Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion Project: What Will Be the Impact on Canada’s Oil and Gas Industry?

Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion Project
Published on: May 9, 2024

After a series of delays, cost overruns, and legal battles, the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion Project (TMEP), a critical energy transport conduit in western Canada, finally commenced commercial operations on May 1. The launch of this new pipeline will significantly enhance Canada’s ability to export oil, thus boosting the WCS crude oil prices and propelling the Canadian oil and gas industry into a new phase of development.

Here’s a detailed breakdown of the impact and responses to the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion Project:

Key Points:

  1. Increased Capacity: The expanded Trans Mountain pipeline, the sole route from Canada to the West Coast, will raise the daily transportation capacity from approximately 300,000 barrels to 890,000 barrels, significantly boosting Alberta’s oil export capacity and narrowing the price gap between Canadian and U.S. crude oil.
  2. Milestone for Alberta Province: The Premier and Minister of Energy and Mines of Alberta praised the operationalization of the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion Project as a milestone for the province. This development will facilitate the transportation of energy resources to the Pacific market, including new customers in the Asia-Pacific region such as China and India.
  3. Projected Impact on Oil Prices: Major Canadian oil producers anticipate that the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline will uplift oil prices in Canada. For instance, executives from MEG Energy Corp and Canadian Natural Resources Ltd anticipate a positive impact on Alberta’s crude prices, with expectations of a sustained narrowing of the WCS-WTI crude price differential.
  4. Opportunities for Export and Market Access: The expanded pipeline offers Canadian oil producers, including Canadian Natural Resources Ltd and Cenovus Energy Inc, increased opportunities for export, including sales to the Asian market. The enhanced access to markets is viewed as a significant advantage for the Canadian oil and gas industry.
  5. Impact on Oil Sands Production: S&P Global Commodity Insights have revised upwards their forecast for Canadian oil sands production, expecting it to reach 3.8 million barrels per day by 2030, a significant increase from the previous prediction. With over 66% of oil production coming from Alberta’s oil sands, this development has a direct impact on the industry’s output.
  6. Boosting the Natural Gas Industry: In addition to oil, Canada is actively working to bolster its natural gas industry. The completion of the first phase of the LNG Canada liquefied natural gas export facility in Kitimat, British Columbia, stands as the largest private investment in Canadian history. This project, expected to be fully operational by 2025, aims to access overseas markets beyond the United States.


The operationalization of the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion Project marks a significant milestone for the Canadian oil and gas industry. Not only will it enhance Canada’s oil export capabilities and potentially uplift oil prices, but it also opens doors for increased market access, contributing to the industry’s expansion and Canada’s position as a key player in the global energy market.

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