Monday, 18 June, 2018

Kinder Morgan Canada shares move higher after deal to sell Trans Mountain

Live: Feds to spend $4.5 billion to buy Trans Mountain pipeline, B.C. terminal Canada to buy major pipeline to ensure it gets built
Velma Reese | 29 May, 2018, 21:31

"We're continuing to work on multiple levels to ensure that projects that are in national interest like the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion get built", says Trudeau.

On Tuesday morning the federal cabinet convened on Parliament Hill to hear Morneau's plan to move the project forward, with public money. "At a critical moment in history, the government is indeed doing "whatever it takes" to undermine our transition to a safe, clean, renewable energy future". But the federal government, citing past court decisions, including some from the Supreme Court of Canada, contends that it holds sole authority over pipelines between provinces.

Canada and Kinder Morgan agreed on a pricetag of 4.5 billion Canadian dollars ($3.5 billion), Finance Minister Bill Morneau said at a press conference Tuesday morning.

The deal will see Canada become the owner of the pipeline and all of Kinder Morgan Canada's core assets, and in return Kinder Morgan will continue construction on the twinning of the pipeline this summer.

The purchase marks a stunning development for Trudeau's government - effectively nationalizing the country's highest-profile infrastructure project until an operator can be found.

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"We think obviously this is very constructive for Kinder and for Canada and clearly for Canadian producers in particular because it creates a lot of regulatory certainty over the time that the Trans Mountain expansion can get done", Katie Bays, an analyst with Height Securities LLC in Washington said in a telephone interview. The deal includes the existing pipeline that's been in operation since 1953.

The Trans Mountain extension would connect Alberta to British Columbia and triple Kinder Morgan's capacity.

Notley said the federal takeover gives the project "federal Crown immunity", which casts doubt on B.C.'s reference case to test the province's jurisdiction.

The pipeline deadline is just one of two big dates coming for the Trudeau government this week, which could turn out to be one of the most important of his first mandate as prime minister, especially if he wants a second one.

Morneau said more investment would be needed to complete the expansion, and stressed he felt the project should be returned to the private sector. The 980-kilometer (600-mile) expansion is seen by the oil industry as a crucial link to Asian markets, allowing producers to diversify away from the USA, which takes the vast majority of Canadian oil exports.

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