Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion to Start Oil Shipments in June, Says Alberta Premier

(Reuters) — Line fill of Canada's Trans Mountain crude oil pipeline expansion will be complete by the end of May, with the first waterborne exports from the expanded system starting a month later, Alberta Premier Danielle Smith said on Tuesday in an interview.

Her comments on the sidelines of the CERAWeek energy conference in Houston are in line with March 1 statements by oil producer MEG EnergyMEG.TO that Trans Mountain has called for 2.1 million barrels in April and the same amount of oil in May.

The Canadian government-owned C$30.9 billion ($22.8 billion) pipeline expansion will nearly triple the flow of crude from Alberta to Canada's Pacific Coast to 890,000 barrels per day, but has been plagued by years of delays and cost overruns.

Line fill is the last step before the expanded pipeline begins service, providing additional access for Canadian oil to refineries on the U.S. West Coast and in Asia.

Asked for comment, Trans Mountain reiterated that it expects to begin service on the pipeline expansion in the second quarter.

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