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.

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

West Shore RCMP arrested a 42-year-old man April 11 following numerous reports of someone firing a rifle in a Malahat campground. (Courtesy of West Shore RCMP)
West Shore RCMP arrest man after shots fired at Malahat campground

Police received numerous reports of a man firing a rifle outside his camper trailer

Protesters occupied a road leading to Fairy Creek Watershed near Port Renfrew. (Submitted photo)
Pacheedaht Nation says activist interference not welcome at Fairy Creek

Pacheedaht is concerned about the increasing polarization over forestry activities

A vehicle that was driven through the wall of a parkade at Uptown Shopping Centre and into the nearby Walmart on April 9 was removed through another hole in the wall later that night. (Photo via Saanich Police Department and Ayush Kakkar)
Driver who crashed into Uptown Walmart likely suffering mental health crisis, police say

Man in his early 20s drove through a parkade wall, no serious injuries reported

Photo collage of loved ones lost to substance use and overdose. (Photo courtesy Moms Stop The Harm)
B.C. and Victoria’s overdose deaths still rising five years after public health emergency declared

Moms Stop the Harm calls on B.C. to provide safe supply in response to deadly illicit drug use

Additional COVID-19 exposures have been reported at Arbutus Global Middle School and Mount Doug Secondary School. (Google Streetview)
Additional COVID-19 exposures reported at two Saanich schools

New dates of exposure added to Arbutus Global Middle School and Mount Doug Secondary School

Burnaby MLA Raj Chouhan presides as Speaker of the B.C. legislature, which opened it spring session April 12 with a speech from the throne. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C. NDP promises more health care spending, business support in 2021 budget

John Horgan government to ‘carefully return to balanced budgets’

Organ donation form from BC Transplant. (BC Transplant)
POLL: Have you registered as an organ donor?

They number 1.5 million strong and growing. But their numbers still fall… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of April 6

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

In Ontario, COVID-19 vaccine clinics have been set up at local mosques. (Submitted photo: Rufaida Mohammed)
Getting the vaccine does not break your fast, says Muslim COVID-19 task force

Muslim community ‘strongly’ encouraging people to get their shot, whether or not during Ramadan

A plane is seen through the window on the tarmac of Vancouver International Airport as the waiting room is empty. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
100+ international travellers who landed in B.C. refused to quarantine

The Public Health Agency of Canada says it issued $3,000 violation tickets to each

A health-care worker holds up a vial of the AstraZeneca Covishield vaccine at a COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Montreal, Thursday, March 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
PHAC receives first report of blood clot linked to AstraZeneca

The federal agency says the person is now recovering at home

The Campbell River Gun Club outdoor range is located on Argonaut Road west of Campbell River. CRGC/Facebook photo
Campbell River Gun Club range shut down after complaints of stray bullets

Neighbour says bullets hit caretaker’s RV and shattered a glass panel on his deck

The Pacific Rim National Park Reserve’s Green Point Campground saw an unprecedented flurry of reservations last week. (Pacific Rim National Park Reserve photo)
Pacific Rim National Park Reserve campground sees ‘unprecedented’ interest

Reservations being accepted as Green Point Campground scheduled to open May 1

Restaurant owners Oura and Kymon Giakoumakis visit the PQB News/VI Free Daily studio. (Peter McCully photo)
PODCAST: COVID-19 pandemic hits Island’s food service industry hard

Pair of Vancouver Island restaurant owners share thoughts and advice

Most Read