The Motley Fool

Trans Mountain Pipeline: Approved Next Month?

Image source: Getty Images

There might be some hope for oil and gas stocks after all.

According to a recent report out of BNN Bloomberg, the expectation is that on June 18, it’s likely that we’ll see the federal government move forward with the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline. There’s a lot riding on the decision, and it could revive a struggling industry in Canada that hasn’t seen much bullishness or excitement despite a rising price of oil. There have been many obstacles in the industry for growth, which has kept many investors away despite the low prices that oil and gas stocks.

A stock like Enbridge Inc (TSX:ENB)(NYSE:ENB) is a good example of that. Although the stock has seen some momentum lately, it’s still run into resistance, as investors have not been willing to pay much of a premium given how risky the industry still is today. Approval of the Trans Mountain expansion could change that, giving investors hope that growth in the industry in Canada might not be dead after all.

There’s still a risk that the decision could again be delayed, but according to the report, it appears to be an unlikely scenario.

What does this mean for investors?

The decision to move forward with the pipeline could inject the industry with a lot more optimism and hope, and in turn, give stock prices a boost. If there’s more confidence in the possibility of oil and gas projects getting approved in Canada, that will help encourage more investment in the industry. which in turn could help stimulate some much-needed growth.

Companies have scaled back spending under what they’ve seen to be some challenging industry conditions, but getting the Trans Mountain going could help change that trend. However, it’s hard not to be at least a little skeptical if the decision does come down to approve the pipeline in June, just months away from a big federal election. There hasn’t been much support for the industry under the current government, and it might be a bit too convenient should the industry get some good news just before it’s time to vote.

We saw Rachel Notley try to win voters late in the game by using the Trans Mountain expansion as well. That didn’t work, and I’m not convinced that approval of the pipeline will help the Prime Minister get oil and gas voters behind him either.

Bottom line

Oil and gas investors have been very cautious in recent years, and I’d expect much of the same here. Until investors and companies see there is some real, sustainable progress in the industry, that’s when we’ll see money flow back into oil and gas. While approval of the Trans Mountain would certainly be a good step for the industry, I still think it would take a lot more for investors to be convinced that it’s a good time to buy oil and gas again. At the very least, I’d suggest waiting until after the election results.

Just Released! 5 Stocks Under $49 (FREE REPORT)

Motley Fool Canada's market-beating team has just released a brand-new FREE report revealing 5 "dirt cheap" stocks that you can buy today for under $49 a share.
Our team thinks these 5 stocks are critically undervalued, but more importantly, could potentially make Canadian investors who act quickly a fortune.
Don't miss out! Simply click the link below to grab your free copy and discover all 5 of these stocks now.

Claim your FREE 5-stock report now!

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium service or advisor. We’re Motley! Questioning an investing thesis — even one of our own — helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer, so we sometimes publish articles that may not be in line with recommendations, rankings or other content.

Fool contributor David Jagielski has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of Enbridge. Enbridge is a recommendation of Stock Advisor Canada.

Two New Stock Picks Every Month!

Not to alarm you, but you’re about to miss an important event.

Iain Butler and the Stock Advisor Canada team only publish their new “buy alerts” twice a month, and only to an exclusively small group.

This is your chance to get in early on what could prove to be very special investment advice.

Enter your email address below to get started now, and join the other thousands of Canadians who have already signed up for their chance to get the market-beating advice from Stock Advisor Canada.