Canada Amends Trans Mountain Ownership Regulations to Facilitate Pipeline Sale to Indigenous Groups

(Reuters) — Canada is amending regulations on how it manages the state-owned Trans Mountain oil pipeline in order to facilitate its sale to Indigenous groups, according to an official government notice published on Wednesday.

The long-delayed Trans Mountain expansion project (TMEP)nearly triples shipments of Alberta oil to Canada's Pacific Coast to 890,000 barrels per day and started commercial operations on May 1, with the first tanker set to load by the end of this month.

The C$34 billion ($24.88 billion) project, which cost more than four times its original budget, was bought by the Liberal government in 2018 to ensure construction went ahead.

Ottawa plans to sell the pipeline now that it is complete and wants to enable Indigenous communities along the route to buy a stake.

The amendments would allow Canada Development Investment Corporation (CDEV), the crown corporation that owns Trans Mountain, to conduct certain transactions such as incorporating new subsidiaries without needing approval from senior government ministers, according to a notice in the government's official newspaper, the Canada Gazette.

Those subsidiaries could be used to market spot pipeline capacity, broaden insurance coverage and incorporate a special purpose acquisition vehicle that would allow individual Indigenous communities to buy into the pipeline.

"It is essential that CDEV and its TMEP-related subsidiaries be provided the tools to act as quickly as counterparts in the competitive energy sector without needing to seek GIC (Governor in Council) authorization for each individual transaction," the notice in the Gazette said.

($1 = 1.3667 Canadian dollars)

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