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PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2018 3:44 pm    Post subject: Federal Government to buy Trans Mountain Pipeline Reply with quote

( big news today in the Trans Mountain pipeline saga , the government is now planning to buy the pipeline )

Feds spending $4.5B to buy Trans Mountain pipeline

Rachel Aiello, Ottawa News Bureau Online Producer

Published Tuesday, May 29, 2018 8:32AM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, May 29, 2018 3:31PM EDT

OTTAWA –The federal government announced Tuesday that in order to see the stalled Trans Mountain pipeline expansion built, it will spend $4.5 billion to buy the existing line from Kinder Morgan, and once the sale is finalized, will take on the remaining construction of the addition.

The deal will see Canada become the owner of the cross-provincial pipeline and all of Kinder Morgan Canada's core Trans Mountain assets, through a Crown Corporation.

Kinder Morgan will resume construction on the twinning of the pipeline as early as this week, with financial help from the federal government through an Export Development Canada loan guarantee, through the 2018 construction season.

After the sale is complete—anticipated this August—the federal government will pick up the construction before selling it to a new "long-term" owner or owners, Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced alongside Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr in an early morning press conference Tuesday.

Morneau said Indigenous groups, pension funds, and “multiple” others have expressed interest in the project. He described the $4.5 billion buy-out as a "fair price for Canadians," and said the commercial agreement is a "sound investment opportunity."

“That's why we chose not to provide a subsidy to Kinder Morgan, but rather to enter into a commercial agreement that will make the most of the economic potential of this project. It's an agreement that we believe will deliver a real return on investment for the benefit of British Columbians, Albertans and all Canadians,” Morneau said.

Additional spending on construction is anticipated, but the federal ministers wouldn’t speak to what the final price tag could be, other than saying it will involve a “user pay approach,” that sees oil companies chip in. The expansion had been estimated at $7.4 billion.

The federal government will offer financial security, or indemnification against any ongoing "politically motivated delays," to the new investors, while the Government of Alberta is offering an "emergency fund" of up to $2 billion to chip in on any "unforeseen circumstances," according to the news release.

Morneau asserted that this purchase will have "no fiscal hit."

The deal also allows the federal government to step back in and re-purchase the pipeline in instances of "adverse judicial decision," or if the new buyer cannot complete the project for other reasons.

According to a Canadian Press report, the purchase includes the pipeline, pumping stations and rights of way along the route between Edmonton and Vancouver, as well as the marine terminal in Burnaby, B.C., where oil is loaded onto tankers for export.

"We knew that to do energy differently in this country, we needed to act differently," Carr told reporters Tuesday.

"The majority of Canadians understand that we are in a transition to a clean growth century and we will not get there overnight, but we will get there," Carr said.

As the soon-to-be owners of the pipeline, the federal government says it is confident this closes the book on any question of whether or not they had jurisdiction, and no specific legislation will be required.

"Our view is long-term that this project should be in the private sector. It has value, commercial value for a private owner. In order to get it done, we need to deal with the political uncertainty, and the only way, in our estimation, that that can be done is through exerting our jurisdiction by purchasing the project," Morneau said.

Alberta, British Columbia weigh in

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke with both NDP Alberta Premier Rachel Notley and B.C. NDP Premier John Horgan about the federal decision Tuesday morning.

In a tweet, Notley called the decision a "major step forward for all Canadians," pledging not to stop until the job is done.

Flanked by members of the NDP caucus in Edmonton, Notley said there were three conditions for Alberta’s assistance that Ottawa has met with Tuesday’s announcement:
• Construction resuming immediately;
• Certainty that project will go ahead; and
• Albertans seeing value for any investment made.

Notley and Horgan have been at odds over the pipeline, though she contested Tuesday that the whole ordeal was about B.C. taking "a run at the authority of the federal government and the interests of all Canadians."

Horgan told reporters Tuesday that the federal announcement does nothing to reduce the risk of a diluted bitumen spill, and it "does not change the course that the Government of British Columbia has been on… I will continue to do my best to protect B.C.'s interests."

The interprovincial spat between the two NDP premiers prompted Alberta to briefly cut off B.C. wine imports and threaten to turn off the oil taps. In response, B.C. has gone to the provincial Court of Appeal to see if it has jurisdiction to regulate heavy oil shipments.

B.C. fears that a pipeline spill would be devastating for the coast, while Alberta insists that the expansion -- which already has federal approval -- is in the best interest of the Canadian economy.

Horgan said the federal government taking ownership of the pipeline doesn’t change the essence of the reference case before the B.C. Court of Appeal, which he conveyed to Trudeau when they spoke Tuesday morning.

Cabinet approved move

On Tuesday morning the federal cabinet convened on Parliament Hill to hear Morneau’s plan to move the project forward, with public money. Morneau said cabinet approved the move, which now is before the company’s shareholders.

On their way into the meeting, few members of cabinet had anything to say about the controversial energy project, other than Trudeau who stated: "We're going to get that pipeline built."

This decision comes days before Kinder Morgan’s May 31 deadline to get reassurance that the pipeline can go ahead.

"We've found a way forward for this national interest project," said CEO of Kinder Morgan Canada Steve Kean on a conference call with reporters Tuesday morning. He said the company will work with the federal government on finding a third-party buyer, but the Texas-based company will be paid regardless.

The expansion would triple the amount of oil transported from Edmonton to Burnaby, B.C., from 300,000 barrels a day to 890,000 barrels a day. The Trans Mountain pipeline has been in operation since the 1950s.

Opposition, stakeholder, activist reaction:

The news of the nationalization of the pipeline dominated much of question period on Tuesday, with all sides pouncing on the Liberal’s decision.

"All the company wanted was certainty, and today the prime minister is forcing Canadian taxpayers to pay for his failure," said Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer speaking to reporters in the House of Commons foyer prior to question period.

Scheer strongly criticized the Liberals’ decision to buy the pipeline, paying billions to the Texas-based Kinder Morgan, and questioned how the plan aligns with the federal climate plan. He equated the move to Trudeau setting multiple fires and asking for kudos for buying a hose.

"He's trying to buy his way out of a problem," Scheer said.

Protests have taken place across Canada both for and against the pipeline. On Monday, Green Leader Elizabeth May was ordered to pay a $1,500 fine for her involvement in a March anti-pipeline rally at a main gate to Kinder Morgan's pipeline terminal.

Tuesday on Parliament Hill, May expressed her concern with the environmental consequences, price tag, and cast doubt on the government's chances of finding a buyer.

"Pull out your calculator and prepare to have your mind blown. Canada has just committed… an historic blunder with taxpayer dollars," said May. "It's absolutely stunning."

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh called it a “bad deal that won’t solve anything,” and questioned the generational longevity of the jobs this project will create.

"This is about what kind of country Canadians want to build. Do we want a country that is stuck in the past? Focused on the short-term gains regardless of the risks? We don’t," Singh said.

Several advocacy and environmental groups have slammed the government’s decision.

"The public doesn’t back a big oil buyout, on the ground resistance will persist, and the Indigenous legal challenges to federal and National Energy Board approval are not concluded," said Council of Canadians spokesperson Andrea Harden-Donahue.

In a statement from a group called "Protect the Inlet," Indigenous leaders say they are "preparing to escalate their frontline opposition," in light of the federal decision.

"The answer is still no, we will never allow a pipeline to come through British Columbia and harm our Inlet," said spokesperson and Tsleil-Waututh elder Ta'ah Amy George.

Though, members of the business community welcomed the announcement.

"Not only will it enable our producers to get their product safely to global markets, where they can get a fair price, but it will also create thousands of jobs in communities across Canada. Additionally, it will generate billions in economic activity," said Canadian Chamber of Commerce spokesperson Alita Fabiano


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PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2018 3:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nationalizing Trans Mountain pipeline a big mistake

By Thomas WalkomNational Affairs Columnist

Tues., May 29, 2018

The federal government’s decision to nationalize the Trans Mountain pipeline is deeply flawed.

It is flawed politically because it doesn’t solve the real problem – which is that a good many British Columbians oppose any project that would increase the likelihood of heavy-oil spills along the Pacific Coast.

It is flawed economically because it is predicated on the assumption that the world – particularly China – is desperate to buy high-cost bitumen from the Alberta oil sands.

Certainly for Texas-based Kinder Morgan, the pipeline’s current owner, Tuesday’s announcement is good news. The company’s share price, which had been sliding, moved upward after Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced Ottawa’s plan to buy the pipeline for $4.5 billion.

Delays had been costing Kinder Morgan $75 million a month.

The original Trans Mountain pipeline, from Alberta to Burnaby, B.C., on the Pacific Coast, has been in place since 1953. For years, it transported standard crude oil without controversy. That changed in 2012 after Kinder Morgan announced plans to triple its capacity in order to move bitumen from the tar sands for export to Asia.

Bitumen is heavier and stickier than standard crude. In the event of spills, it is much more difficult to clean up.

For that reason, the expansion proposal, which was okayed by the federal government in 2016, alarmed residents in the B.C.’s populous Vancouver area. It also aroused opposition from some Indigenous nations along the pipeline route.

For many, the proposed Trans Mountain expansion came to represent everything that was wrong with Canadian energy policy. Climate-change activists saw it as an attempt to prop up the carbon-emitting oil sands industry. Some First Nations saw it as an attack on Indigenous rights.

The private-sector union Unifor argued that its focus on exporting raw bitumen for refining elsewhere cost Canada jobs

Bill Morneau laid out Tuesday the federal government’s plan to buy Trans Mountain and Kinder Morgan Canada’s core assets for $4.5 billion. The finance minister says the move will “ensure” the oilsands pipeline expansion gets built. (The Canadian Press)

But for Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government, the Trans Mountain expansion represented a historic compromise: Alberta would sign onto Ottawa’s climate change agenda; in return the federal government would guarantee the province a new pipeline to get tar-sands bitumen to market.

In theory, this compromise seemed doable. In practice, it was not. It didn’t speak to the real concerns of pipeline opponents. It still doesn’t.

The only difference now is that pipeline critics will be demonstrating against a federal Crown corporation rather than a privately owned U.S. company.

But the real weakness in Ottawa’s nationalization scheme is economic. The Trans Mountain expansion was conceived at a time when petroleum prices were hitting record highs and before shale oil had become an important source of energy.

In those heady days, it made some economic sense to build a pipeline devoted to developing Alberta’s high-cost oil sands for export. Now it makes less sense.

Companies that have already invested heavily in the oil sands will continue to mine bitumen at almost any price in an effort to offset their fixed costs. But new investors are warier.

What’s more, as Alberta’s Parkland Institute points out, the Trans Mountain expansion was conceived at a time when there were fewer pipelines bringing tar-sands oil to market. Since then, the Keystone XL pipeline, which is meant to take heavy oil from Alberta to Texas, has been approved.

The ultimate cost of the federal government’s new pipeline scheme remains unclear. The $4.5 billion price tag cited by Morneau on Tuesday covers only the cost of purchasing Kinder Morgan’s existing assets. The planned expansion was expected to cost the Texas-based company $7.4 billion more.

Presumably, the cost to the new owners — us — will be about the same.

The Alberta government may also be called on to pony up an unspecified amount of money, Morneau said.

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer is accusing Justin Trudeau of “trying to buy his way out of a problem” after the government announced a deal to buy the Trans Mountain pipeline assets from Kinder Morgan for $4.5 billion. (The Canadian Press)

The finance minister said he plans to re-privatize the pipeline company as soon as possible. We shall see if that works out.

In all of this, the federal government’s assumption appears to be that the obstacles facing Trans Mountain are transitory — that all Ottawa need do is guide the project through a rough patch.

In fact, the problems facing pipelines today are much deeper. Kinder Morgan found that out the hard way. The federal Liberal government and its new Crown corporation are on track to be taught the same lesson.


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PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2018 3:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Canada buys Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain pipeline for $4.5 billion — but can we sell it?

Ottawa stepped in to save the troubled project today but finding someone to eventually take it over won't be easy

Geoffrey Morgan
Geoffrey Morgan

May 29, 2018
1:54 PM EDT

Filed under
〉 Energy

CALGARY — The Canadian federal government will likely have a difficult time selling the Trans Mountain pipeline system it purchased for $4.5-billion on Tuesday until it can show the risks to the project have been reduced.

The federal government announced a deal with Houston-based Kinder Morgan Inc. to purchase the existing Trans Mountain pipeline between Alberta and British Columbia, as well as the expansion project to twin the pipeline, before markets opened Tuesday and Finance Minister Bill Morneau said Ottawa did not intend to be a long-term owner.

But analysts believe Ottawa will need to provide the same financial indemnity it offered to Kinder Morgan to any potential buyer for the pipeline before it can sell it.

“Those guarantees are still going to be required in my opinion,” said Canaccord Genuity analyst David Galison, who added that British Columbia’s opposition to the project would continue to pose a threat to its construction.

In a research note, he said that Calgary-based pipeline giants Enbridge Inc. and TransCanada Corp. would be likely buyers if they “were able to secure sufficient security from the government.”

The head of Canada’s pipeline industry group expressed similar concerns.

“We do not believe that this outcome will instil investor confidence in Canada,” Canadian Energy Pipeline Association president and CEO Chris Bloomer said in a release, in which he added that he was pleased the project would be built.

Bloomer cautioned however that Ottawa’s purchase of the project would send a negative signal to investors.

“CEPA is deeply concerned that the government needed to purchase the project for it to be built and to assert federal jurisdiction,” Bloomer said. “The project has always been in the national interest.”

Other analysts, however, believe the deal does reduce the risks inherent in the project.

“I’d say the deal is a slight positive as it helps reduce balance sheet leverage and removes this significant project execution overhang,” St. Louis-based Edward Jones analyst Jen Rowland said in an email. She added that there is bad news for Kinder Morgan because the company’s “growth outlook is muted” without the expansion project.

Other analysts believe that the Trans Mountain expansion project, if it could be built, is capable of delivering value for the owner.

Morneau went out of his way Tuesday to describe how the pipeline and expansion project had value for Canadians and would provide a boost to the Canadian economy. “This purchase creates value for Canadians,” he said.

Other analysts believe the project, if built, would be a marketable asset.

“They have 10 to 20 years of firm commitment for shipments so from an investors perspective, there aren’t too many projects like this that can provide that type of certainty in terms of cash flow over that period,” said ARC Energy Research Institute senior director Jackie Forrest.

She said the deal announced before markets opened Tuesday would also provide a boost to the Canadian energy industry – both for producing companies and the outlook for domestic crude oil prices.

“Canadian equities have been beat down relative to their U.S. peers and certainty around takeaway capacity will be helpful in getting fair value for Canadian crude oil as well as Canadian companies,” Forrest said.

Shares in Kinder Morgan Canada Ltd. jumped 2.5 per cent on the Toronto Stock Exchange as the market opened on Tuesday morning, reaching $17 per share on the news that its Houston-based parent company had struck an agreement with Ottawa.

“We think this is a great day not only for our company but also for Canada and we’re happy to be participating in it,” Kinder Morgan CEO Steve Kean said in a conference call announcing the sale of Trans Mountain pipeline system and its expansion project.

Back in April, Kean had threatened to cancel the project unless Ottawa could provide assurances the company would be able to construct the pipeline through B.C. He also asked Ottawa to provide financial assurances the company wouldn’t lose money building the $7.4 billion expansion to the system given the B.C. NDP government’s continued opposition.

With the agreement reached Tuesday, the company announced construction would resume and would be funded by the Canadian government.

“Our Canadian employees and contractors have worked very hard to advance the project to this critical stage, and they will now resume work in executing this important Canadian project,” Kean said in a release.

In a separate event, Finance Minister Bill Morneau and Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr announced the federal government would use loan guarantees to ensure construction continues throughout the year.

“Our government believes that the commercial agreement we have reached with Kinder Morgan is the best way to protect thousands of good, well-paying jobs while delivering a solid return on investment for Canadians. This is an investment in Canada’s future,” Morneau said.

Morneau also indicated that the federal government didn’t want to own the Trans Mountain system long-term and would work with Kinder Morgan to identify a third-party buyer.

“We will be paid the $4.5 billion even if a third party buyer is not found,” Kinder Morgan’s Kean said Tuesday.


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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2018 8:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is a huge policy failure.

It is added to a growing pile of policy failures -- but this is an expensive one. A failed marijuana cartelization doesn't cost much. A failed attempt to rig the electoral process is cheap enough. But a botched pipeline policy costs real money.

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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2018 9:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

RCO wrote:

The ultimate cost of the federal government’s new pipeline scheme remains unclear. The $4.5 billion price tag cited by Morneau on Tuesday covers only the cost of purchasing Kinder Morgan’s existing assets. The planned expansion was expected to cost the Texas-based company $7.4 billion more.


This is the most important part of this story;

Kinder Morgans all in cost would have been 11.9 Billion Dollars.
How much will the Government of Canada Procurement process add to that 7.4 billion dollars? 20%? 40%?

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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2018 10:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This posturing idiot and his party are doing the country real harm. A majority of British Columbians support the expansion of the pipeline.

The amount of money it will cost is huge and it will be an item of patronage, very likely. Based on my experience, big public projects never come in under budget, and regularly cost two or three times what they told the voters on 'announcement day'.

It isn't all Justin's fault, of course, but perhaps if they had acted with dispatch, it would be underway now.

I remember Trudeau's taunt about Harper being unable to get pipelines built. It wasn't true, apparently, but he failed with Keystone, the big one. But now Trudeau cancelled ongoing projects to bring western oil to Canadian markets in the east, and the easy one failed. They couldn't even persuade Kinder-Morgan to participate, after the years of delays.

Trust me, other big investors will see this and put it into the mix when they make their decision. Over-regulation kills projects.

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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2018 10:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

They said all these doom and gloom predictions when MacDonald pushed through the Transcontinental railroad. The Canadian Government has bought pipelines in the past and usually ends up with a tidy profit. I can understand May opposing the pipeline, but I am surprised to hear so many conservatives opposed to it. The villain in all this is Andrew Weaver.
Do you want the pipeline built or not? Given the existing political and legal climate, does anyone here have a better solution than having a Crown Corporation building it?
Forget all the coulda-woulda-shoulda nonsense. Do you want Trans Mountain built or not?

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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2018 11:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Please, I need some factual backup for this claim. I don't ask for research, just what you have in mind when you say this:
The Canadian Government has bought pipelines in the past and usually ends up with a tidy profit.

Are you thinking of Dome Petroleum, for example? Or perhaps Bricklin? Ontario bought into Sun Oil at the peak of the market and sold in the following crash. Government's ability to pick winners and losers hasn't been that good.

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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2018 11:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bricklin, as far as I know, wasn't a pipeline.
If you build a pipeline, you are using the same trades as KM would have used. Over the lifetime of the pipeline,how do you lose money?
My source was the CBC. I think it was Rosie Barton.

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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2018 11:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

KM hasn't formalized all its construction contracts for the expansion to the best of my knowledge so there isn't the means to utilizes the same trades.

The Government of Canada also has its own very regulated procurement process which they use on the majority of their capital construction programs. There is no reason to believe it wouldn't be utilized on the construction process of the Pipeline.

Vendor Section in a Private / Public environment is incredibly different.

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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2018 7:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

... which has consequences for the costs ... and thus the rate of return. But who cares about the rate of return? -- it's government money, so we'll leave our kids holding the bag.

Besides ... I'll bet they're uncorking the bubbly back at KM over the deal.

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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2018 2:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This, a reaction from within the oil industry itself ...

The Oil Giant That Outsmarted Trudeau
By Nick Cunningham - May 30, 2018, 6:00 PM CDT

In a desperate bid to keep its last remaining proposed oil pipeline alive, Canada has decided to buy Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain Pipeline system for an estimated C$4.5 billion.

Canada will pay Kinder Morgan for the money that the company has already spent on the expansion project as well as for the existing Trans Mountain pipeline, which has a capacity of about 300,000 bpd.

Trans Mountain runs from Alberta to British Columbia and the proposed expansion would be a twin line that would triple the system’s carrying capacity to 890,000 bpd. British Columbia has vowed to block the pipeline even though the federal government supports the project. BC’s opposition had nearly killed the project…and still might finish it off despite the gamble by the federal government to nationalize the pipeline system.

As Reuters discovered, it appears that Canada has been taken for a ride by Kinder Morgan. The Texas-based pipeline company structured deals in such a way that it couldn’t lose, even if the project stalled. “Kinder Morgan cut creative deals with lenders and oil producers to shield itself from massive write-downs like the ones taken recently by rivals TransCanada Corp and Enbridge Inc in canceling controversial pipeline projects,” Reuters wrote.

These deals included requiring oil producers to pay even if the project was blocked by regulatory holdups. Also, the 26 lenders that Kinder Morgan negotiated with agreed to exempt the pipeline company from penalties on loans if the project was delayed or obstructed because of political problems.
Related: The Biggest Challenge For U.S. Oil Exports

All of that made Kinder Morgan more than willing to walk away, putting intense pressure on the Canadian government to resolve the dispute. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau first proposed to indemnify the project from risk, but ultimately decided to purchase it outright as the May 31 deadline neared.

“Kinder Morgan wins,” Brian Kessens, managing director investment firm Tortoise, which holds shares in Kinder Morgan Inc., told Reuters. “That’s a very fair price.”

Kinder Morgan agreed, hailing the payout from Canada. “This is a great day, not only for our company but for Canada,” CEO Steve Kean said. And as for who will manage the pipeline project while it’s under government ownership, Canada’s Finance Minister Bill Morneau said he hopes to hire people from…Kinder Morgan.

First Nations and environmental groups assailed Trudeau for buying out the project. “We are absolutely shocked and appalled that Canada is willingly investing taxpayers’ money in such a highly controversial fossil fuel expansion project,” Grand Chief Stewart Philip, president of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs, told the Toronto Star. “We will not stand down no matter who buys this ill-fated and exorbitantly priced pipeline.”

In a scathing article in The Guardian, environmentalist Bill McKibben called Justin Trudeau “the world’s newest oil executive,” and said that “the cutest, progressivest, boybandiest leader in the world” is going “fully in the tank for the oil industry.” [....]

This is what you get when you play to the crowd, and let the foreign oilmen make a fool out of you. But Justin shouldn't care -- it's not his money he's wasting.
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Federal Government to buy Trans Mountain Pipeline

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