TransCanada has announced early Thursday morning they are canceling the plans for the Energy East Pipeline, as well as their Eastern Mainline project. The Calgary based company had previously suspended efforts to get regulatory approvals for the mega-projects.
Energy East was a plan to move crude oil from Alberta and Saskatchewan as far east as Saint John, New Brunswick. The plan was to move around 1.1 million barrels of crude oil a day through the pipeline.
TransCanada says it will inform the National Energy Board it will no longer be proceeding with its applications for the pipelines and is withdrawing from a Quebec environmental review.
The planned route for the Energy East Pipeline was an existing TransCanada Pipeline which runs through the southeastern corner of the province.
In September, TransCanada had filed a request for a 30-day suspension of the Energy East Pipeline and Eastern Mainline Project applications. The decision was made to allow TransCanada to conduct a review of changes regarding the issues and environmental assessment factors announced by the National Energy Board, and how those would impact the projects’ costs, schedules, and viability.
The decision to cancel the projects didn’t come as a surprise to Dan Cugnet. He is the chairman of Valleyview Petroleums in Weyburn. He hinted the changes to the regulatory process were akin to moving the goalposts after the game has already started.
“It’s not surprising,” Cugnet said in an interview by phone. “With the changes to the NEB by the feds, it had all but killed it.”
Cugnet did point out there will be other methods used to move product to market from the oil-producing regions of Saskatchewan and Alberta. This includes rail, which he said could have a small benefit for Weyburn, with the pending construction of the Comtrax Commodity Hub.
“It creates opportunities for things like this, but you’re just going to see way more oil on rail, which is, to be honest, quite a bit more dangerous than moving it in a pipeline,” explained Cugnet.
Other options for producers could include using trucks to move the oil into North Dakota, which would see the producers potentially selling it at a loss in efforts to access pipelines to get the oil to market, Cugnet said.