Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain Pipeline Review Due Thursday

  • National Energy Board to issue recommendation on expansion
  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s cabinet to make final decision

Canada’s National Energy Board plans to issue its recommendation Thursday on a proposal to nearly triple the capacity of the only pipeline between the nation’s oil sands and the west coast serving Pacific markets.

The board said it will release its report shortly after 2 p.m. local time in Calgary, according to an e-mailed statement Wednesday. The board had faced a May 20 deadline to issue its recommendation on the proposal by Kinder Morgan Inc. to expand its Trans Mountain pipeline.

The report by the regulator will go to the federal government to allow Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s cabinet to make a final decision on the project, expected by the end of the year.

Kinder Morgan has been seeking permission since 2013 from regulators to install the piping and pump stations necessary to increase the capacity of the Trans Mountain line to 890,000 barrels a day from 300,000. It plans to ship most of the crude to energy-hungry markets in Asia, which may be willing to pay more for oil and help shrink the discount of Canadian heavy crude to the U.S. benchmark.

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