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Alberta crude pipeline delayed in Canada

Dec. 7, 2011 at 7:27 AM

CALGARY, Alberta, Dec. 7 (UPI) -- A Canadian review board said it expects delays in submitting a final report on the controversial Northern Gateway oil pipeline from Alberta oil sands.

Canadian pipeline company Enbridge aims to build its 745-mile Northern Gateway pipeline to carry as much as 525,000 barrels of oil from tar sands projects in Alberta to Canada's west coast to spur Asian deliveries.

A three-member panel reviewing the project, the Calgary Herald reports, said it expects to finish its work and issue its final report on the project near the end of 2013, a year later than expected.

A similar fate fell on plans by TransCanada to build its Keystone XL pipeline from Alberta oil sands projects to refineries along the southern U.S. coast.

Enbridge touts the Northern Gateway project as a way for Canada to move from the U.S. market.

Aboriginal groups in Canada had threatened to form a human chain in front of Enbridge bulldozers once they started construction on the Northern Gateway. Critics of Alberta crude note it has a tendency to linger in the environment longer than conventional crude if spilled.

Canadian Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver told the Herald that protesters couldn't get in the way of "nation-building" efforts in the country.

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