By JEREMY VAN LOON
VANCOUVER (Bloomberg) -- Alberta and
British Columbia moved closer to an agreement that would allow
Enbridge to build a pipeline to bring bitumen to Canadas
Pacific coast from the oil sands.
The two signed a framework deal that sets the ground rules
for development of pipeline projects in the nations
westernmost province. Oil royalties are not on the
table, according to British Columbia Premier Christy
Albertas royalties are not part of the
discussion, Clark said today in a briefing in Vancouver.
Alberta and British Columbia are discussing ways to share the
financial benefits froms Northern Gateway oil sands
pipeline project. Canadas largest oil
pipeline operator is proposing to build a 1,177 km conduit
through British Columbia from Alberta to transport bitumen to
We dont know what form the economic benefits
will take, Clark said, adding that officials from both
provinces continue to work on the issue. British Columbia wants
to protect provincial royalties, which might be worth as much
as $960 billion for British Columbia from liquefied natural gas
projects in the coming decades, she
Alberta agreed to British Columbias five conditions
that were set out to protect the provinces environment and local economy.
Winning the social license to operate new oil
pipelines in the province includes spill response on the
Pacific coast and sharing benefits with local communities and
aboriginal groups, Clark said.
Enbridges proposed Northern Gateway pipeline has faced
opposition along its proposed route through central British
Columbia from aboriginal and environmental groups. Alberta is
seeking to diversify markets for its bitumen, which requires
about $19 billion in annual investment and risks remaining
land-locked amid rising production.
British Columbia said in May it cant support Northern
Gateway because project plans fail to address the risk of
spills on land or sea. Canadas National Energy Board
regulator has until the end of the year to make a
recommendation on the project.