TransCanada Scraps Two Pipeline Projects


Energy giant TransCanada announced Friday (Oct. 6) that it is abandoning two pipeline plans, including Energy East, a crude-oil pipeline that would have stretched nearly 3,000 miles from Alberta to New Brunswick.

Both Energy East and the smaller Eastern Mainline project, which would have added nearly 175 miles of new natural gas pipeline in Ontario, were scrapped by the company, which is still evaluating its Keystone XL project in the United States. TransCanada says it will lose about CA$1.3 billion ($1.04 billion) by giving up on the pipelines.

About Energy East

Energy East was first announced in 2013, and formally proposed to Canada’s National Energy Board in 2014. The 4,500-kilometer (2,800-mile) pipeline would have comprised both repurposed natural gas pipeline (about 70 percent) and new pipeline. TransCanada said the line would have transported 1.1 million barrels per day from the oil fields of Alberta and Saskatchewan east to refineries in Canada and an export terminal in the maritime province of New Brunswick.

The new stretches of pipeline would have been located between Hardisty, in Alberta, and the Saskatchewan border (on the western end of the line) and in Quebec and New Brunswick.

St. John refinery
Cusack5239, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Energy East would have had its terminus in St. John, in the maritime province of New Brunswick.

Among the economic benefits TransCanada had touted for Energy East was the ability of one coating contractor, Automatic Coating (Scarborough, Ontario) to add more than 30 jobs, in field coating, shop coating and machinery.

Some government officials, including many in Quebec, had opposed Energy East over fears the pipeline would threaten the environment, including bodies of water. The mayor of St. John, New Brunswick, where the pipeline’s terminus would have been, however, called the decision to abandon the project a “disappointment” and “an economic blow.”

Eastern Mainline would have been composed of new 36-inch pipeline, and would have stretched from Markham to Edwardsburgh/Cardinal, Ontario. TransCanada said the line would have provided “a safe, reliable and diverse source of natural gas to meet growing demand in Ontario and Quebec."

Keystone XL

TransCanada is known to many Americans as the firm behind Keystone XL, the controversial pipeline expansion first proposed in 2008, which would run from Hardisty to Steele City, Nebraska. Keystone XL was rejected by the administration of then-President Barack Obama in 2015, but its prospects were revived earlier this year when President Donald J. Trump invited the company to re-apply for permits to build.

TransCanada did re-apply, and the federal government granted its approval, but the project still faces state reviews. The Canadian firm announced in July, though, that it was still undecided as to whether it would move forward with that project. TransCanada is expected to make a decision on Keystone XL next month.


Tagged categories: Infrastructure; NA; North America; Oil and Gas; Pipelines; Program/Project Management

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