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British Columbia and Alberta reach oil pipeline framework deal

World Pipelines,

In a press conference held in Vancouver earlier this week, Alberta Premier Alison Redford and British Columbia (BC) Premier Christy Clark confirmed that a tentative agreement had been made to support oil pipelines in the province.

The projects include pipelines proposed by Enbridge and Kinder Morgan, which total approximately US$ 12 million and would transport more than a million bpd of oil to BC. The projects would have economic benefits, creating construction jobs and opening up new, lucrative markets in Asia.

The five conditions
The two Premiers reached a framework agreement to work through BC’s five conditions to support Enbridge’s Northern Gateway Project, and other proposed pipelines.

BC’s conditions are aimed to ensure that energy is responsibly produced, and safely transported to new markets. The conditions include the passing of an environmental review, creating world-leading marine and land spill prevention and recovery systems, addressing First Nations’ rights and receiving a fair share of economic benefits.

At the conference Redford said, “We have always believed that those five conditions were important conditions [...] We believe in sustainable development, we’re committed to First Nations consultations, we know that it’s important the best interests of that province are taken care of.”

While the framework means that the two provinces agree on the five conditions, there is still work to be done in order to satisfy all demands. Redford said, “In all five areas we are seeing progress. That doesn’t mean we snap our fingers overnight and it’s done.”

Enbridge and Kinder Morgan’s projects
Enbridge’s proposed 1177 km Northern Gateway pipeline would deliver 525 000 bpd of Alberta oil to a tanker terminal in Kitimat, on the north coast of BC. The project is currently undergoing a joint environment assessment review. That panel has until the end of 2013 to complete its report and recommendations.

Kinder Morgan has proposed a US$ 4.1 billion Trans Mountain project. The project would involve the expansion of its current 1150 km pipeline, which transports oil and refined products between Stathcona County, Alberta and Burnaby, BC. The expansion, if approved, would increase the nominal capacity of the system from 300 000 - 890 000 bpd.

Clark has said that her five conditions apply to both projects, and any other project that involves heavy oil from Alberta.

Edited from various sources by Hannah Priestley-Eaton

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