Late 2016 possibly for company to decide on Northern Gateway project

Enbridge may look to late 2016 for a final investment decision on the Northern Gateway pipeline proposal.

The CEO of Enbridge said in an investor conference call that a decision on whether the company will move forward on a final investment decision to build the Northern Gateway pipeline could come in the late half of 2016.

Al Monaco said the company is putting their efforts on consulting with First Nations, adding there are 28 equity agreements signed with First Nations along the pipeline route.

Monaco also responded to questions on how the federal government’s planned crude oil tanker ban will impact the project but he deflected the concerns.

“We’ve heard the Prime Minister and the minister of natural resources are open to listen,” he said, which suggests wiggle room to gain support from the government, but Monaco said it is too early to speculate on the impacts of that but the company is “looking forward” to engaging the federal government.

“Hopefully we’ll have good discussions with all levels of government.”

Enbridge’s current pipeline capacity will keep the supplies at acceptable levels with lower commodity prices right now, he added.

“The timing isn’t too concerning to us,” he said.

Enbridge was given the government approval to build the pipeline in June 2014, issued after the Joint Review Panel endorsed the conclusion. The National Energy Board gave the thumbs up subject to 209 conditions being met by the company. The approval has sparked a number of legal challenges however, including from the Haisla Nation against the decision.