British Columbia on Monday demanded a "fair share" of royalties in exchange for supporting a proposed Can$5.5 billion pipeline to ship Canadian oil to Asia.
"Given the risk to British Columbia from land-based and coastal bitumen spills, British Columbia does not believe an equitable distribution exists for fiscal benefits," the Pacific Coast province said in a statement.
"This imbalance must be addressed prior to British Columbia considering provincial support."
Although it is up to Canada's federal government whether to approve pipelines, British Columbia Environment Minister Terry Lake told a press conference the project proposed by Canadian company Enbridge needs more than 60 permits from the province before it could go ahead.
British Columbia currently gets 8.2 percent of pipeline revenues while assuming all of risks of a spill from port terminals and tanker traffic along its Pacific Coast, he said.
Lake did not say what amount of royalties would satisfy British Columbia.
Virtually all of Canada's energy exports go to the United States, but after Washington last year delayed approval of a pipeline to carry oil from the Alberta oil sands to the US Gulf Coast, focus shifted to China and other Pacific nations as new customers.
Key to that major shift, Enbridge's proposed Northern Gateway pipeline would transport oil from the Alberta oil sands through nearly 1,200 kilometers (750 miles) of rugged mountain landscapes to Kitimat on British Columbia's northern coast, for eventual shipping to Asia.
Up to 220 supertankers each year would sip from it, one report estimated, and aboriginals and environmentalists say tanker traffic poses risks to a pristine coastline that includes salmon-bearing rivers and the habitat of a rare white bear.
British Columbia also called on the federal government to beef up its emergency response readiness in case of spills.
Meanwhile, Enbridge has satisfied another condition, by last week promising to spend up to Can$500 million to reinforce the Northern Gateway pipeline with thicker steel at more than 100 sensitive river crossings, and to install additional valves that it can remotely shut in the event of an emergency.