The National Energy Boards' (NEB) decision to postpone oral hearings regarding Kinder Morgan's (KMI) Trans Mountain pipeline expansion has caused uncertainty within the oil and gas industry.
Kelly’s new appointment
Hearings were suspended after Steven Kelly – previously a consultant for KMI’s pipeline project – was announced to join the NEB panel on 13 October. As a result, Kelly’s evidence on the project must be taken off the record, in order to maintain public confidence. KMI must thusly list other evidence from Kelly in order to determine whether it needs to be replaced.
A spokesperson for project stated that the company would comment after reviewing the panel’s notification. However, this may be sooner rather than later.
KMI’s plan of action
As the NEB is rejecting evidence, KMI is in the process of having a replacement plan, requested by the NEB by 28 August.
“We are confident we can meet requirements outlined by the NEB and that the regulatory process can proceed in a timely manner without material delay,” stated KMI Canada’s President, Ian Anderson.
The deadline for the NEB final recommendation on the pipeline project is 26 January 2016. However, the federal cabinet has the final say on the pipeline’s verdict.
Edited from various sources, Business Vancouver, CBC News, by Stephanie Roker