By Julie Gordon
VANCOUVER Nov 6 A recent pipeline deal between
Alberta and British Columbia is good news for Enbridge Inc's
proposed Northern Gateway pipeline, the company's chief
executive said on Wednesday.
"We have been confident for awhile in where Gateway is going
to head and that the project will move forward," Chief Executive
Officer Al Monaco said during a conference call with investors
following the release of the company's third-quarter results.
"We are an export-based economy, so we do need access to the
Asian markets, which are clearly the growth market going
Enbridge, Canada's largest pipeline company, also reported
higher third-quarter earnings on Wednesday as increased volumes
on its crude pipelines offset higher costs.
Enbridge's shares were up 1 percent at C$46.24 in early
afternoon trading on Wednesday in Toronto.
The 1,177 km (730 mile) Northern Gateway pipeline has faced
fierce opposition from aboriginal and environmental groups, who
worry about the impact of a potential oil spill in British
The province rejected the proposal earlier this year, citing
concerns over spill response, and set out five conditions that
new pipelines would have to meet before being considered.
On Tuesday, Alberta agreed to support those five conditions
if British Columbia agreed to back construction of oil pipelines
to its coast, edging projects such as Northern Gateway closer to
Monaco said his company has put more effort into
consultation with affected communities and First Nations groups
over the last six months, adding that the pipeline would be a
world leader in safety and environmental protection.
Still, the $6.5 billion project faces many obstacles,
including negative public sentiment and increasing costs.
Monaco confirmed on Wednesday that the cost of building the
pipeline would increase, although he declined to give any new
estimate until design and engineering work was completed.
Excluding one-time items, Enbridge's third quarter profit
rose 4 percent to C$278 million, or 34 Canadian cents per share,
from C$267 million, or 34 Canadian cents a share, a year
Analysts on average were expecting 35 Canadian cents per
share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Shares of the
Calgary-based company were relatively flat shortly after the
market opened on Wednesday, trading down 1 Canadian cent at
C$45.79 in Toronto.
Net income attributable to common shareholders, impacted by
unrealized derivative gains or losses, more than doubled to
C$421 million, or 51 Canadian cents per share, from C$187
million, or 24 Canadian cents per share.