Two years ago, Keystone XL was the only major pipeline project blocked by federal regulators. Today, even projects supported by both the US government and the affected states face the prospect of delays and even derailment in the courts.
Enbridge Inc’s (TSX: ENB, NYSE: ENB) much needed upgrades to aging Line 3 infrastructure won final approval from the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission this week, as regulators denied a slew of petitions from pipeline opponents. Nonetheless, the company has been forced to put off the projected completion of the project to at least the second half of 2020, due to delays in winning permits that have been routinely granted in past years.
The delay of Line 3 triggered a vicious chain reaction among Canadian producers, whose output would remain severely transportation constrained even after it enters service. The project is simply to restore the pipeline to its initial 1968 capacity of 760,000 barrels, from barely half that currently.
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Elliott and Roger on Feb. 27, 2020
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