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August 21, 2017

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Canadians seek larger cut from Asia pipeline of CA$5.5 billion

OTTAWA--Canada's westernmost British Columbia province on Monday demanded a "fair share" of royalties in exchange for supporting a proposed CA$5.5 billion pipeline to ship Canadian oil to Asia.

"Given the risk to British Columbia from land-based and coastal bitumen spills, British Columbia does not believe an equitable distribution exists for fiscal benefits," the Pacific Coast province said in a statement.

"This imbalance must be addressed prior to British Columbia considering provincial support."

Although it is up to Canada's federal government in Ottawa whether to approve pipelines, British Columbia Environment Minister Terry Lake told a press conference the project proposed by Canadian company Enbridge needs more than 60 permits from the province before it could go ahead.

British Columbia currently gets 8.2 percent of pipeline revenues while assuming all of risks of a spill from port terminals and tanker traffic along its Pacific Coast, he said.

Lake did not say what amount of royalties would satisfy British Columbia.

Virtually all of Canada's energy exports go to the United States, but after Washington last year delayed approval of a pipeline to carry oil from the Alberta oil sands to the U.S. Gulf Coast, focus shifted to China and other Pacific nations as new customers.

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