Market access is critical and is in the national interest. Suncor supports the development of pipeline infrastructure that provides access to markets, including expanded connectivity to the United States Gulf Coast. We have an interest in all the major pipelines under development, including Keystone XL, Line 3 and the Trans Mountain Expansion. These projects are critical and will bring responsibly developed Canadian crude oil to new and expanded markets. Because pipeline projects take several years to approve, develop and make operational, it also makes sense the industry to utilize existing rail networks to transport products to market.
Trans Mountain expansion
On June 18, 2019, the Government of Canada approved the Trans Mountain Expansion Project reaffirming that the infrastructure is critical and in the national interest. The Trans Mountain Expansion will support the diversification of market access for responsibly developed Canadian crude oil and will support the desire for Canadians in receiving the full value for Western Canadian crude oil.
In November, 2018, the U.S. Federal District Court invalidated the Presidential Permit and ordered construction to cease until the U.S. State Department completed a supplemental environmental impact statement. A November ruling by a Montana-based district judge cited deficiencies in the State Department’s environmental analysis. On March 29, 2019, U.S. President Donald Trump issued a new Presidential Permit, intended to speed up the development of the pipeline. A previous injunction was also quashed in the spring of 2019, however, construction activities have still not fully ramped up. The Nebraska Supreme Court has yet to deliver its decision on the validity of the Nebraska Utilities Commission finding on the need for Keystone XL and the approval of the route through the State.
Construction of the Canadian portion of the Line 3 replacement continued in 2018 and is ready to be put in service. However, this requires regulatory approval and ENB is currently negotiating the rate with Shippers as the volume is of incremental capacity is limited given that the US portion continues to be delayed.
On June 28 2018, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission approved the project, granting a certificate of need and approving Enbridge’s preferred route with minor modifications and certain conditions. However on June 3, 2019 the Minnesota Court of Appeals ruled that the environment impact statement on the Line 3 replacement was inadequate. Enbridge is working with authorities to get the construction permits approved and to have the Line in service in the second half of 2020; however there is a high risk this will be delayed by another year.
Suncor will continue to work with governments, regulators, industry associations, Indigenous Peoples and stakeholders to support market access objectives.