VANCOUVER, B.C. — The company which already operates in Canada and the United States, the longest crude oil and liquid hydrocarbons transportation system in the world, now has less than a year to meet the conditions of its’ National Energy Board approval of the Northern Gateway Pipeline.
However, Calgary-based Enbridge says it has a plan in place to meet its NEB commitments and timetables and is satisfied with its progress to date.
The Vancouver Sun reported during the weekend the company will have more to report in the ‘next several weeks’ on the NEB commitments and filing schedule.
Recall the board set 209 conditions for the $7.9 billion project to meet and among other things its approval expires if construction doesn’t begin before the end of this year.
In addition, six months prior to the start of construction, the company must have signed oil producer commitments, making up at least 60 percent of line capacity, to ship crude on the pipeline.
The Sun story says the Victoria based non-profit environmental activist group Dogwood Initiative — a leading project opponent — claims the company has failed to sign shipment agreements with producers.
It quotes Kai Nagata with the Dogwood Initiative as saying there are nineteen lawsuits against the project and the new federal government is drawing up legislation to ban oil tankers on the North Coast. He adds, “No oil producer is going to stick its neck out and pay for shipping capacity on a pipeline that will never be built.”
Still, Enbridge has remained determined to move forward with the project despite the Trudeau government’s commitment last November to enact a loosely worded moratorium, on oil tanker traffic in northwest BC.
Although never put into law, it was first introduced in 1972, by the countries first Trudeau government, and it left open to political interpretation whether or not an oil tanker traffic ban actually exists on the BC north coast.
The 730 mile pipeline would run from Northeast of Edmonton to Kitimat, and would include terminals to load and unload oil and condensate tankers.