Workers lay pipe during construction of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion on farmland, in Abbotsford, B.C., on Wednesday, May 3, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

The company building the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion now estimates the project’s costs will come in 10 per cent higher than its May 2023 estimate of $30.9 billion.

That’s according to a regulatory filing Trans Mountain Corp. provided to the Canada Energy Regulator on Monday. It represents the latest in a series of cost increases for the high-profile project, which in 2017 was estimated to cost just $7.4 billion.

In the filingTrans Mountain Corp., which is a Crown corporation, said the latest tally is subject to the receipt of final costs and expenses once the pipeline project is complete.

The company said it will need approximately three months following the completion of construction before it can provide a final cost estimate.

Trans Mountain Corp. also said in Monday’s filing it continues to work towards an in-service date for the pipeline expansion in the second quarter of this year, with commencement of firm service contracts slated for May 1.

RBC Capital Markets analyst Greg Pardy said in a note to clients that the new date represents a one-month delay from its prior start date.

The Trans Mountain pipeline, which is owned by the federal government, is Canada’s only oil pipeline to the West Coast. Its expansion will increase the pipeline’s capacity to 890,000 barrels per day from 300,000 bpd currently.

The expansion project, for which construction is more than 98 per cent complete, has been underway for more than three years. Canadian oil producers have already begun ramping up production in expectation of the additional export capacity, which is expected to improve the prices Canadian oil companies receive.

But Trans Mountain Corp. has been racing against the clock as it deals with difficulties drilling through hard rock in B.C.’s Fraser Valley between Hope and Chilliwack.

A company spokesperson said earlier this month that the latest problems are related to an obstruction discovered while attempting to pull the pipe into the hole drilled for it.

The ballooning costs of the project are expected to reduce the sale price the federal government can hope to achieve when it sells the pipeline. The government has already launched talks with more than 120 Western Canadian Indigenous communities whose lands are located along the pipeline route, to find out if any of them are interested in acquiring an equity stake.

But Trans Mountain has previously told the regulator that the project’s rising price tag has been “reasonably and justifiably incurred.”

It has said the project has been affected by “extraordinary” factors that include evolving compliance requirements, Indigenous accommodations, stakeholder engagement and compensation requirements, extreme weather and the COVID-19 pandemic.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 27, 2024.

Amanda Stephenson, The Canadian Press

News from © The Canadian Press, 2024. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • 0069 Sask Oil Show 2024 banquet tickets
    0069 Sask Oil Show 2024 banquet tickets
  • 0071 Pride Upkeep 2024 Packages
    0071 Pride Upkeep 2024 Packages
  • 0070 Sask Oil Show 2024 pre-register
    0070 Sask Oil Show 2024 pre-register
  • 0068 Sask Oil Show 2024 booth
    0068 Sask Oil Show 2024 booth
  • 0067 PFM SaskWorks Payroll Investment Plan
    0067 PFM SaskWorks Payroll Investment Plan
  • 0066 WBPC Promo video 30 seconds
    0066 WBPC Promo video 30 seconds
  • 0065 Anova Resources field operator Oxbow
    0065 Anova Resources field operator Oxbow
  • 0064 Estevan OTS
    0064 Estevan OTS
  • 0063 Turnbull Excavating hiring crusher
    0063 Turnbull Excavating hiring crusher
  • 0062 TED_EPAC_Technology_30
    0062 TED_EPAC_Technology_30
  • 0061 SIMSA 2024 For Sask Buy Sask
    0061 SIMSA 2024 For Sask Buy Sask
  • 0060 Arizona Lithium Lease building
    0060 Arizona Lithium Lease building
  • 0059 Southeast College Heavy Equipment Operator
    0059 Southeast College Heavy Equipment Operator
  • 0058 Royal Helium Steveville opens anonymous rocket
    0058 Royal Helium Steveville opens anonymous rocket
  • 0055 Smart Power Be Smart with your Power office
    0055 Smart Power Be Smart with your Power office
  • 0053 Kingston Midstream Westspur Alameda Click Before You Dig large text
    0053 Kingston Midstream Westspur Alameda Click Before You Dig large text
  • 0052 Predator Inspections
    0052 Predator Inspections
  • 0051 JML Hiring Pumpjack assembly
    0051 JML Hiring Pumpjack assembly
  • 0049 Scotsburn Dental soft guitar
    0049 Scotsburn Dental soft guitar
  • 0046 City of Estevan This is Estevan
    0046 City of Estevan This is Estevan
  • 0041 DEEP Since 2018 now we are going to build
    0041 DEEP Since 2018 now we are going to build
  • 0032 IWS Summer hiring rock trailer music
  • 0022 Grimes winter hiring
  • 0021 OSY Rentals S8 Promo
  • 0018 IWS Hiring Royal Summer
  • 0015 Latus Viro
    0015 Latus Viro
  • 0013 Panther Drilling PO ad 03 top drive rigs
  • 0011
  • 0006 JK Junior
  • 0002 gilliss casing services
    0002 gilliss casing services
  • 9002 Pipeline Online 30 sec EBEX
    9002 Pipeline Online 30 sec EBEX
  • 9001