Enbridge, Canada Won’t Appeal Ruling on Gateway Pipeline

  • Company plans to work with government and aboriginal groups
  • Federal Court of Appeal in June overturned Enbridge’s permits

Enbridge Inc. and the Canadian government won’t appeal a recent court decision that reversed federal approval for the company to build an oil conduit to the country’s Pacific Coast.

The pipeline company, which is buying Spectra Energy Corp., supports the Federal Court of Appeal’s recommendation for additional consultation with affected aboriginal communities, Calgary-based Enbridge said Tuesday in a statement. Speaking in Ottawa on Tuesday, Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr said the government also won’t appeal the decision.

The Canadian court in June overturned Enbridge’s permits for the Northern Gateway pipeline, which were approved by former Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government, saying the administration didn’t “fulfill its duty to consult” with communities. Northern Gateway is among proposed oil export pipelines from Canada that have been stymied by local and environmental opposition. Keystone XL, the crude line proposed by Calgary-based TransCanada Corp., was rejected by President Barack Obama last year.

“We look forward to working with the government and aboriginal communities in the renewed consultation process,” John Carruthers, president of the Northern Gateway project at Enbridge, said in the statement.

Consultation Question

The government’s next step remains unclear. Carr wouldn’t say whether the government will proceed with more consultation.

“We have a number of options available to the government,” Carr said. “We’re not interested in carrying things out any longer than is reasonable or necessary to do. The news today is we will not appeal the decision.”

Unable to advance projects, Enbridge and TransCanada have turned to U.S. acquisitions for growth. Enbridge this month agreed to buy Spectra for $28 billion in stock, and in August bought a stake in the Bakken Pipeline system. TransCanada in March agreed to buy Columbia Pipeline Group Inc. for $10.2 billion in cash.

Enbridge has spent years working on the Northern Gateway proposal, which would cost at least C$7.9 billion ($5.97 billion) to build, according to estimates in the 2014 National Energy Board regulator’s decision. The 1,177 kilometer (732 mile) Northern Gateway was first proposed about a decade ago, and was the only major proposed domestic conduit to have won federal government approval.

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