Canadian review panel to report Thursday on Northern Gateway pipeline to the Pacific Coast

A review panel on a proposed pipeline to the Pacific Coast that would allow Canada's oil to be shipped to Asia will issue its recommendations this week.

The report will be released Thursday in Calgary. The final decision on whether Enbridge's controversial pipeline can go ahead, however, rests with Canada's Conservative government.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has staunchly supported the pipeline after the United States delayed a decision to approve TransCanada's Keystone XL pipeline that would take oil from Canada to the U.S. Gulf Coast.

The Northern Gateway pipeline would be laid from Alberta's oil sands to the Pacific to deliver oil to Asia, chiefly energy-hungry China.

There is fierce opposition in the Pacific Coast province of British Columbia, where there are fears of a tanker spill.