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Enbridge is expected to respond to Priddle and other opponents of its plan, and counter their evidence, in CER filings due Feb. 1.
The CER is expected to make a decision on whether the pipeline giant is allowed to move to a contracted system in the first half of this year, which will bring to a close the lengthy fight.
In response to questions on whether the contracting process was an attempt to fend off competitive threats from Keystone XL and Trans Mountain, Enbridge spokesperson Jesse Semko said in a statement the company is looking to increase pipeline capacity out of Western Canada.
“We have several investments we can make to optimize our Mainline system and improve transportation (egress) out of Western Canada by 300,000 barrels per day,” Semko said in an emailed statement, adding, “We can’t make these financial commitments without Mainline contracting.”
We can’t make these financial commitments without Mainline contracting
Semko said the company has responded to more than 3,000 questions from shippers participating in the CER regulatory hearings since the process began in December 2019.
In the application to the CER, Enbridge said it “faces competition from existing and potential future pipelines exiting the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin” including Keystone XL and TMX.
“The board has approved the construction of competitive pipelines on the basis that enhanced pipeline competition and increased customer choice serve the public interest,” the company notes in its application, which also says the CER should ensure a “level playing field” between Enbridge, whose Mainline operates as the spot market, and the competitors, whose pipelines operate on long-term contracts.