Enbridge Inc. CEO Al Monaco prepares to address the company's annual meeting in Calgary, Wednesday, May 8, 2019.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Enbridge and TC Energy CEOs focus on cutting operating emissions from pipelines

Enbridge and TC Energy CEOs focus on cutting operating emissions from pipelines

CALGARY — The CEOs of Canada’s two biggest pipeline companies say they are focused on lowering their operating greenhouse gas emissions while avoiding big oil pipeline projects in the wake of ongoing opposition throughout North America.

Both Francois Poirier of TC Energy Corp. and Al Monaco of Enbridge Inc. told the virtual 2021 Scotiabank CAPP Energy Symposium on Wednesday that repositioning their companies to account for the global energy transition to cleaner fuels is among their top priorities.

The decision by President Joe Biden to cancel TC Energy’s Keystone XL pipeline permit in January was disappointing, but Poirier said TC Energy is building on learnings from the environmental commitment it made just days before the decision.

“We did not make our commitment to net-zero operations on Keystone XL as of the in-service date, and providing our own generation by 2030, lightly. There was a great deal of homework … (and) those learnings are carrying over to now our existing asset base,” he said.

Meanwhile, Monaco said regulatory and political obstacles to building pipelines are expected to continue to make new pipelines hard to build, which is something that should benefit current Enbridge investors.

“You’d think that makes pipe in the ground more valuable, and I think it will eventually, but the reason for that is it’s very difficult to replicate our asset base and the reality is that in any energy scenario we can think of, our systems are going to be critical for a long time,” he said.

Both companies are intent on buying or building renewable electricity sources for their pipeline pump stations and compression systems, the CEOs said.

Enbridge has set goals to cut its energy intensity by 35 per cent by 2030 and get to net-zero emissions by 2050.

TC Energy has the skills and means to reduce emissions through carbon capture, use and storage and by developing technologies to produce and store hydrogen, Poirier said.

“The transition can’t come fast enough for us, from my perspective, but we have to pace it appropriately and I believe that natural gas and liquids (like oil) will continue to play a prominent role in the energy economy for decades to come,” he said.

“So I think our existing assets will continue to be used and useful for quite a long time and generate a tremendous amount of cash flow that we’re going to be able to redeploy into energy transition.”

Poirier said TC Energy is continuing to consider its options in response to the cancellation of Keystone XL, while reiterating it expects to take a related “substantive” charge in its first-quarter financial results.

In the spring of 2020, the company approved spending US$8 billion to complete Keystone XL after the Alberta government agreed to invest about US$1.1 billion (C$1.5 billion) as equity and guarantee a US$4.2-billion project loan.

The 1,947-kilometre pipeline was designed to carry 830,000 barrels a day of crude oil from Hardisty, Alta., to Steele City, Neb., where it would connect with the company’s existing facilities to reach the U.S. Gulf Coast refining centre.

Monaco said he’s optimistic that Enbridge’s $9.3-billion Line 3 pipeline replacement project will be in service as scheduled in the fourth quarter of this year, despite ongoing protests and legal challenges. It is expected to add about 370,000 barrels per day of export capacity from Western Canada into the U.S.

The company, meanwhile, continues to fight in court an order from Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to shut down its Line 5 pipeline through the Great Lakes by next month, arguing the state doesn’t have that jurisdiction and that the conduit is vital to U.S and Canadian customers.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 7, 2021.

Companies in this story: (TSX:ENB, TSX:TRP)

Dan Healing, The Canadian Press

pipelines

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Red Deer-Lacombe MP Blaine Calkins (Photo contributed)
Federal budget strangles job growth, says MP Blaine Calkins

‘It is most certainly not a balanced budget’

Kids at Lotsa’Tots West Day Care in Red Deer act out how a caterpillar moves with co-owner and instructor Shireen Sewcharran-Wiebe. Child care providers are hoping Alberta’s provincial government will help fund the national child care program announced this week. (Photo by LANA MICHELIN/Advocate staff).
Alberta day care providers hope Alberta will get onboard with national child care program

Some question whether the UCP’s ideology will stand in the way

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney shakes hands with Jason Nixon, minister of Environment and Parks after being sworn into office, in Edmonton on Tuesday April 30, 2019. Town council from the largest municipality in Nixon's constituency is concerned over the province's consultation plans for open-pit coal mining in the Rocky Mountains. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Town of Rocky Mountain House wants better coal consultation

ROCKY MOUNTAIN HOUSE, Alta. — Town council from the largest municipality in… Continue reading

Education Minister Adriana LaGrange was in Red Deer on Friday to provide an update on the province's COVID-19 response in schools.
Photo by PAUL COWLEY/Advocate staff
Alberta government aiming for more financial literacy learning in junior and senior high schools

Government providing grants to organizations who will help design financial literacy programming

Two roundabouts will be built at each end of the Highway 2 and McKenzie Road overpass in Red Deer County at the south end of Gasoline Alley. Major detours will be in place this summer while construction is underway. Photo by PAUL COWLEY/Advocate staff
Powerline work causes delays on Highway 2 in Red Deer

Southbound drivers on the QEII are experiencing delays Wednesday morning. Powerline work… Continue reading

A vial of the Medicago vaccine sits on a surface. CARe Clinic, located in Red Deer, has been selected to participate in the third phase of vaccine study. (Photo courtesy www.medicago.com)
Red Deer clinical research centre participating in plant-based COVID-19 vaccine trial

A Red Deer research centre has been selected to participate in the… Continue reading

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau looks at a television screen as he listens to United States President Joe Biden deliver a statement during a virtual joint statement following a virtual meeting in Ottawa, Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
‘We hope to help a little more’: Biden says he spoke to Trudeau about more vaccines

WASHINGTON — Canada can look forward to an unexpected shot in the… Continue reading

The Mission Correctional Institution in Mission, B.C. is pictured Tuesday, April 14, 2020. A new federal study found that people released from prison were much more likely than the general population to have trouble finding gainful employment, even over a decade after returning to society. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Ease employment hurdles for former prison inmates, federal study urges

OTTAWA — A new federal study found that people released from prison… Continue reading

Governor of the Bank of Canada Tiff Macklem holds a press conference at the Bank Of Canada in Ottawa on Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Bank of Canada keeps rate on hold, sees brighter economic outlook

OTTAWA — The Bank of Canada is keeping its key interest rate… Continue reading

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam speaks during a technical briefing on the COVID pandemic in Canada, Friday, January 15, 2021 in Ottawa. Tam says new information on COVID-19 and variants prompted the National Advisory Committee on Immunization to suddenly cancel its planned update on who should get the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
AstraZeneca advice from national panel delayed by new data on COVID-19 and variants

OTTAWA — Canada’s chief public health officer says new information on COVID-19… Continue reading

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau looks at a television screen as he listens to United States President Joe Biden deliver a statement during a virtual joint statement following a virtual meeting in Ottawa, Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau pressured to adopt tougher emissions target for Biden climate summit

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is under pressure to step up… Continue reading

Passengers from Air India flight 187 from New Delhi wait for their transportation to quarantine after arriving at Pearson Airport in Toronto on Wednesday, April 21, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
ICU pressures mount as COVID fells younger people; Ottawa mulls India travel ban

TORONTO — Amid mounting pressures on critical care in hospitals and concerns… Continue reading

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland delivers the federal budget in the House of Commons as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau looks on in Ottawa on Monday April 19, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Three confidence votes to determine fate of minority Liberal government

OTTAWA — A pair of proposed changes to the federal budget put… Continue reading

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland talks with parents during a virtual discussion on child care in Ottawa, Wednesday, April 21, 2021. Freeland is calling for patience and “flexibility” in response to questions about the government’s criteria for reopening the economy and border. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Freeland urges patience as business looks for answers on reopening border, economy

OTTAWA — Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland is urging Canadian companies to… Continue reading

Most Read