Enbridge Inc. is pouring more money into plans to carry Alberta oil to the West Coast for export, in a substantial show of confidence that its controversial Northern Gateway pipeline project will one day be built.
At the same time, the company is working to its expand its reach into northwestern British Columbia as it seeks a deal with an Australian firm to propose a natural gas export terminal.
It is a two-pronged strategy that has Enbridge pressing further into a region where it faces choppy waters, amid strong criticism of the environmental risk of projects that would enable lucrative shipments of Canadian energy to markets in Asia.
Enbridge recently began work on a "class three capital cost estimate," a $150-million exercise that comes on top of the $300-million that Enbridge and its oil company partners expect to spend on the regulatory process.
It is a major move to advance a project whose estimated cost has already risen to ...