Oil tanker moratorium won’t deter proponents of Northern Gateway

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s plans to formalize a moratorium on crude oil tankers off the north coast of British Columbia will not...

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s plans to formalize a moratorium on crude oil tankers off the north coast of British Columbia will not shake Enbridge Inc.’s Northern Gateway proponents, which include Aboriginal equity partners.

“We are confident the government of Canada will be embarking on the required consultation with First Nations and Metis in the region, given the potential economic impact a crude oil tanker ban would have on those communities and Western Canada as a whole,” Ivan Giesbrecht, a Northern Gateway spokesman, said in a statement. A mandate letter from Trudeau to Marc Garneau, federal transportation minister, directed him to work on formalizing the moratorium.

Giesbrecht pointed out that the National Energy Board last year approved the $7.9 billion project after one of the most exhaustive reviews of its kind in Canadian history. The approval was conditional upon Northern Gateway satisfying 209 conditions.

Northern Gateway has also successfully completed an extensive navigation review under the Transport Canada TERMPOL review process, he said. “Since then, we have been very clear in stating that we have more work to do in establishing respectful dialogues and achieving improved relationships with First Nations and Métis peoples.”

Giesbrecht said the company has made significant progress building support on the B.C. coast and along the pipeline corridor.

“Along with the project's Aboriginal equity partners, we are looking forward to an opportunity to sit down with the new prime minister and his cabinet to provide an update on the progress of our project and our partnerships with First Nations and Métis people in Alberta and B.C.,” he said.  

“We share the vision of the Trudeau government that energy projects must incorporate world-leading environmental standards and First Nations and Métis ownership.”

Northern Gateway would transport 525,000 barrels per day of crude oil from Bruderheim, Alberta to Kitimat, where it would be loaded on Very Large Crude Carriers (VLCCs) for shipment to Asian markets. A second pipeline would transport 193,000 barrels per day of imported diluent back to Alberta.

Daily Oil Bulletin