Kinder Morgan Delays Trans Mountain Timeline
Kinder Morgan Canada said Tuesday that it anticipates the permitting process for its Trans Mountain expansion to take longer than originally expected, likely pushing back the oil pipeline’s completion until 2020.
The announcement came amid clashes with local government around Burnaby, British Columbia, where the pipeline is planned to terminate. Kinder Morgan argued to Canada’s National Energy Board that local officials, led by Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan, who opposes the pipeline, have delayed the permitting process.
Burnaby officials, for their part, argue that they are treating the company fairly, and that delays have originated on the side of the energy company.
'Poisoned the Well'
According to the Montreal Gazette, Kinder Morgan argued before the NEB that local officials in Burnaby have not provided firm timelines and guidance during the permitting process. Corrigan, the company said, had “poisoned the well” in the city with his public comments opposing the project, making it impossible for Kinder Morgan to get fair treatment.
The Trans Mountain expansion would carry oil from Alberta to Burnaby, British Columbia, using mostly the right-of-way of the exising Trans Mountain Pipeline.
The Trans Mountain expansion, which would move oil from Alberta to the Pacific coast, largely along the same right-of-way as the existing Trans Mountain pipeline, was approved by the NEB last December and by province officials in January. The project involves 980 kilometers (609 miles) of new pipeline, and the reactivation of 193 kilometers of deactivated pipeline. It would expand the pipeline system's capacity from 300,000 to 890,000 barrels per day.
The terminus on the Pacific coast at Burnaby would likely increase Canadian oil exports to Asia, via oil tankers. China is the world’s largest importer of oil, and the U.S.—currently Canada’s biggest oil customer—is on the road to becoming a net exporter of oil, according to experts.