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Enbridge Pipeline News Update | Northern BC Business

Enbridge Pipeline News Update

Skeena River

The Enbridge Pipeline debate is still ranging on with a number of new developments and insights for Northern British Columbia. This $5.5 billion 1,172 km pipeline from Edmonton, Alberta to Kitimat, BC is slated to start in 2016. With the price of raw materials in the mining sector increasing and the price of oil at $105 (WTI) and the Brent Crude Oil price at $121, the interest in this pipeline is slowly making its way back into the headlines

Recently the Mayor and Council of Terrace decided to take a neutral stand on the pipeline on a 4-3 vote. There was push to vote against the project but overall reflection they decided to stay neutral and on safe ground.

There is a still considerable First Nations opposition entrenched to this project for manly environmental reasons. They have been consistent and proactive in their opposition to this project stating this since day one. Without their blessing I do not see this project going through

In the last couple months you have also had Rio Tinto Alcan purchase the dock in Kitmat from West Fraser for the planned expansion of the aluminium smelter. This dock purchase effectively ties up the industrial dock space in Kitimat. If there is going to be a pipeline to Kitimat, Enbidge will have to find some new space.

You can add in the fact that Enbridge has a list of pipeline accidents in the US which seem to take place when the company is trying to move the project here forward. These spills are caught on tape and broadcasts everywhere for people to see. Most of there pipeline faults tend to be raw crude and take place in sensitive regions. In addition the company has been sued in court by state and federal environmental agencies

While in Edmonton last week I had the opportunity to have coffee with a couple of business owners in the oil sector. As a former Albertan I was surprised at their comments stating that they need this project to go through. When I mentioned to them that Alberta does not need this market but rather wants it, they were unaware of this idea. This was a concept they never thought of before and did agree with me.

What we have here is the Chinese wish for raw crude. The market in China is asking for raw crude that can be processed in China as opposed to Canada. Selling to China is much more lucrative than selling to the US. Could this be all the Chinese investment taking place in the Alberta Oil Sands?

Are there projects that this can be compared to? I was impressed with the pipeline that ran from Edmonton through Jasper and into Valemount and down to the Vancouver area by Kinder Morgan Canada. This was done professionally and very little environmental impact was placed especially in Jasper National Park.

Will this project go through? A year ago I thought this would be a sure thing once all the hearings had been completed. Today this pipeline is looking more and more like it won’t go through and maybe that is ok. If people do not want it, then it will not happen. The economic spin-offs will only last one summer for each community while it is being built. A spill will last a lifetime.

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Posted by on 11:30 am. Filed under BC Economy, China, Economic Development, First Nations, Kitimat, Oil & Gas, Rocky Mountain Foothills, Terrace, US Business, Viewpoints. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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