Canada to rule on two pipelines, mum on Kinder Morgan expansion plans

Tue Nov 22, 2016 12:58pm EST
 
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By David Ljunggren

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada will this week decide the fate of two Enbridge Inc pipelines, but is keeping quiet about its verdict on Kinder Morgan Inc's plans to more than double the capacity of its Trans Mountain line, a move strongly opposed by environmentalists.

The Liberal government is expected to veto Enbridge's Northern Gateway pipeline from Alberta's oil sands to the province of British Columbia on the Pacific Coast. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau opposes the project, citing the proposed routing through a rain forest.

But Ottawa does appear set to allow Enbridge to replace the Canadian segments of its Line 3, which takes crude from Alberta to Wisconsin. Canada's energy regulator approved the project in April.

Trudeau is under pressure both from environmentalists and the energy industry, which says it needs more pipelines to ease transport bottlenecks in Alberta.

"Our government is on track for a decision on the proposed Enbridge Line 3 and Northern Gateway projects by Nov 25. An announcement ... will be made soon thereafter," said Alexandre Deslongchamps, spokesman for Natural Energy Minister Jim Carr.

Trudeau is scheduled to leave on Wednesday for a week-long trip to Africa.

Northern Gateway foundered amid protests from green and aboriginal groups that are now targeting Trans Mountain. But the plan to update Line 3, which sources say will switch from carrying light oil to synthetic crude, attracted little attention.

"Most people are expecting it goes forward," said AltaCorp Capital energy infrastructure analyst Dirk Lever.   Continued...

 
Marchers protesting against the proposed expansion of Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain Pipeline walk towards downtown Vancouver, B.C., Canada November 19, 2016.  REUTERS/Chris Helgren