Canada to Decide on Trans Mountain Oil Pipeline by End of 2016

  • Government added 4 months to review of Kinder Morgan's project
  • ``We’re moving as expeditiously as we think is responsible”

Canada’s federal government will make a decision on Kinder Morgan Inc.’s Trans Mountain oil pipeline expansion by the end of the year after additional consultations and considering the country’s national interest, Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr said.

The government has added an additional four months to the regulatory process under the National Energy Board in order to provide more assessment of the Trans Mountain project, Carr said in a briefing today in Calgary. TransCanada Corp.’s Energy East will also face a longer review period, while Enbridge Inc.’s Northern Gateway has been approved by the previous government, but the company hasn’t made a final investment decision amid local opposition.

“There will be a far more thorough review of the environmental process in Canada but it won’t happen in time for these three projects, so we’re moving as expeditiously as we think is responsible,” the minister said. “The prime minister’s goal is to get resources to tidewater sustainably.”

Carr and Environment Minister Catherine McKenna last month unveiled an overhaul of the country’s review process that will include more consultation with stakeholders in a bid to overcome mounting opposition to oil exports. Opposition to pipelines has stymied Alberta oil producers, already smarting from weak crude prices, as they struggle to expand access to new markets for their growing output.

“When we’re done, we want Canadians to be heard, that it was a responsible and thorough process which we hope will lead to a better result,” Carr said. “We are not asking the proponents of these projects to go back to square one.”

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