Kinder Morgan Canada falls in trading debut on concerns over Trans Mountain project

Kinder Morgan Canada (TSX:KML) kicked off its first day of trading on the wrong foot with the stock falling as much as 7% early in the day after a Monday deal between two political parties in British Columbia that oppose the company’s Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

The company’s shares had been priced at between Cdn$19 and Cdn$21 last week, and then scaled back to Cdn$17, but were trading at $15.79 Tuesday morning before recovering to about Cdn$16.20 by 12:30 pm ET.

Construction of the $7.4bn project is scheduled to begin in September and should be completed by December 2019.

The value drop can be explained by rising uncertainty about the future of the Trans Mountain expansion, following an agreement between anti-pipeline Greens and NDP to form a minority NDP government in B.C.

Both parties have repeatedly voiced their opposition to Kinder Morgan’s planned pipeline expansion, which would see capacity nearly triple to 890,000 barrels of oil per day from the current 300,000 barrels.

Delays of any kind would be negative for Kinder Morgan, but might provide a boost for rival Enbridge Inc.’s mainline system, according to analyst David Galison, from Canaccord Genuity.

“Based on the current production forecasts there may not be enough demand for both the Trans Mountain expansion project and” TransCanada’s Keystone XL project, he wrote in a note to clients. “New capacity has the potential to put pressure on Enbridge’s mainline system, which is the largest exporter of crude out of Canada.”

Kinder Morgan Canada falls in trading debut on concerns over Trans Mountain project

Approved pipeline corridor. (Image courtesy of Kinder Morgan.)

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley issued a statement saying the provincial government remains "steadfastly committed" to using all means at its disposal to seeing the project through to completion.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also reiterated his federal Liberal party still supports the expansion project.

The expansion of the pipeline, which will carry oil from Alberta's oil sands to B.C. to be exported to global markets, was approved by Trudeau in November. The green light, however, came with a series of both federal and provincial conditions attached.

Construction of the $7.4 billion project is scheduled to begin in September and, according to the company, it should be completed by December 2019.