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Apr 9, 2018

Don’t let Trans Mountain expansion suffer same fate as Energy East, Cenovus CEO warns

Kinder Morgan sets May 31 deadline to keep Trans Mountain expansion alive

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The president and chief executive of Cenovus Energy is urging the federal government to take swift action to ensure that Kinder Morgan Canada’s Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project doesn’t “suffer the same fate as Energy East.”

Alex Pourbaix’s comments come as the future of the $7.4-billion Trans Mountain expansion has been cast in doubt, after Kinder Morgan announced it has suspended all non-essential activities and related spending on the project as it faces mounting opposition in British Columbia.  

Pourbaix said in a statement Monday that Kinder Morgan’s decision should concern all Canadians.

“It is time for the federal government to take immediate, clear and decisive action to ensure that construction of the Trans Mountain expansion project in British Columbia begins as soon as possible and that the pipeline does not suffer the same fate as the Energy East project,” Pourbaix said.

“The project is critical to Canada and the future of its oil and gas industry, which contributes billions of dollars to the national economy each year and is one of the country’s single largest job creators.”

In October, TransCanada announced it would not proceed with its Energy East pipeline and Eastern Mainline proposals. The proposed Energy East project would have carried more than one million barrels of oil daily from Alberta to Quebec and New Brunswick. 

Trans Mountain’s expansion, which would triple the amount of oil flowing from Alberta to Burnaby, B.C., was approved by the federal government in 2016.

Pourbaix warned that uncertainty over the Trans Mountain expansion project’s future could be detrimental to attracting investment to the country.

“If the rule of law is not upheld and this project is allowed to fail, it will have a chilling effect on investment not just in British Columbia, but across the entire country,” Pourbaix said.

“This is a vital project that is in the best interest of all Canadians. It should proceed without further delay.”