The Globe and Mail newspaper in Toronto reports that industry analysts had expected pipeline capacity to reach its limit by 2014. Vern Yu, a vice president at Enbridge, told a petroleum conference in Calgary, however, that capacity has reached its maximum.
"All of the crude oil export pipelines are pretty much full, running at maximum capacity," he was quoted as saying. "And we're not likely to see any meaningful capacity added to these networks until the end of next year."
Enbridge aims to build its Northern Gateway pipeline from Alberta oil sands projects to ports on the western Canadian border. Yu said Enbridge was planning to petition national regulators to reverse an existing pipeline so western Canadian crude oil can reach markets in Montreal.
Yu's statements in Alberta came as Canadian officials met with European leaders in London to press for a stronger oil trade. Advocacy group Oil Change International said about two dozen protesters tried to disrupt the conference.