Canada regulatory board greenlights Trans Mountain pipeline

VANCOUVER – Canada’s National Energy Board has recommended the government approve a US$5.9 billion (CA$6.8-billion) Trans Mountain pipeline expansion pending 157 conditions are met.

The regulatory panel recommended Thursday that Ottawa approve Kinder Morgan Canada’s proposal to triple the capacity of the pipeline, which carries crude from oil sands near Edmonton to Burnaby, British Columbia.

Kinder Morgan will have to address 157 engineering, safety, environmental and emergency preparedness conditions, including holding $1.1 billion in liability coverage and plans to reduce and offset emissions.

The positive recommendation has cleared a major hurdle for the project, with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s cabinet set to make a final decision year end.

Canada has the third largest oil reserves but 97 per cent of its oil exports go to the U.S. and Canada is eager to diversify.