Canadian Regulator Approved Trans Mountain Pipeline Route Change Over Delay Concerns

(Reuters) — The Canada Energy Regulator (CER) said on Friday that it approved a route change application for the expansion of the Trans Mountain oil pipeline  because continuing to use micro-tunneling construction techniques could delay completion by at least 10 months.

"This delay could result in an estimated C$2 billion($1.46 billion) of lost revenue for Trans Mountain and cause negative impacts on shippers and other parties," CER said.

The CER granted a route change request for the Canadian government-owned Trans Mountain project late in September for a deviation on a 1.3-kilometre (0.8 mile) section of pipeline near Kamloops, British Columbia. It did not release its reasons for the decision until now.

Trans Mountain's proposal to divert the pipeline through a different area nearby was opposed by the Stk'emlupsemc te Secwepemc Nation First Nation, whose territory it crosses.

Once operational, Trans Mountain will ship an extra 590,000 barrels per day of crude to Canada's Pacific Coast, opening up Asian and U.S. West Coast markets to oil producers. It is expected to start operating late in the first quarter of 2024.

($1 = 1.3688 Canadian dollars)

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