Suncor asks NEB to close down Enbridge open season on Mainline crude pipeline

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CALGARY, A.B. – Suncor Energy Inc. is calling on regulators to close down an open season launched by Enbridge Inc. to gauge support for a fundamental change in how it assigns space on the pipeline system responsible for 70 per cent of Canada’s oil transportation.

Calgary-based Suncor, Canada’s largest oil and gas producer by market capitalization, joins oilsands producers Shell Canada and MEG Energy Corp., along with the Explorers and Producers Association of Canada, in opposing the plan for Enbridge’s Canadian Mainline system.

Enbridge announced the open season on Aug. 2, saying it will accept bids until Oct. 2 from shippers who wish to enter into contracts of up to 20 years for priority transport on the Mainline, with discounts available based on contract length and volumes.

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Only 10 per cent of capacity is to be reserved for uncommitted volumes, down from 100 per cent available to shippers now under a tolling agreement that is set to expire on June 30, 2021.

In a submission to the NEB dated Friday, Suncor says the open season effectively compels shippers to bid for contracted space even if they consider the terms and conditions of service and tolls to be “unclear, uncertain, inappropriate, unfair or unjust and unreasonable.”

It asks the NEB to declare that Enbridge cannot offer contract carriage, or require binding contracts be signed, until the terms and conditions of the new system, including tolls, receive regulatory approval.

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The NEB is to be transformed into the Canada Energy Regulator on Wednesday under recent changes by the federal government.

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