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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Greater Victoria writer releases first novel inspired by U.S. school shootings

Dear Mr. President tells thought provoking story of victims left behind

Saanich mayor joins fight to protect local wildlife from rat poisoning after second owl dies

Mayor Fred Haynes to meet with provincial, federal pest control industry representatives

Sidney fire responds to fewer but more severe calls during pandemic

Rise in severity linked to changes in routine during COVID-19 pandemic

Saanich police see spike in excessive speeding compared to previous years

Nearly 100 excessive speeders caught since January 2020

Colwood branch drop-off to continue throughout summer

COVID-19 safety measures remain in place

QUIZ: Test your knowledge of the world of summer sports

In a typical year, there are plenty of summer sporting events and tournaments held across Canada

‘We’re sick of it’: Anger over police killings shatters U.S.

Tens of thousands marched to protest the death of George Floyd

Surrey mayor’s party under fire for ‘sickening’ tweet accusing northern B.C. RCMP of murder

Mayor Doug McCallum says tweet, Facebook post ‘sent out by unauthorized person’

Father’s Day Walk Run for prostate cancer will be virtual event this year throughout B.C.

The annual fundraiser for Prostate Cancer Foundation BC has brought in $2.5 million since 1999

Dr. Bonnie Henry announces official ban on overnight kids’ camps this summer

New ban comes after talking with other provincial health officials across the country, Henry says

Senior man in hospital after unprovoked wolf attack near Prince Rupert

Conservation officers are on site looking for the wolf

VIDEO: NASA astronauts blast off into space on SpaceX rocket

Marks NASA’s first human spaceflight launched from U.S. soil in nearly a decade

‘I knew what he wanted’: Kootenay man spends hours in tree as black bear patrols below

Francis Levasseur is no stranger to the outdoors, but a recent run-in with a bear caused quite a scare

PHOTOS: U.S. cities brace for increasing unrest over police killing of George Floyd

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz has fully mobilized the state’s National Guard

Most Read