Enbridge Inc. (TSX: ENB) (NYSE: ENB) (Enbridge or the Company) provided an update today on the Canadian Mainline open season regulatory process.
On August 2, 2019, Enbridge commenced an open season, offering firm capacity on its crude oil Mainline system, effective upon expiry of the Competitive Toll Settlement that is in place until July 1, 2021. The open season is the first stage of Enbridge determining whether there is sufficient commercial interest for its offering to provide priority access on the Mainline for terms of 8 – 20 years.
The Mainline offering is in direct response to customers’ desire for low cost transportation to important downstream markets and guaranteed access to the Enbridge Mainline, for the benefit of our industry and all stakeholders. The offering reflected in the open season terms is based on significant consultation with the entire industry over a period of 18 months and reflects numerous enhancements proposed by potential shippers.
Since embarking on the open season, certain parties, including shippers and non-shippers, have filed letters and an application to the Canada Energy Regulator (CER) requesting among other things that the CER declare that Enbridge may not offer contract carriage on the Mainline system until the terms, conditions and tolls of the contract offering are approved by the CER, and if it is not possible for the CER to issue such a decision by September 18, 2019, that it stay the open season pending a decision.
The CER established an expedited process and timetable for other interested parties to submit comments by noon today and for Enbridge to respond to those submissions by September 11, 2019. The CER process centers around determining whether the CER has the authority to stay the open season pending the CER’s decision on the submissions and whether an open season should be held before or after the CER has decided on any future application that may be filed by Enbridge for firm service.
Enbridge believes that its open season is entirely appropriate and consistent with a well-established practice of ensuring commercial support before seeking regulatory approval, a view that is shared by a range of customers who have submitted letters to the CER today. These letters indicate support for contract carriage on the Mainline, acknowledge Enbridge’s willingness to negotiate the terms and conditions of service in developing the open season offering, and support the open season proceeding as planned to ensure that its results can fully inform any application that Enbridge may file with the CER.