Canada Energy Regulator to hold hearing Friday on Trans Mountain pipeline request – filing

By Rod Nickel

WINNIPEG, Manitoba (Reuters) – The Canada Energy Regulator (CER) will hold a hearing on Friday about Trans Mountain Corp’s request for a change in construction to complete expansion of its oil pipeline from Alberta to British Columbia, according to a filing on Monday.

The CER said in a letter to the Canadian government-owned pipeline company, filed on the regulator’s website, that it needs more information and will conduct an oral hearing in Calgary.

The regulator said it would ask questions of Trans Mountain and the company would have a brief opportunity to make a final argument.

Trans Mountain had asked the CER to allow it to install smaller-diameter pipe in a 1.4-mile (2.3 km) section of the nearly completed oil pipeline’s route after encountering challenging drilling conditions in a mountainous area between Hope and Chilliwack, British Columbia.

The CER denied the request on Dec. 5, later saying that the application did not adequately address concerns about pipeline integrity and the environment. Trans Mountain then asked the regulator to reverse that decision on Dec. 14, warning of a possibly “catastrophic” two-year delay and billions of dollars in losses.

Trans Mountain had asked for a decision no later than Jan. 9.

(Reporting by Rod Nickel in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Editing by Franklin Paul)