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Aside from a looming provincial government ruling and the company’s final investment decision, court challenges are likely -- Northern Gateway was approved by government in 2014 only to have its permits struck down over the lack of consultations with indigenous communities.

“What is clear is there will be legal challenges,” said Risa Schwartz, a research fellow specializing in international law at the Waterloo, Ontario-based Centre for International Governance Innovation. The government has tried to head off the same fate as Northern Gateway by adding additional indigenous consultation, which had been the Enbridge project’s legal Achilles’ heel.

“The court in Northern Gateway was...

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