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QuickQuotes: what's being said about the end of TransCanada's Energy East

QuickQuotes: what's being said about the end of TransCanada's Energy East

Crude oil prices have slipped near $50 a barrel and other commodities are weaker as the USA dollar found its footing.

The $15.7 billion Energy East pipeline planned to transport 1.1 million barrels of oil per day from western Canada's oilsands to refineries in Quebec and Saint John, New Brunswick, as well as an export terminal in New Brunswick.

At the same time, the longtime Energy East supporter continued, the pipeline's cancellation means eastern Canada will continue relying on foreign oil carried across the ocean in tankers rather than crude extracted in Alberta and Saskatchewan.

TransCanada stopped capitalizing AFUDC on the project effective August 23, 2017, as disclosed on September 7, 2017.

Both Enbridge's Northern Gateway pipeline and Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain pipeline received regulatory approval with no consideration of their impacts on greenhouse gas emissions. "Nonetheless, this is an unfortunate outcome for Canadians", she said.

TransCanada President and Chief Executive Officer Russ Girling delivered the company's verdict on the project in a statement released Thursday morning. That pipeline, however, is now locked up in lawsuits, and the B.C. government is intervening in challenges to its approval.

Canada's Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr said the cancellation was a business decision by TransCanada given oil market conditions had changed since the pipeline was first proposed. October 5, 2017, she called on the National Energy Board to send a "clear" message on how it intends to evaluate pipelines in the future. He didn't specify reasons but Alberta's oil sands growth has slowed with the decline in the price of oil and there was stiff environmental opposition in Quebec. It is not a good day for the federation.

Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre, who has opposed the pipeline on environmental grounds, said he was thrilled to see it abandoned. Several global companies have sold off oilsands projects in the past year. The Eastern Mainline project included new natural gas pipeline and compression facilities largely along the company's existing systems in Southern Ontario.

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"The fight goes on", he told National Observer.

"While we ultimately support getting off oil, oil is still necessary today", they said in a statement. "We have to remain vigilant, look at what happens around us and react whenever called on".

"It definitely puts the leverage on the pipes that are on the docket to get through", said Carl Evans, an oil analyst at Genscape Inc.in Boulder, Colorado.

But as prices tumbled and regulatory hurdles aimed at protecting the environment multiplied, the business case for Energy East became weaker.

"The economic benefits of the Energy East pipeline have never been added to our economic and fiscal projections", he said.

Suncor Energy Inc. (TSX:SU), Canada's largest oil, gas and refining company by market capitalization, had hoped Energy East would allow it to replace US and offshore oil at its 137,000-barrel-per-day Montreal refinery, said spokeswoman Sneh Seetal.

"Again it shows how local governments can make a difference", Coderre explained. "But when you have something that represents 26 football fields and they want to open wetlands, and install pipelines everywhere - that's unacceptable".

Quebec politicians, along with Indigenous and environmental groups, welcomed the project's demise, branding it as a harbinger of the inevitable death of fossil fuels and a reminder of the need for further green energy development.


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