Line fill is a final step before the expanded Alberta to British Columbia pipeline begins service, providing crucial additional access for Canadian oil to the U.S. West Coast and Asia.
Trans Mountain, a Canadian-government corporation, said the schedules assume that it faces no delays caused by challenges drilling into hard rock, such as tool damage.
Trans Mountain had asked the Canada Energy Regulator (CER) to allow it to install smaller-diameter pipe in a 1.4-mile (2.3-km) section of the oil pipeline’s route after encountering challenging drilling conditions in a mountainous area between Hope and Chilliwack, British Columbia.
The CER denied the request on Dec. 5, later saying that the application did not adequately address concerns about pipeline integrity and environmental protection impacts. Trans Mountain then asked the regulator to reverse that decision on Dec. 14, warning of a possibly “catastrophic” two-year delay and billions of dollars in losses.
The CER has not yet made a decision.
(Reporting by Rod Nickel in Winnipeg, Manitoba; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Mark Porter)