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

Greg Chow is the 2021 Local Hero of the Year. (Don Denton/Black Press Media)
Fighting fire a family affair for Colwood Assistant Chief Greg Chow

With 38 years of service, Greg Chow is the 2021 Hero of the Year

(Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. residents can reserve provincial camp sites starting March 8

B.C. residents get priority access to camping reservations in province

The Gordon Head Recreation Centre stands in as the Quimper Regional Hospital on Feb. 23 for filming Maid, a 10-part Netflix series. (Greg Sutton/District of Saanich)
Netflix transforms Saanich recreation centre into hospital for filming

Facility was closed to public Feb. 23 for filming of Maid

Sooke Road was down to single lane alternating traffic after a motor vehicle incident Wednesday morning. (Google Maps)
UPDATED: Sooke Road reopen after motor vehicle incident

Emergency crews were on scene of Wednesday morning incident

Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.'s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
456 new COVID-19 cases in B.C., 2 deaths

Since January 2020, 78,278 have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in B.C.

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 Feb. 23

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

(Black Press Media File Photo)
POLL: Are you struggling with Greater Victoria’s cost of housing?

While Victoria remains one of the most expensive cities in the country… Continue reading

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)
Vaccinating essential workers before seniors in B.C. could save lives: experts

A new study says the switch could also save up to $230 million in provincial health-care costs

The late Michael Gregory, 57, is accused of sexually exploiting six junior high students between 1999 and 2005. (Pixabay)
Former Alberta teacher accused of sexually assaulting students found dead in B.C.

Mounties say Michael Gregory’s death has been deemed ‘non-suspicious’

According to a new poll, a majority of Canadians want to see illicit drugs decriminalized. (THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Majority of Canadians think it’s high time to decriminalize illicit drugs: poll

More than two-times the B.C. residents know someone who died from an overdose compared to rest of Canada

Photograph By @KAYLAXANDERSON
VIDEO: Lynx grabs lunch in Kamloops

A lynx surprises a group of ducks and picks one off for lunch

Two women were arrested in Nanaimo for refusing to wear masks and causing disturbance on a BC Ferries vessel. (File photo)
B.C. ferry passengers arrested and fined for disturbance, refusing to wear masks

Police said woman threatened their pensions in Feb. 21 incident aboard Nanaimo-bound boat

When his owner had knee surgery, Kevin, 2, was able to continue to go for walks thanks to volunteers from Elder Dog Canada. (Contributed photo)
B.C. woman has nothing but praise for Elder Dog Canada

National organization has a fleet of volunteer walkers ready, but needs more clients to serve

Most Read