TransCanada’s new pipeline project worries U.S. agency: Calgary Herald

Calgary Herald

 TransCanada’s new pipeline project worries U.S. agency

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has expressed new fears about the safety of Calgary-based TransCanada Corp.’s proposed Keystone XL oilsands pipeline, warning decision makers in the Obama administration to “carefully consider” whether the project’s proposed route through ecologically sensitive areas in the U.S. Great Plains is appropriate.

 In a letter to the State Department, the EPA said two recent leaks that shut down the existing Keystone pipeline highlight the need to require the Canadian company to take more rigorous steps to limit the threat of a major spill on the new line.

National Energy Board hearings on Kitimat LNG begin, expected to go rest of the week

National Energy Board hearings on the Kitimat LNG project opened Tuesday morning at the Riverlodge Community Centre with the usual legal introductions.

Lawyers for KM LNG asked the panel to postpone some more controversial  issues until Friday, as one of the lawyers said,  “parties were still in discussion” about certain matters.

The panel ruled that they would hear the contentious issues beginning Thursday morning.

Kitimat residents are complaining that the formal panel is  “mystifying,”  compared to the more open and public friendly joint review panel on the Enbridge Northern Gateway proposal last fall.

The current hearings are much more limited than the Enbridge Northern Gateway joint review.   That’s because these hearings are for an export licence only.  The Enbridge hearings are a facility hearing covering the whole project, because the oil sands are in Alberta and that pipeline would cross provincial boundaries.  At the moment, the KM LNG project is entirely within the province of BC and so the only matter under consideration is the export of natural gas.

Lawyers representing one of the KM LNG rivals tried to widen issues in  the morning session, but the NEB panel ruled while there would be some flexibility in questions about the project’s ownership and facilities, those questions had to be specific and narrow and relevant to the export licence.

Like theatregoers fleeing a  bad play at the first interval, many of the Kitimat residents who had shown up left at the first break, leaving the room to the lawyers and executives.

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Environmentalists pin hope on Obama opposition to pipeline project: Globe and Mail

Globe and Mail  

TransCanada Corp.’s proposed Keystone XL pipeline has become a litmus test in the U.S. battle over energy policy, as the environmental movement looks for reassurance that President Barack Obama is committed to combatting climate change.

 Prodded by congressional Republicans for a quick decision, the U.S. State Department concludes a comment period on Monday for its draft environmental impact statement on the XL project. 

 The final version – to be issued this summer – will likely conclude that the environmental concerns should not derail the project, despite troublesome leaks from the existing Keystone pipeline, which was shut last week after a small leak in Kansas.

US allows restart of Keystone pipeline: Reports

There are media reports that the United States Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration is permitting the restart of the Keystone pipeline after earlier saying it could not be restarted following a spill on May 29.

 

The Wall Street Journal reports

The U.S. Department of Transportation on Saturday approved TransCanada Corp.’s plan to restart its Keystone pipeline…. TransCanada on Saturday provided results of its testing along the Keystone and can restart it as soon as the morning of July 5, the PHMSA said in a letter to the company.

“Based on a review of the information submitted, the restart plan is approved,” PHMSA Central Region Director David Barrett said in the letter.

Reuters reports that pipeline could start as early as Sunday:

 

TransCanada Corp (TRP.TO) can restart its Keystone oil pipeline on Sunday, after the company satisfied a series of safety conditions following leaks that idled the key export line twice in less than a month, the U.S. pipeline safety regulator said on Saturday. 

 The U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration said it approved resumption of crude flows from Canada on the pipeline after the agency evaluated the company’s restart plan and was satisfied safety requirements were met.

As of this posting there is no confirming information on the PHMSA or TransCanada websites.

US orders Keystone pipeline shut down after leaks: Globe and Mail

The Globe and Mail 

U.S. regulators have barred TransCanada Corp. from restarting its Keystone pipeline until the company can provide more proof that the system is safe, after several leaks in just a year of operation….. 

 Following at least three Keystone leaks in May, the U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration took sudden action Friday. It issued a corrective action order that mandates 14 steps TransCanada must take before resuming operations, including demands for information, mechanical and metallurgical testing and a report on all issues and incidents on the line…. 

 For Canada’s oil and gas industry, the Keystone outage is just the latest in a series of pipeline-related headaches. A major Michigan spill on an Enbridge Inc. pipeline last summer resulted in rolling outages that lasted until this spring, as the company worked to fix problems on the line

Document
US Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Administration order to shut down the Keystone pipeline (PDF)

Enbridge refines sales pitch: Terrace Standard

Terrace Standard 

Enbridge officials are sharpening their sales pitch for the company’s planned Northern Gateway oil pipeline project, saying it will bring jobs, provide an economic boost and help wean the country from an overdependence on the United States of America. 

 Andrew Popko, one of three Enbridge officials on a tour of the area last week, said Canada deserved to get world prices for its products.

“Our most valuable asset is oil from northern Alberta,” he said.

Kinder Morgan proposes second Kitimat bitumen pipeline

In a story broken early Thursday, June 2, by the Vancouver website Tyee and confirmed by Northwest Coast Energy news,  another major energy player, Kinder  Morgan is proposing a second pipeline to carry bitumen from the Alberta oil sands to the port of Kitimat.

The proposal was part of a presentation to industry analysts  during a conference on March 24, 2011, with a PDF of the Power Point presentation posted on the Kinder Morgan Website.

The  likely controversial proposal was not picked up by the media until Tyee broke the story.

The presentation says the proposed pipeline is one of several alternatives proposed for the expansion of the existing Kinder Morgan Transmountain Pipeline.  In this scenario the pipeline to Kitimat would branch off from the Transmountain Pipeline go through Prince George and then apparently follow existing pipeline routes to Kitimat and not follow the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway route.

379-kitimatmap.jpg

The Kinder Morgan presentation says the Transmountain pipeline branch to Kitimat would cost $4 billion, compared to the $5,5 billion that Enbridge has budgeted for the Northern Gateway project.  The Transmountain pipeline would have a capacity of  450 million  barrels a day compared  to the Northern Gateway capacity  of 550 million barrels a day.

Tyee says:

A power point presentation
for investors by Ian Anderson, president of Kinder Morgan Canada Group,
provides a wealth of information that has not been widely shared with
the general public or local governments:

Tyee says Kinder Morgan is also asking the National Energy Board for a immediate jump in the bitumen going through the port of Vancouver

They are also requesting to divert more Alberta crude and bitumen capacity to the Westbridge tanker terminal in Burrard Inlet and away from existing land-based refineries in B.C. and Washington. If approved, this would immediately expand crude capacity through Vancouver from 52,000 bpd to 79,000 bpd — an increase of more than 50 per cent

.

According to the documents seen by Tyee, the Vancouver end of the project would require the dredging of Second Narrows to allow large supertankers to visit the port. Tanker traffic in Vancouver would increase, Tyee says

Tanker transits through Vancouver will increase to 216 per year in 2016, up from 71 in 2010 and 22 in 2005.

All this is being propelled by increasing energy demand from China. It also appears that Kinder Morgan wants to increase the Vancouver capacity because of the delays in the Enbridge Northern Gateway project, which means that Alberta oil patch is seeking new ways to get the raw bitumen to China.

Links
Kinder Morgan Canada presentation on the Kitimat pipeline and the Vancouver port expansion (PDF)

Kinder Morgan application to the National Energy Board (PDF))

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Canada firms may miss Chinese market   Enbridge VP warns energy sector must act: Calgary Herald

Calgary Herald


Canada firms may miss Chinese market  Enbridge VP warns energy sector must act

If Canada’s energy firms don’t start exporting to China now, others might beat them to it, according to an Enbridge Inc. vice-president. 

 The warning by Byron Neiles, who heads up major projects for the Calgary-based company, was one of several made by industry voices to delegates at a national forum in Calgary on doing business with Hong Kong, hosted by the Hong Kong Canada Business Association. 

They argued the window of opportunity to sell to China won’t always be open largely due to competition and the chance the world’s second largest economy may cease growing at its current staggering pace – reducing the money its investors can spend.

National Post editorial board: Ottawa isn’t the oil sands’ enemy, Edmonton is

National Post

Editorial

National Post editorial board: Ottawa isn’t the oil sands’ enemy, Edmonton is

There’s an old adage in Alberta politics that when all else fails, bash Ottawa. Well, Alberta’s Tory government must feel itself at risk of failure, because it has begun making far-fetched claims about how its federal cousins ­­– Stephen Harper’s new Tory majority — have suddenly turned into anti-oil sands hypocrites bent on hobbling the project’s development with new environmental regulations just to win favour with central Canadian voters.

Time for Alaska, Big Oil to lay gas line cards on the table : Anchorage Daily News

Anchorage Daily News

Column by Paul Jenkins

Time for Alaska, Big Oil to lay gas line cards on the table

It is time for TransCanada, Exxon and the state to lay their cards on the table; time to tell Alaskans whether their natural gas pipeline project is deader than Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.

To almost nobody’s surprise, BP and Conoco Phillips yanked the plug on their Denali gas line project, an effort to build a $35 billion, large-diameter natural gas pipeline from Alaska’s North Slope to points south. Who could blame them? The companies said that after more than three years and $165 million they could not drum up enough binding “ship-or-pay” agreements to secure financing.