By Albert Alfonso
Kinder Morgan (NYSE:KMI) has been in the news a lot in recent months for all the wrong reasons. From cutting the dividend in late 2015 to seeing key pipeline projects delayed or cancelled, it has been a rough patch. However, on Thursday, Kinder Morgan got a major piece of good news — Canada’s National Energy Board is recommending approval for the Trans Mountain Expansion Project, though it is subject to 157 conditions. From the announcement:
. . . Taking into account all the evidence, considering all relevant factors, and given that there are considerable benefits nationally, regionally and to some degree locally, the Board found that the benefits of the Project would outweigh the residual burdens.
Perhaps the most important aspect of this recommendation is that it clearly states that the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline is in the Canadian public interest. The government will be hard pressed to deny approval given that statement.
Furthermore, Canadian oil producers desperately need to reduce their dependency on the US market, which is where the vast majority of their oil exports are ending up. The Trans Mountain pipeline will help a portion of the production leave North America and open up growing markets in Asia.