Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Suncor says Alberta Clipper no longer prudent, wants lower tariff

CALGARY, Alta. - A tariff dispute between Enbridge Inc. and bitumen producer Suncor Energy over Enbridge's Alberta Clipper line has raised doubts about the necessity of the line.
During an investor symposium on Jan. 21, Enbridge disclosed that Suncor had applied with U.S. energy regulators to defer tariffs on the U.S. portion of the 1,600-kilometer line due to reduced need.
Suncor, which recently merged with Petro-Canada, said the new pipeline likely will run under capacity.
"We support additional capacity, but the timing of Clipper is no longer a prudent fit with supply," Suncor spokeswoman Sneh Seetal said. "We are concerned about the potential impact of unnecessary pipeline-related costs in view of unused capacity on the competitiveness of Canadian heavy oilsands crude into the U.S. "
Enbridge chief financial officer Richard Bird said the Clipper will start operation several months ahead of schedule, on April 1, further pressuring tariff revenues at home.
"Suncor is a significant customer, so we understand their concern with the fact that our tolls on our main-line system are going to increase as a result of circumstances that have changed since the Alberta Clipper project was approved," Bird told investors at a symposium in Whistler, B.C. "We will work with them and with (the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers) to do everything that we can to make it right."

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