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by Stockwatch Business Reporter
West Texas Intermediate crude for October delivery lost $1.61 to $47.48 on the New York Merc, while Brent for November lost 71 cents to $53.78 (all figures in this para U.S.). Western Canadian Select traded at a discount of $12.15 to WTI ($35.33), unchanged. Natural gas for October lost nine cents to $2.89. The TSX energy index lost 2.52 points to close at 170.43.
Barely two weeks after the National Energy Board (NEB) announced that it would broaden its assessment of TransCanada Corp.'s (TRP: $62.09) proposed Energy East pipeline to include upstream and downstream greenhouse gas emissions, TransCanada is hinting that it might simply abandon the pipeline. Yesterday after the close, the company announced that it had filed a letter with the NEB seeking a 30-day suspension of its Energy East application. It said it wants extra time to review the NEB's changes and how they could affect the pipeline's "costs, schedules and viability." TransCanada has previously called the changes "completely redundant and unnecessary." (The NEB seemingly used to agree, as it previously resisted the idea of examining indirect emissions, pointing out that resource development is already subject to existing provincial and federal assessment processes. Its about-face on the matter has been widely condemned by industry groups.) TransCanada kept its language neutral yesterday, merely describing the NEB's changes as "significant," but the announcement made it clear that the future of the pipeline is in doubt. The company gave specific warning that if it walks away from Energy East as a result of the NEB's changes, it may need to record a writedown of its investment.
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