Canada plans public hearings on Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion

|About: Kinder Morgan Energy Partne... (KMP)|By:, SA News Editor

Canada's National Energy Board says it will hold public hearings into Kinder Morgan Partners' (KMP) planned $5.4B expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline that carries crude from the Alberta oil sands to the Pacific coast, first hearing evidence from aboriginal groups in August.

The regulator, which plans to issue a recommendation on the project's future no later than July 2015, says its review will focus on 12 issues, including impact on the environment, effects on marine shipping, aboriginal interests, and contingency planning for spills and accidents.

Energy producers such as Exxon (XOM) affiliate Imperial Oil (IMO), BP and Suncor (SU) are looking to the Trans Mountain expansion and other proposed pipelines - most notably Keystone XL (TRP) - to help ease the bottlenecks that have led to steep discounts for Alberta oil on global markets.