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HomeOil and GasPembina Pipeline Downplays Investment Prospects in Trans Mountain Expansion

Pembina Pipeline Downplays Investment Prospects in Trans Mountain Expansion

5/10/2024

(Reuters) — Canada’s Pembina Pipeline Corp. is not spending much time considering investment in the newly expanded Trans Mountain oil pipeline (TMX) due to uncertainty around shipping tolls, a company executive said on Friday.

Calgary-based Pembina formed a partnership with an Indigenous organization, Western Indigenous Pipeline Group, in 2021 to pursue buying a stake in the Canadian government-owned pipeline, but in recent months has played down the idea of investing in the project.

“From our perspective, there still exists a tremendous amount of uncertainty around that asset,” Cameron Goldade, Pembina’s chief financial officer, said on an earnings call.

“As an investment opportunity it’s not something we’re spending a great deal of time on right now.”

Ottawa has said it will launch a divestment process for Trans Mountain, which began commercial operations last week, later this year. Many analysts expect the government will struggle to recoup its investment.

The pipeline’s shippers argue tolls being charged to transport oil are too high, after construction costs ballooned to C$34 billion ($24.88 billion), more than four times the original budget.

Canadian regulators will hold hearings this year to determine final tolls.

TMX will ship an extra 590,000 barrels per day of crude from Alberta’s oil sands to Canada’s west coast and increase access to markets in Asia and the U.S. west coast.

($1 = 1.3666 Canadian dollars)

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