Quebec: TransCanada is scrapping plans for an oil tanker terminal in Quebec because of concerns about beluga whales in the nearby waters.
The Calgary-based energy company, which is best known for running oil and gas pipelines, had planned to build the facility at Cacouna on the south shore of the St Laurence River near Riviere du Loup. It would have taken take crude from the Alberta oil sands via the company’s Energy East pipeline to the east coast, and from there sent it out to the world on tankers.
Now TransCanada will have to delay the completion of that pipeline while it explores alternatives. Refineries elsewhere in Quebec or in New Brunswick could still be connected to the pipeline.
Beluga whales, which are common to the river, have had their status changed to “endangered” and that was a big factor in TransCanada’s decision.
TransCanada is also behind the controversial Keystone pipeline in Canada and the US and it was hoping that the Energy East pipeline would pick up some of the slack while the fourth phase of Keystone is held up pending US government approval.