Skip to main content

The Trans Mountain Expansion (TMX) project is expected to call on oil producers to start filling the pipeline as soon as this month, the president of major shipper Canadian Natural Resources Ltd CNQ-T said on Thursday.

The expanded pipeline will require up to five million barrels to fill the line before it can start shipping, Canadian Natural President Tim McKay said, a move that is expected to boost the Canadian heavy benchmark crude Western Canada Select (WCS).

“From all indications, TMX will be making a call for line fill here in the fall, August, September, October,” Mr. McKay told analysts on a quarterly earnings call. “From that aspect I look at it as very positive and very constructive for Canada’s oil.”

Canadian Natural has committed to shipping 94,000 bpd on TMX, which is meant to start operating in the first quarter of 2024.

Once complete, TMX will ship an extra 590,000 barrels per day of Alberta oil to Canada’s Pacific Coast, adding to the 300,000 bpd of existing capacity. But the project has been dogged by years of regulatory delays and a quadrupling of its budget to $30.9-billion, and was bought by the Canadian government in 2018 to ensure it got built.

The TMX update came as Canadian Natural, the country’s biggest oil and gas producer, posted a second-quarter profit that more than halved due to lower energy prices and drop in oil production.

Profits for oil and gas companies have declined from last year’s bumper levels after crude prices eased from multiyear highs when Russia’s invasion of Ukraine upended markets.

Canadian Natural’s production in the quarter ended June 30 stood at 1.19 million barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd), below last year’s 1.21 million boepd, affected by wildfires in Western Canada and continued unplanned third-party pipeline outage, the company said.

The company reported a net income of $1.5-billion, or C$1.32 per share, for the quarter, down from $3.5-billion, or $3 per share, a year earlier.

Report an editorial error

Report a technical issue

Tickers mentioned in this story

Study and track financial data on any traded entity: click to open the full quote page. Data updated as of 13/06/24 4:00pm EDT.

SymbolName% changeLast
CNQ-T
Canadian Natural Resources Ltd.
-3.44%46.87
CNQ-N
Canadian Natural Resources
-3.59%34.1

Follow related authors and topics

Authors and topics you follow will be added to your personal news feed in Following.

Interact with The Globe