Kinder Morgan Inc filed its final written argument for the Trans Mountain crude oil pipeline expansion project with Canadian regulators on Dec. 15, in a bid to gain approval for shipping more oil sands crude to the Pacific Coast.

The pipeline currently ships 300,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude from Edmonton, Alberta, to Burnaby, British Columbia. The proposed expansion will nearly treble capacity to 890,000 bpd, providing more access to Asian markets.

Environmental groups, aboriginal groups and local landowners in British Columbia have mounted fierce opposition to the project, and are fighting to block the expansion.

Many pipeline opposition groups have been emboldened by U.S. President Barack Obama's rejection earlier this year of TransCanada Corp's cross-border Keystone XL pipeline, and are seeking to stall other proposed export routes.

Kinder Morgan first filed its facilities application with Canada's National Energy Board in December 2013, but was required to file replacement evidence for a 64-page report prepared by a consultant who was later appointed to the NEB.

Lawyers for the pipeline will deliver their oral summary of the final argument to the National Energy Board in Calgary on Dec. 17.