern Gateway pipeline has faced fierce opposition from aboriginal and environmental groups, who worry about the impact of a potential oil spill in British Columbia's north.

The province rejected the proposal earlier this year, citing concerns over spill response, and set out five conditions that new pipelines would have to meet before being considered.

On Tuesday, Alberta agreed to support those five conditions if British Columbia agreed to back construction of oil pipelines to its coast, edging projects such as Northern Gateway closer to reality.   Continued...

Enbridge President and CEO Al Monaco speaks during the IHS CERAWeek energy conference in Houston March 6, 2013. REUTERS/Richard Carson