EDMONTON - Energy industry lawyers are disputing suggestions from environmental groups that a pipeline to connect Alberta's oilsands to Asian markets isn't needed.
Lawyers for oilsands developers and the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers say the organizations are understating the volume of bitumen the province will produce.
The lawyers say oilsands production is already on pace to exceed projections made by the Pembina Institute and ForestEthics.
The lawyers also argue the groups are overstating the existing pipeline network's ability to move product.
Pembina Institute spokesman Nathan Lemphers agrees that production will exceed pipeline space earlier than he expected.
The National Energy Board is holding hearings in Edmonton about Calgary-based Enbridge's (TSX:ENB) proposal for the $6-billion Northern Gateway pipeline.