Source: Facebook

Alberta Premier Danielle Smith disclosed the anticipated timeline for the completion of Canada’s Trans Mountain crude oil pipeline expansion will be May.

Smith made the comments at the CERAWeek energy conference in Houston, Tex. 

According to Smith, exports from the expanded system are scheduled to commence a month thereafter.

These projections align with statements made earlier this month by oil sands company MEG Energy stating that the project has requisitioned 2.1 million barrels for April and the same amount for May.

The $30.9 billion project, owned by the Canadian government, aims to substantially increase the transport capacity of oil from Alberta to the Pacific Coast, with targets of up to 890,000 barrels per day.

However, the project has been mired in a protracted history of delays and obstacles. 

The final phase before the commencement of operations is the line fill process, marking a critical milestone that grants the Canadian oil market enhanced access to U.S. and Asian refineries.

Despite the pipeline’s troubles, Trans Mountain reiterated its anticipation of furthering the pipeline expansion during the second quarter. 

Yet, this optimism is juxtaposed with delays from federal regulatory bodies. 

Coinciding with Smith’s statements, the Canada Energy Regulator issued an order Tuesday directing the project to halt work on a segment following inspections revealing workers operating without the proper permission to work in proximity to a red-tailed hawk ecological nesting site.

The regulator clarified that once an inspection officer deems the situation rectified, Trans Mountain will be permitted to begin work again in Abbotsford, B.C.