CALGARY, Alberta, March 7 (UPI) -- A decision by Canada's National Energy Board to approve of a plan by Enbridge to reverse an oil pipeline will open up new markets, a trade group said.
Canada's National Energy Board, an independent federal regulator, gave Enbridge approval to reverse the 397-mile segment of its so-called Line 9 pipeline between Ontario and Quebec. The decision gives Enbridge consent to increase the pipeline's overall capacity by 25 percent to 300,000 barrels per day.
"Enbridge will be permitted to operate all of Line 9 in an eastward direction in order to transport crude oil from western Canada and the U.S. Bakken region to refineries in Ontario and Quebec," the NEB said in a statement Thursday.
Greg Stringham, vice president of oil sands projects at the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, said the NEB's decision adds diversity to the nation's energy market.
"The NEB's decision is an important milestone that again opens the way for Eastern Canadian markets to use Canadian oil instead of imports from foreign sources, including Africa, the Middle East or the North Sea," he said in a statement Thursday.
Al Monaco, president and chief executive officer at Enbridge, said the benefits for Quebec refineries are "clear."
"For Quebec, bringing a new, reliable supply of competitively priced crude oil to respond to the needs of Quebec-based refineries will protect more than 4,000 jobs, sustain a vibrant petrochemical industry and strengthen the economy," he said.