(Corrects name of pipeline company in 10th paragraph to Kinder
Morgan from Enbridge)
By David Ljunggren
OTTAWA Nov 22 Canada will this week decide the
fate of two Enbridge Inc pipelines but is keeping quiet
about its verdict on Kinder Morgan Inc's plans to more
than double the capacity of its Trans Mountain line, a move
environmentalists strongly oppose.
The Liberal government is widely expected to veto Enbridge's
Northern Gateway pipeline from Alberta's oil sands to the
province of British Columbia on the Pacific Coast. Prime
Minister Justin Trudeau has long opposed the project, citing the
proposed routing through a rain forest.
Ottawa does look set to allow Enbridge to replace the
Canadian segments of its Line 3, which takes crude from Alberta
to Wisconsin. Canada's energy regulator approved the project in
April, albeit with 89 conditions.
Trudeau is under pressure both from environmentalists and
the energy industry, which says it needs more pipelines to ease
transport bottlenecks in Alberta.
Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr has made it clear that
cabinet has until the end of Friday to make both Enbridge
decisions, said spokesman Alexandre Deslongchamps. Trudeau
leaves for a week-long African trip on Wednesday.
Northern Gateway foundered amid protests from green and
aboriginal groups that are now targeting Trans Mountain. But the
plan to update Line 3, which sources say will switch from
carrying light oil to synthetic crude, attracted virtually no
"Most people are expecting it goes forward," said AltaCorp
Capital energy infrastructure analyst Dirk Lever.
The upgrade would allow Enbridge to run Line 3 at its
maximum capacity of 760,000 barrels per day. It is currently
shipping 390,000 bpd because of voluntary pressure restrictions.
"It's not adding to capacity," said Friends of the Earth
policy adviser John Bennett. "I haven't seen any chatter about
it at all."
There is, however, plenty of discussion about Kinder
Morgan's plans to build a second pipeline next to its Trans
Mountain line from Alberta to British Columbia. Greens say the
risk of a spill is too great.
Opponents promise massive protests against the project,
which some Liberals fear could hurt the party in a federal
election set for 2019. Earlier this month a Liberal legislator
from British Columbia urged Trudeau to veto the line.
Environmental groups say they expect Carr to approve Trans
Mountain by the Dec. 19 deadline. He said last week that Canada
needed to sell oil to Asia to diversify exports away from the
Deslongchamps said Carr was committed to a Trans Mountain
verdict by Dec. 19.
(Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)