Kinder Morgan hopes to have its Trans Mountain oil pipeline expansion project under construction by the end of 2016 if all federal approvals come on schedule.

Oil pipeline review proceeds amid uncertainty

Kinder Morgan makes final argument for Trans Mountain pipeline twinning before NEB despite

Kinder Morgan pressed ahead with its final argument for the Trans Mountain oil pipeline twinning before regulators Thursday, even though the project is now cloaked in uncertainty with a new federal Liberal government intent on reforming the review process.

Trans Mountain lawyer Shawn Denstedt argued the 150 draft conditions for the project can address all environmental concerns, and he stressed the strong economic benefits to Canada from getting world prices for Alberta oil.

“We cannot accept that our resources will be forever held hostage and sold at a discount,” Denstedt told the National Energy Board. “Real and important benefits for all Canadians should not be cast aside based on improbable risks.”

The company hopes the NEB will recommend approval by a May 20 decision deadline – following arguments by interveners in the new year – and the federal cabinet will give the $6.8-billion project the green light.

But Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, speaking Thursday in Vancouver, reiterated the need for changes to restore public trust and ensure such projects have social licence to proceed.

Kinder Morgan Canada president Ian Anderson said federal ministers have indicated projects like Trans Mountain that are already under review will continue and “not go back to any restart or square one review.”

But he said they’ve also been told there will be some sort of “transition treatment” for all projects, even those under review.

“We don’t know what that means yet,” Anderson said. “We don’t know what that will do to our process.”

The addition of a second pipeline would nearly triple Trans Mountain’s capacity to 890,000 barrels per day, increasing oil tanker traffic from five to 34 each month.

Anderson said shippers that have contracted to use the pipeline have not wavered from their firm commitments to 707,000 barrels per day of capacity. The rest is to be sold on the spot market.

If approvals are issued on schedule, he said, construction could begin by the end of 2016 and the twinning would be finished by mid-2019.

“It’s the most highly scrutinized pipeline project by the NEB in history,” Anderson added.

He said the project would bring major improvements to marine spill response capabilities along the shipping route from Vancouver past Sooke, with more than $100 million invested and 100 jobs created at five new bases.

Anderson stressed Trans Mountain’s 60-year history of operations and the fact the second pipeline largely follows the existing one or other brownfield corridors.

Next month, project opponents will respond.

The NEB will hear intervener oral arguments Jan. 19 in Burnaby. The City of Surrey will be the first intervener.

Just Posted

Campbell River mom’s iPhone containing priceless photos stolen from Victoria hospital parkade

The phone contained photos, heartbeat recordings of her late son

Ucluelet Aquarium wraps up season with release day event

Residents help release charismatic critters on Dec. 7.

Tofino shops set to sparkle during weekend’s Jingle Into Christmas celebration

“It’s like a family reunion. It’s nice to see the locals’ faces.”

Child care sector feels the squeeze in Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District

There are five children for every licensed child care space in the ACRD

Surfrider Pacific Rim hopes unique wetsuit recycling program stays local to the Coast

“We really want to see someone locally or regionally take this on and use this material locally.”

VIDEO: Led by ‘Marriage Story,’ Netflix dominates Golden Globe noms

Netflix flexed its muscles across all categories, just as it is girding for battle with a host of new streaming services

Lawyer competence includes knowledge of Indigenous-Crown history: B.C. law society

All practising lawyers in B.C. will be required to take a six-hour online course covering these areas

Wealth of Canadians divided along racial lines, says report on income inequality

One interesting finding was that racialized men have a higher employment rate than non-racialized men

B.C. universities post $340 million worth of surpluses thanks to international student tuition

Students call for spending as international enrolment produces huge surpluses at many universities

Conservatives urge Morneau to deliver ‘urgent’ fall economic update

Morneau says the first thing the Liberals plan to do is bring in their promised tax cut for the middle class

INFOGRAPHIC: How much money did your local university or college make last year?

B.C. university and colleges posted a combined $340 million surplus in 2018/19

B.C. creates $8.5M organization to improve safety for health care workers

Group will bring together unions, province, health care organizations

Kovrig clings to humour as ‘two Michaels’ near one year in Chinese prison

Their detention is widely viewed as retaliation for Canada’s arrest of Chinese high-tech scion Meng Wanzhou

Most Read