National Energy Board to Decide about Enbridge Pipeline on Thursday

Canada’s federal pipeline regulator is set to announce its decision on Thursday on whether to allow Enbridge to increase and reverse flow in an aging oil pipeline that runs across the GTA. Even though The National Energy Board will most likely approve the controversial project, it may impose additional conditions along with the decision set to be released at 4:30 p.m.

The Calgary-based pipeline company had requested for approval in November 2012 to increase the allowed flow through Line 9, which routes oil from Sarnia to Montreal, by 25 per cent i.e. from 240,000 barrels a day to 300,000. Additionally, the company had asked to reverse the flow from westward to eastward on the section between North Westover, near Hamilton, and Montreal. However, the request to reverse the segment between Sarnia and North Westover has already been approved by the energy board. The changes will now allow Enbridge to transport oil from the booming oilfields of western Canada and North Dakota to refineries in Quebec, which currently relies on more costly crude imported from overseas.

Although smaller requests like Line 9B do not require the federal government’s approval of board recommendations, large-scale projects such as the Northern Gateway pipeline in western Canada and TransCanada’s proposed Energy East line have to. The proposal to revamp the 38-year-old pipeline has received its fair share of opposition, especially when its final day of public hearings had to be cancelled due to “security concerns.”

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