(Reuters) – Oil producer BP Plc (BP.L) complained to Canada’s National Energy Board (NEB) regulator about Enbridge Inc’s (ENB.TO) implementation and then abrupt reversal of new rules for shipping crude on its Mainline pipeline system, NEB documents showed on Thursday.
Enbridge notified shippers last month that it would introduce a supply verification procedure to determine each company’s volumes on the Mainline, but scrapped the policy on Monday.
Enbridge’s initial notice of the change caused a discount on Canadian heavy crude against the North American benchmark West Texas Intermediate to grow suddenly in late May as shippers worried about transport constrictions. The discount then shrank just as fast this week when Enbridge reversed course.
The Mainline is part of the largest crude oil transportation network in Canada, funneling oil from Alberta to U.S. refineries. Enbridge has long sought ways to move oil on the network more efficiently and prevent shippers from overestimating the oil they have to move as they compete for space.
“Unnecessarily injecting uncertainty in how services would be provided to shippers .. is shocking and egregious,” said Jennifer Geggie, vice-president of global oil Americas at BP Products North America, a subsidiary of BP.
The NEB said in a letter on Thursday to BP and Enbridge that it would establish a process to hear comments from both companies and anyone else this month.
Reporting by Rod Nickel in Winnipeg, Manitoba and Julie Gordon in Vancouver, British Columbia; Editing by Peter Cooney
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