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Trans Mountain will be commissioned at the end of June, according to the Alberta government

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The project's commissioning date has been pushed back several times, notably due to problems during the work.

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The Government of Alberta expects the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion Project to officially enter service at the end of June.

The Office of Prime Minister Danielle Smith shared these projections on the sidelines of the CERAWeek conference by S&P Global being held in Houston, Texas. Reuters first published this announcement.

According to information provided by the provincial government, the state-owned company has started filling the pipeline which is expected to continue until the end of May.

For its part, the Canada Energy Regulator indicated that it had received the majority of requests for authorization to put into service from Trans Mountain, a regulatory step necessary to launch the start of operation of the pipeline. The Commission must be convinced that the pipeline can be used safely, underlines the Régie on its website.

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TransMountain pipeline expansion project route

However, cleanup and remediation work was stopped in Abbotsford, British Columbia, after the Authority issued an inspector's order to the Crown corporation. Régie inspectors observed contractors near a red-tailed hawk nesting site without these contractors having the necessary authorizations or mitigation plans in place.

The project has already suffered numerous delays, the most recent being technical problems during horizontal directional drilling.

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The cost of the project has also increased over the years. The most recent estimate puts the bill at nearly $34 billion. The federal government purchased the project in 2018 for $4.5 billion.

The end of the project, however, delights the Premier of Alberta. Although part of the oil that will be transported to the West Coast is intended for the American market, the project also opens access to the Asian continent for Alberta producers.

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Danielle Smith is in Texas to promote investment opportunities in the province.

The project nearly triples oil transportation capacity between Alberta and British Columbia. Producers also expect to get a better price for the product since the lack of pipelines relative to production growth has created bottlenecks, leading to a Canadian oil price lower than the U.S. price.

We are already starting to see a tightening of the differential [between American and Canadian oil]. It will make a big difference for producers and for us as a government since the royalties are based on the value of the oil, underlined Danielle Smith in an interview.

She also hopes that the conclusion of this project launched 12 years ago will attract the attention of the United States to the north of the border.

Canada is often the forgotten friend and we shouldn't be. We should be a team when it comes to energy security in North America.

A quote from Danielle Smith, Premier of Alberta

On the United States side, the American Petroleum Institute sees the end of this project as an acknowledgment of a failure of the American government. What worries me is that we are not capable of building anything in this country. This means that we are harming commercial relations between our two countries and the partnerships which are essential to meeting future energy demands, reacted Amanda Eversole, vice-president of the Institute.

A representative from Trans Mountain will present at the CERAWeek conference Wednesday morning.

With information from Reuters

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