International backing for Northern Gateway pipeline grows: new Chinese investment, more Joint Review intervenors

Energy Northern Gateway Links

The Globe and Mail and Reuters are reporting that Enbridge has more Chinese support for the proposed Northern Gateway Pipeline project. One large Chinese group, China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. (Sinopec), is already backing Enbridge’s efforts to build the Northern Gateway.

In Enbridge’s push to the Pacific wins support from China .

the Globe’s Nathan Vanderklippe says:

Sources have now told The Globe and Mail that the list of funders also includes MEG Energy Corp., which is partly owned by CNOOC Ltd., another Chinese state-owned energy company. Each funder gains the right to discounted shipping rates and an option to buy an equity stake at a later date…MEG spokesman Brad Bellows said the company is “not commenting on speculation.” But, he added, MEG is “interested in expanded market access, absolutely.”

On its website, MEG describes itself as “part of the next generation of oil sands development. We are an Alberta-based company that uses Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD) technology to recover drillable (in situ) oil from the oil sands.”

Reuters reports

Enbridge declined to disclose any of the Northern Gateway partners. However, Gina Jordan, spokeswoman for the pipeline company, said they include a mix of oil sands producers and Asian refiners.

Several Chinese companies have invested in the oil sands over the past decade to tap what is currently ranked as the world’s third-largest crude deposit as a way to help fuel their booming economy at home.

Last week, Enbridge said it and would-be shippers had agreed on terms for moving oil on Northern Gateway… before regulatory hearings scheduled to start in January.

The Globe and Mail is also reporting that a growing list of international companies are filing as intervenors for the Joint Review Panel hearings slated for January.

Nearly two dozen companies have asked to be “intervenors” … including small Canadian companies, major multinationals like Exxon Mobil Corp. and foreign companies like South Korean conglomerate Daewoo International.

Companies typically intervene when they want to closely follow a project, are interested in using it – by sending crude through Gateway, for example – or have a financial interest in it.

[T]he project holds the promise of dramatically altering Canada’s energy geography, providing for the first time access to a major new – and growing – export market. That has made it an increasing object of global interest.

South Korean trading and construction firm Daewoo International, for example, is hopeful it can provide steel or engineering to the Gateway pipeline. That’s just one part of its Canadian strategy.