Keystone XL Does Not Make Sense Anymore

14 Mar 2017   Pipelines

Canada’s oil industry is facing a dilemma – three major proposed pipelines but perhaps only room enough for two of them. For years, the oil industry in Canada has been fighting for expanded pipeline capacity. Landlocked Alberta has had trouble getting its oil to market. Every direction except north has been seriously considered, with TransCanada, Enbridge and Kinder Morgan jockeying to advance their competing projects to service Alberta. All of these projects have been bogged down by a combination of the federal approval process, environmental protest and opposition from First Nations. The Keystone XL pipeline saga is nearly a decade old and there is still no steel in the ground. Over the years, Canadian heavy oil has been forced to sell at a discount because of the shortage of pipeline space. In fact, the lack of pipeline capacity has been singled out as one of the top threats to […]

Oil could flow through the Dakota Access Pipeline as early as next week.

10 Mar 2017   Pipelines

On Tuesday, a U.S. district judge denied a motion to stop construction of the final piece of the pipeline, which had been filed by the Standing Rock Sioux and Cheyenne River Sioux Tribes. While disappointing to the tribes, the ruling is narrow. It only concerned the tribes’ claim that oil spilled by the pipeline in Lake Oahe could interfere with their right to religious practice, as they consider the lake’s water sacred. The ruling does not affect the tribes’ primary suit , which is expected see a final ruling by May. But oil will likely flow through the pipeline at least until that decision. Also on Tuesday, indigenous people from across the country and their allies began gathering in Washington, D.C., ahead of the Native Nations March , which will protest the Dakota Access Pipeline. The demonstrators are setting up tipis outside the National Mall and holding cultural workshops […]

Keystone XL can be made from non-U.S. steel: White House

4 Mar 2017   Pipelines

The Keystone XL oil pipeline does not need to be made from U.S. steel, despite an executive order by President Donald Trump days after he took office requiring domestic steel in new pipelines, the White House said on Friday. “It’s specific to new pipelines or those that are being repaired,” White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders told reporters on Air Force One, when asked about a report by Politico that Keystone would not need to use U.S. steel, despite Trump’s executive order issued on Jan. 24. “Since this one is already currently under construction, the steel is already literally sitting there, it’s hard to go back. Everything moving forward would fall under that executive order,” Sanders said. The southern leg of the Keystone project is completed and started pumping oil in 2013. Some pipe segments that could be used for Keystone XL, which would bring oil from Alberta, Canada to […]

Trump’s Pipeline Plans Threaten The Free Market

1 Mar 2017   Pipelines

President Donald Trump has announced that the construction of the highly controversial oil pipelines must use American steel companies as their source to complete the projects. His plan, however, is much more than aggressive language to appeal to his base. Prior statements from the President have hinted at this mandate, but it is now solidified. The President charged the Department of Commerce with the task of enacting a plan that requires any company manufacturing a pipeline within the borders of the United States to do so using American-made materials and equipment. The Department of Commerce is yet to comment or report on the requirement that Trump has demanded, but the President has reaffirmed his directive, saying the companies behind both the Keystone XL and the Dakota Access pipelines are going to “have to buy” pipes that are made from raw U.S. steel. Speaking to United States Steel CEO, Trump […]

Billionaire Behind Dakota Access Pipeline ‘Underestimated’ the Power of Social Media

24 Feb 2017   Pipelines

Billionaire Kelcy Warren, who faced months of protests over the Dakota Access oil pipeline, said his company followed every law and still fell into a “mess.” Warren “underestimated the power of social media” during the standoff with environmental and Native American-rights activists, he said on a call with analysts Thursday. The Energy Transfer Partners LP chief executive officer was surprised that people were able to spread messages — including falsehoods — so widely and quickly over the Internet and “get away with it.” “There was no way we can defend ourselves,” Warren, 61, said on the call. “That was a mistake on my part.” For months before the Trump administration cleared the way for construction, Dakota Access was a flashpoint for opponents of fossil fuel projects and others […]

Pipeline fights move from Dakota prairie to Louisiana bayous

22 Feb 2017   Pipelines

When Hope Rosinski’s father gave her a six-acre plot in Louisiana more than a decade ago, she was surprised to find oil and gas pipelines crisscrossing the property. Pipeline companies later secured her permission for two more lines, one of which has since caused flooding and consistently leaves her land saturated. Now she’s had enough. Rosinski is fighting the latest request for a right-of-way, this time from Energy Transfer Partners – the company behind the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline. She said ETP declined to make contract changes she wanted or to properly compensate her for lost property value. Opposition to the company’s planned extension of the Bayou Bridge pipeline has made Louisiana bayous the latest battleground in a nationwide war against […]

Trump Eyes Easing Obama Rules for Sprawling Pipeline Network

22 Feb 2017   Pipelines

The hints of a pipeline spill are subtle: the hiss of rushing fluid, a streak of rainbow sheen. Tucked far below ground, a ruptured line can escape notice for days or even weeks, especially in the backcountry, where inspectors rarely venture. Regulators in the waning hours of the Obama era wrote rules aimed at changing that, and the industry is looking forward to the new administration rolling them back. The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration “has gone overboard,” said Brigham McCown, a former head of the PHMSA who served on President Donald Trump’s infrastructure transition team. “They built a Cadillac instead of the Chevrolet that Congress told them to build.” The oversight agency, an arm of the U.S. Department of Transportation, is just one of many where Barack Obama’s policies are in the Trump team’s sights. The battle lines are predictable, with companies on one side and safety […]

Tribe tries again to block Dakota Access pipeline

16 Feb 2017   Pipelines

The tribe at the center of the debate over the construction of the Dakota Access pipeline said it was again challenging the White House on the issue. President Donald Trump last week gave final approval to finish the last stretch of the oil pipeline in North Dakota beneath Lake Oahe, a federally owned body of water. That section is the last major hurdle standing in the way of the line’s completion and the center of the debate over the controversial artery. David Archambault II, chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, said his organization filed a legal brief seeking a reversal of permits issued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for pipeline construction. “President Trump claims he has not received ‘a […]

Pope Francis wades into US oil pipeline dispute

15 Feb 2017   Pipelines

 Pope Francis has insisted that indigenous peoples must give prior consent for any economic activity on their ancestral lands – an indirect critique as the Donald Trump administration seeks to advance construction on a $3.8 billion oil pipeline over opposition from American Indians. Francis met Wednesday with representatives of indigenous peoples attending a U.N. agricultural meeting in Rome. He said the key issue facing them is how to reconcile the right to development with protection of their cultures and territories. He said “the right to prior and informed consent” should always prevail especially “when planning economic activities which may interfere with indigenous cultures and their ancestral relationship to the Earth.” The Cheyenne River and Standing Rock Sioux tribes are suing to stop the Dakota Access project.

EU gets wake-up call as Gazprom eyes rival TAP pipeline

15 Feb 2017   Europe, Pipelines

A general view shows the headquarters of Gazprom in Moscow, Russia, June 30, 2016. Gazprom’s bid to tap into a pipeline meant to wean Europe off Russian gas threatens to undermine a pillar of European energy policy and slow plans to develop rival deposits in the east Mediterranean. As the European Union struggles against the “iron embrace” of Russian pipelines, it has made opening a new Southern GasCorridor to carry gas from Azerbaijan by 2020 a priority. The 10 billion cubic meter (bcm)-capacity Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) is the project’s end piece, joining up with the Trans Anatolian Pipeline at the Turkish border, then crossing Greece and Albania to reach Italy. Construction work on TAP gives EU officials the first non-Russian gas pipeline to supply Europe since Algeria’s Medgaz link nearly a decade ago, paving the way for diluting Gazprom’s large one-third share of Europe’s gas market. That at […]

Trump’s ‘Buy American’ Pipes Push May Not Be Feasible

14 Feb 2017   Pipelines

President Trump’s desire that pipelines in the U.S. buy American iron and steel products may run into international trade law violations, and have a yet-unpredictable impact on costs and prices for manufacturers and pipeline companies, experts and economists reckon. Last month, President Trump issued a memorandum on the construction of American pipelines, asking the Secretary of Commerce to prepare within 180 days a plan “under which all new pipelines, as well as retrofitted, repaired, or expanded pipelines, inside the borders of the United States, including portions of pipelines, use materials and equipment produced in the United States, to the maximum extent possible and to the extent permitted by law”. The American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) praised President Trump’s executive actions to expedite Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines as “ensuring key markets for domestic steel and pipe products”. However, one concern over the ‘buy American’ provisions is that […]

Pipeline Approvals Could Put A Ceiling On Gas Prices

Two new pipelines to be built over the next 12-18 months are likely to bring down natural gas prices on the U.S. market just when they were starting to rise more consistently. While this is good news for consumers, it is not so welcomed news for producers, who might have to start thinking about finding new markets. The pipelines in question are Atlantic Sunrise , a project of Williams Partners, and Energy Transfer Partners’ Rover . The two got the greenlight from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission last week and became cause for celebration for producers in the Utica and Marcellus shale plays, who have been forced by low prices and lack of governmental support to sell their gas at a solid discount to the national benchmark Henry Hub. Of course, Energy Transfer Partners and Williams Partners will also take part in the celebrations, as would power utilities as […]

U.S. Army to grant final permit for controversial Dakota pipeline: court filing

8 Feb 2017   Pipelines

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will grant the final easement needed to finish the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline, according to a court filing Tuesday. The line had been delayed for several months after protests from Native American tribes and climate activists. The $3.8 billion line, which is being built by Energy Transfer Partners ( ETP.N ), needed a final permit to tunnel under Lake Oahe, a reservoir that is part of the Missouri River. The Standing Rock Sioux tribe, whose reservation is adjacent to the line’s route, has said they will fight the decision. The Army Corps had previously stated that they would undertake further environmental review of the project. The tribe was not immediately available for comment. The 1,170-mile line […]

Pipeline Companies Struggle to Contend with Reinvigorated Protests

7 Feb 2017   Pipelines

Pipeline companies are bracing for a new round of volatile protests by environmentalists and other activists in the U.S., a sobering reality that is tempering the industry’s excitement over President Donald Trump’s moves to revive the Keystone XL and Dakota Access projects. Even as they cheer the removal of former President Barack Obama’s regulatory roadblocks, executives at some of the largest U.S. pipeline companies say the…

Pipeline Companies Struggle to Contend with Reinvigorated Protests

7 Feb 2017   Pipelines

Pipeline companies are bracing for a new round of volatile protests by environmentalists and other activists in the U.S., a sobering reality that is tempering the industry’s excitement over President Donald Trump’s moves to revive the Keystone XL and Dakota Access projects. Even as they cheer the removal of former President Barack Obama’s regulatory roadblocks, executives at some of the largest U.S. pipeline companies say the…

Keystone XL Needs Much Higher Oil Prices To Be Viable

6 Feb 2017   Pipelines

The Keystone XL Pipeline (KXL) is a bet on much higher oil prices several years from now. It will take at least $85 oil prices to develop the new oil sand projects needed to fill the pipeline. It is also a bet that U.S. tight oil output will continue to grow and will need heavy oil to blend for refining. Both bets are risky. A Bet On Higher Oil Prices KXL would add about 830,000 barrels per day (b/d) to the 1.3 million b/d already moving through the base Keystone Pipeline system completed in 3 phases between 2010 and 2014 (Figure 1) when oil prices were more than $90 per barrel. (Click to enlarge) Figure 1. Location map of Keystone XL and Base Keystone pipeline systems. Source: TransCanada and Labyrinth Consulting Services, Inc. It was not until prices exceeded $70 per barrel in 2005 (December 2016 dollars) that oil […]

Dakota Access Pipeline to start in second quarter: stakeholder

4 Feb 2017   Pipelines

The chief executive of Phillips 66 ( PSX.N ) said on Friday he expects the Dakota Access Pipeline to start operations in the second quarter, even though the project – which has sparked protests by Native Americans and environmentalists – is still in the midst of legal battles and a U.S. regulatory review. Phillips 66 has a 25 percent stake in the $3.8 billion project led by Energy Transfer Partners LP ( ETP.N ). Phillips 66’s CEO, Greg Garland, made the comments on a conference call with analysts to discuss quarterly earnings. The pipeline was originally set to start in late 2016 but has faced intense protests and legal challenges from climate activists and Native Americans, led by the Standing Rock […]

The Keystone XL Pipeline: A Risky Bet on Higher Oil Prices and Tight Oil

4 Feb 2017   Pipelines

The Keystone XL Pipeline is a bet on much higher oil prices several years from now. It will take at least $85 oil prices to develop the new oil sand projects needed to fill the pipeline. It is also a bet that U.S. tight oil output will continue to grow and will need heavy oil to blend for refining. Both bets are risky. A Bet On Higher Oil Prices KXL would add about 830,000 barrels per day (b/d) to the 1.3 million b/d already moving through the base Keystone Pipeline system completed in 3 phases between 2010 and 2014 (Figure 1) when oil prices were more than $90 per […]

How Trump Could Kill His Pipeline

3 Feb 2017   Pipelines

Donald Trump is convinced the Keystone XL oil pipeline he revived with an executive order on Jan. 24 will gush money. “I want it built, but I want a piece of the profits,” he said last year at a campaign stop in North Dakota. “That’s how we’re going to make our country rich again.” He could be in for an unpleasant surprise. Market changes since the $8 billion cross-border pipeline was proposed in 2008 have lowered its profit potential. U.S. oil production has jumped by more than 60 percent, to around 9 million barrels a day, undercutting the need for the kind of imported crude the Keystone XL would bring from Western Canada. At the same time, oil prices have fallen by about 40 percent, to about $50 a […]

Are Dakota Access And Keystone XL Really That ‘Dangerous’?

2 Feb 2017   Pipelines

“show me a pipe and I will show you a leak” …. Common Sense It’s no secret that the Keystone XL (KXL) and Dakota Access Pipelines were resurrected last week from the trash heap of controversial O&G projects. Trump fulfilled his campaign promise and signed executive orders to move these projects forward by renegotiating the terms of the programs. It’s fair to say, neither project is necessarily a pipedream or nightmare and possibly even beneficial from a short-term job creation and infrastructure perspective. Yet, there remains a myriad of unanswered questions with regards to the needs, safety and environmental impact of these projects. The first question relates to priorities. What improvements to the underpinnings of US’s vast infrastructure of structures and facilities that effectively operate our society are imminently needed – roads, bridges, power plants, drinking water, schools, public parks & recreation, transit, rail, ports, inland waterways, aviation, wastewater, […]

Army Corps Given Go-Ahead for Final Permit on Dakota Pipeline, Senator Says

2 Feb 2017   Pipelines

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has been given the green light to proceed with the final permit necessary to finish the Dakota Access Pipeline, according to North Dakota Sen. John Hoeven. But a local tribe opposed to the pipeline vowed to continue to fight the project in court. The Republican senator said in a statement late Tuesday that…

Shutdown of Texas Pipeline Boosting Oil Prices

1 Feb 2017   Pipelines, Prices

The rupture and closure of a major crude oil pipeline in Texas jointly-owned by Enterprise Products Partners and Enbridge Inc. helped to push oil prices higher Tuesday as crews worked to clean up the spill. The 30-inch diameter Seaway S-1 pipeline pumps up to 400,000 barrels a day of crude oil from a commercial hub in Cushing, Okla. to refineries 500 miles away near the Gulf Coast. A road crew working with the Texas Department of…

Army Corps of Engineers to give easement to Dakota Access Pipeline: U.S. senator

1 Feb 2017   Pipelines

Sen. John Hoeven (R-ND) questions U.S. Secret Service Director Joseph Clancy at a Senate Appropriations Homeland Security Subcommittee hearing on the Secret Service FY2016 budget on Capitol Hill in Washington March 19, 2015. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas The Army Corps of Engineers will proceed with the easement needed to complete the Dakota Access Pipeline, U.S. Senator John Hoeven of North Dakota said in a statement on Tuesday. Hoeven said Acting Secretary of the Army Robert Speer told him and Vice President Mike Pence of the move. “This will enable the company to complete the project, which can and will be built with the necessary safety features to protect the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and others downstream,” Hoeven, a Republican, said in a statement. President Donald Trump signed an executive order last week allowing Energy Transfer Partners LP’s ( ETP.N ) Dakota Access Pipeline to go forward, after months of protests from […]

American steel unlikely to get Keystone boost despite Trump order

31 Jan 2017   Pipelines

When U.S. President Donald Trump signed orders to revive two controversial energy pipeline projects this week, he pledged to require new pipelines to use American-made steel, a gesture to workers in the hard-hit industry who helped propel him to power. But U.S. steelmakers will receive negligible benefit from the multi-billion dollar Keystone XL project, one of the two projects Trump ordered to proceed, because they have limited ability to meet the stringent materials requirements for the TransCanada line. Economists said Trump’s order has many loopholes to enforcement and could violate international trade law. Meanwhile, in the quiet prairie town of Gascoyne, North Dakota, deer wander among gleaming stacks of steel tubing intended for the Keystone pipeline. The company bought the material years ago when the U.S. debate was raging over whether the project should go ahead. TransCanada tried for more than five years to build the 1,179-mile (1,897 km) […]

Iran May Cancel $7B Pipeline Project With Pakistan

28 Jan 2017   Iran, Pipelines

Iran has said it may cancel its high-profile, US$7-billion ‘peace pipeline’ project with Pakistan over lengthy construction delays, with would deprive energy-starved Pakistan of the some 22 million cubic meters of gas a day it would have received from its neighbor. If negotiations fail to come up with a way to feasibly realize the project, Iran’s National Gas Company Head Hamid Reza Araqi said on Friday that the project could be cancelled entirely. The project has already undergone 15 years of negotiations, beginning as the Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline project. Pakistan and Iran finally signed the initial agreement in 2009 , while India withdrew from the deal. The deal was signed by Pakistani President Zardari and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad. In accordance with this deal, Iran was to provide 22 million cubic meters per day of gas. Pakistan was slated to begin importing Iranian gas imports in early 2015 , […]

Resignation Threatens to Bring U.S. Pipeline Rulings to Halt

28 Jan 2017   Pipelines, USA

A U.S. energy regulator filed his letter of resignation on Thursday. And with that letter, he may have just brought federal decisions on multibillion-dollar natural gas pipelines to a halt. Norman Bay said he’ll leave the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission effective Feb. 3. His announcement followed President Donald Trump’s decision to replace him as the agency’s chairman with his fellow commissioner, Cheryl LaFleur. With Bay’s departure, the agency will have just two commissioners, short of a quorum needed to decide anything from controversial gas pipeline projects to contested utility mergers. His resignation comes just as developers are rushing to build a network of pipelines to accommodate booming natural gas production from shale reserves in the Northeast, unlocking bottlenecks that have caused prices to plunge. Among the pipelines waiting for approval are: Energy Transfer Partners […]

Energy pipelines back in investor favor after Trump orders

28 Jan 2017   Pipelines

Investors have rushed back into North American pipelines after U.S. President Donald Trump revived growth prospects in a sector that struggled to cope with a two-year oil price slump and strident opposition from environmental and Native American activists. Investor confidence in the industry was shaken last year when the administration of former President Barack Obama halted the $3.8 billion Dakota Access Pipeline, just as Energy Transfer Partners ( ETP.N ) had nearly finished building it. Protesters have rallied for months against plans to route the Dakota Access pipeline under a lake near the Standing Rock Sioux reservation in North Dakota, saying it threatened water resources and sacred Native American sites. A year earlier, Obama rejected TransCanada Corp’s ( TRP.TO ) C$8 billion ($6.08 billion) Keystone […]

Both sides of the border praise Keystone XL

28 Jan 2017   Pipelines

U.S. and Canadian trade groups said building the Keystone XL oil pipeline to southern U.S. ports was critical for the region’s energy infrastructure. Pipeline company TransCanada announced it re-submitted an application to build the cross-border Keystone XL oil pipeline after memoranda signed by U.S. President Donald Trump prioritized oil and gas networks as strategic interests . The White House under President Barack Obama sidelined Keystone XL on environmental concerns as the heavier form of crude oil designated for the pipeline is viewed as more carbon-intensive and potentially more of a danger if spilled than other grades of oil. Jack Gerard, the president of the American Petroleum Institute, praised Trump for advancing a modernized vision […]

Keystone XL Pipeline: A New Opening, but What Lies Ahead?

27 Jan 2017   Pipelines

In his first days in office, President Trump reversed the government’s position on a highly contentious energy project, reviving the Keystone XL , a pipeline that would link oil producers in Canada and North Dakota with refiners and export terminals on the Gulf Coast. The pipeline has long been at the center of a struggle pitting environmentalists against advocates of energy independence and economic growth. President Barack Obama rejected the project in late 2015, saying it would be antithetical to the United States’ leadership in curbing reliance on carbon fuels.

TransCanada re-submits application for Keystone XL pipeline

27 Jan 2017   Pipelines

TransCanada Corp said on Thursday it submitted a presidential permit application to the U.S. Department of State for the approval of the Keystone XL pipeline. The announcement comes two days after U.S. President Donald Trump signed an order that allowed TransCanada to reapply for a permit for the pipeline, after it was rejected in 2015 by then-President Barack Obama on environmental concerns. (Reporting by Komal Khettry in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)

Trump probably can’t require pipelines to use U.S. steel

26 Jan 2017   Pipelines

President Donald Trump on Tuesday invited the promoter of the Keystone XL pipeline to re-submit its application for a permit and promised an expeditious review. But Trump’s memorandum on Keystone was twinned with another ordering the secretary of commerce to develop a plan to ensure all pipelines built, repaired or upgraded in the United States use domestically made steel. The secretary was ordered to submit a plan within 180 days “under which all new pipelines, as well as retrofitted, repaired, or expanded pipelines, inside the borders of the United States … use materials and equipment produced in the United States.” The plan must require the use of U.S. components “to the maximum extent possible and to the extent permitted by law” in a language inserted to help it survive a legal challenge. Although the requirements apply to all materials, raw iron and steel and equipment made from them were […]

As Trump Pushes Pipelines, Activists Prepare for Local Battles

26 Jan 2017   Pipelines

As the Trump administration moves to push forward the Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines, environmental groups are gearing up for local fights. On Tuesday, Trump invited TransCanada Corp. to reapply for its Keystone XL project, which former President Barack Obama rejected in 2015. He also issued a memorandum supporting completion of the Energy Transfer Partners LP’s Dakota Access pipeline, which has been stalled since the Obama administration intervened in September. Trump’s embrace of the oil and natural gas industry was a blow to opponents who have argued against new infrastructure for fossil fuels. It may also help them raise money, according to Christine Tezak, managing director of research at ClearView Energy Partners LLC in Washington. “The adversarial environment can be good for the opponents, and the opponents are […]

Keystone XL Still Faces Obstacles Even With Trump’s Approval

26 Jan 2017   Pipelines

President Donald Trump moved to fulfill one of his campaign promises on Tuesday, signing an executive order to revive the Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipelines. The former had been rejected outright by the Obama administration while the latter had been given an indefinite delay. The industry hailed the executive order, but just because President Trump wants to see the pipeline built does not mean TransCanada will move to break ground anytime soon. There are a number of uncertainties that could prevent construction from progressing. First, the President said that he would “renegotiate” the terms of the Keystone XL pipeline, presumably to get a “better deal” as he promised during the campaign. The specifics of “renegotiating” the pipeline are unclear – he also signed an executive order to expedite the environmental review process for major infrastructure projects, so it is not as if he has a problem with the […]

Energy Transfer Goes Silent on Dakota Access After Trump Move

26 Jan 2017   Pipelines

Energy Transfer Partners LP got a boost on Tuesday when President Donald Trump threw his weight behind its controversial Dakota Access oil pipeline. While rival TransCanada Corp. promptly commented on Trump’s similar show of support for the Keystone XL crude pipeline, Energy Transfer went quiet. Reached by e-mail Wednesday, the company declined to comment. Why the silence? The company declined to comment on that, too. The reason, analysts say, is the memo Trump signed in support of Dakota Access fell short of granting Energy Transfer the easement it needs to drill the final portion of the pipe beneath North Dakota’s Lake Oahe. So litigation surrounding that will continue. And since that part of North Dakota became a massive rallying site for protesters last year, it’d be unwise to draw more attention to the […]

While Trump Backs Oil Pipelines, Gas Lines Are in Limbo

26 Jan 2017   Pipelines

While President Donald Trump works to advance two controversial oil pipelines — Dakota Access and Keystone XL, a war’s being fought in Washington over a whole other set of lines: natural gas ones. Take Rover, a gas pipeline proposed by Energy Transfer Partners LP, the same company building Dakota Access. It’s been waiting for approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for two years. In fact, as Trump was declaring his support for the oil lines on Tuesday, a would-be shipper on Rover was asking the regulatory commission to expedite its decision on the gas project. Trump has pledged to accelerate approvals for energy infrastructure, but lines like Rover underscore the unique challenges facing the gas industry. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, charged with reviewing gas lines, was established as an independent agency when it was formed by Congress in 1977. As environmental opposition to gas projects mounts, the […]

Italian Olive Groves vs Multi-Billion Dollar Pipeline

26 Jan 2017   Italy, Pipelines

The Trans-Adriatic Pipeline is a key element of Azerbaijan’s efforts to export its greatest source of wealth, its Caspian Sea natural gas deposits, to European markets. It is also a cornerstone of the European Union’s strategy to weaken Russia’s hold on European gas markets. The pipeline’s route, however, passes through ancient olive groves and over pristine beaches in the Italian region of Puglia, which relies on that bucolic landscape for its major industry, tourism. That has set up a standoff between global energy interests and local environmental activists. And with a December referendum in Italy that reinforced local governments’ autonomy, the anti-pipeline activists have – if only temporarily – gained the upper hand. The pipeline is currently under construction by a consortium of companies, with Azerbaijan’s state energy company SOCAR holding a 20 percent share. The European Bank of Reconstruction and Development is considering a EUR 2 billion loan […]

Fact Box: Trump signs orders on Keystone XL, Dakota Access pipelines

25 Jan 2017   Pipelines

President Donald Trump signed five separate orders Tuesday, including two aimed at speeding construction of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines and one which could lead to a new requirement for all pipelines built within US borders to be made of US-made materials and equipment. Related — The orders fit with Trump’s campaign pledges to quicken the pace of pipeline approvals and promote US manufacturing, but also faced immediate opposition from environmental groups and may spur a lengthy fight with global trading partners. The Keystone XL and Dakota Access orders are aimed at getting those pipelines approved “as quick as possible,” White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said Tuesday. The Keystone XL order formally invites TransCanada to resubmit its application for the pipeline to the State Department and then requires that agency to issue a permit decision within 60 days. To quicken the pace of the permit approval, […]

Canada May Face Era of Pipeline Abundance After Keystone Move

25 Jan 2017   Canada, Pipelines

President Donald Trump’s decision to revive TransCanada Corp.’ s Keystone XL pipeline may herald a new era of pipeline abundance for Canadian oil producers after years of bottlenecks. The U.S. president signed documents to advance the project Tuesday, more than a year after his predecessor Barack Obama rejected it on grounds it would contribute to climate change. The decision follows the Canadian government’s approval in November of Kinder Morgan Inc .’s Trans Mountain line to the Pacific and Enbridge Inc.’ s expansion of Line 3 to the U.S. Midwest. The three lines would add 1.8 million barrels a day of crude export capacity, enough to handle Western Canada’s growing oil production for 20 years, according to National Energy Board projections. That would add more than $4 billion a year to Western Canada’s economy by making the region’s crude more valuable relative to other grades, Tim Pickering, founder and chief […]

As Trump Pushes Pipelines, Activists Prepare for Local Battles

25 Jan 2017   Pipelines

As the Trump administration moves to push forward the Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines, environmental groups are gearing up for local fights. On Tuesday, Trump invited TransCanada Corp. to reapply for its Keystone XL project, which former President Barack Obama rejected in 2015. He also issued a memorandum supporting completion of the Energy Transfer Partners LP’s Dakota Access pipeline, which has been stalled since the Obama administration intervened in September. Trump’s embrace of the oil and natural gas industry was a blow to opponents who have argued against new infrastructure for fossil fuels. It may also help them raise money, according to Christine Tezak, managing director of research at ClearView Energy Partners LLC in Washington. “The adversarial environment can be good for the opponents, and the opponents are […]

Trump to advance Keystone, Dakota Access pipelines: administration official

25 Jan 2017   Pipelines

U.S. President Donald Trump plans to sign two executive actions on Tuesday to advance construction of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines, an administration official told Reuters. The move comes after months-long protests by environmentalists and Native American groups in North Dakota against Energy Transfer Partners LP’s $3.8 billion Dakota Access pipeline, which would bring crude oil from the state’s Bakken oil patch through the Midwest and into the U.S. Gulf Coast. A company spokeswoman could not immediately be reached for comment. Under former president Barack Obama, Transcanada Corp’s Keystone XL oil pipeline was rejected in 2015 after environmentalists campaigned against the project […]

Trump’s Keystone XL Boost Sends Loonie Soaring Against Peers

25 Jan 2017   Canada, Pipelines

Trump Signs Memoranda on Keystone, Dakota Access The Canadian dollar surged after U.S. President Donald Trump moved to advance the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, which would enable the country to ship more crude oil to the U.S. and buoy growth. The currency rallied as much as 1 percent to C$1.3106 per U.S. dollar, outperforming all of its Group-of-10 peers and extending its advance this year to 2.1 percent. It appreciated for a second day, recovering from a two-week low reached on Friday. The currency was at C$1.3158 per U.S. dollar at 2:22 p.m., close to its 200-day moving average of C$1.3115 in Toronto. Trump’s decision to move forward with the pipeline that would transport Alberta oil sands crude to the U.S. Gulf Coast is a departure from the Obama administration, which rejected the project in 2015. It helped reignite […]

Russia in full-court press over European gas pipeline

25 Jan 2017   Europe, Pipelines, Russia

European regulators may be standing in the way of their own regional energy security with their stance against a gas pipeline, Russia’s Gazprom said. Viktor Zubkov , the chairman of the board at Russian gas giant Gazprom, said European regulators were needlessly standing in the way of access to the OPAL gas pipeline. “Its capacities had been groundlessly blocked for several years,” he was quoted as saying by Russian news agency Tass. “The relevance of the decision is demonstrated by the fact that already at the beginning of this year Nord Stream was utilized to the greatest possible extent, though previously experts said a pipeline via the Baltics was not needed.” Access to OPAL is necessary if the Russian natural gas company is to […]

The U.S. Is Shaping Up For Another Pipeline Saga

19 Jan 2017   Pipelines

Incoming President Donald Trump might quickly move to resolve the massive problem that Energy Transfer Partners has on its hands in the Dakota Access Pipeline, but the company is in the midst of stumbling into another potential controversy that could turn into the sequel to the Keystone XL and Dakota Access sagas. The Bakken is a substantial source of crude oil, producing just under 1 million barrels per day. That oil has to be moved by rail or pipeline out of the state, where it moves to refineries either on the Eastern seaboard, or down to the Gulf Coast. But the extreme distances that North Dakota crude has to travel inevitably lead to conflict as pipelines run into local communities. That potential for conflict became very stark with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in North Dakota. President Trump has suggested that the Army Corps of Engineers, under his control, […]

Trans-Mountain Pipeline Clears Final Hurdle for Expansion

12 Jan 2017   Pipelines

The Canadian province of British Columbia said Wednesday Kinder Morgan Inc. could proceed with plans to expand its Trans Mountain crude-oil pipeline, representing the final regulatory hurdle for the multibillion-dollar project. Kinder Morgan’s plan, which received federal government approval in late November, would triple capacity to 890,000 barrels of crude oil a day on the existing 714-mile pipeline that carries crude oil from…

Crown Jewel of U.S. Shale Fuels Endless Pursuit of Williams

6 Jan 2017   Pipelines

Williams Cos. CEO Alan Armstrong has something everybody wants, and he knows it. “It’s a gold mine,” he says. “It’s irreplaceable.” Some 67 years after the Transco pipeline was laid from the Gulf Coast of Texas to New York City, it remains the crown jewel of the natural gas industry, fed by America’s richest shale patch. In the past year, the allure of this 10,500-mile system has helped trigger two failed takeover bids for Williams, a clash between Armstrong and billionaire pipeline magnate Kelcy Warren and a mass exodus from the company’s board. Now, as Transco is re-engineered to flow south as well as north, investors are betting more takeover offers may follow. President-elect Donald Trump has promised a fossil fuel-friendly future, but opposition to energy projects is stronger than ever, adding value to systems already in the ground. And none can match Transco. “It’s probably the best natural […]

North Dakota pipeline battle far from over as protesters dig in

23 Dec 2016   Pipelines

By the sacred fire at the heart of the Oceti Sakowin camp, a woman swaddled in layers of clothing makes announcements over a small loudspeaker. “We have a missing woman,” she calls. “Has anyone seen a woman: tall, blonde hair, a blue poncho, and no shoes?”  The camp is here, on the border of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota, to oppose the Dakota Access oil pipeline. But right now the priority is keeping people alive. The temperature is minus 14 centigrade and several inches of snow have fallen. Exposed skin can suffer frostbite in 30 minutes.  The missing woman is soon found, but she is one of many people at the camp unprepared for the brutal North Dakota winter. Thousands of environmental activists from the US and around the world have come to support the Native Americans’ battle against the pipeline, many mobilised by the campaign’s popular Facebook pages. The pipeline’s route, which passes the camp about half a mile away, is intended to run under Lake Oahe on the Missouri river, raising fears about possible spills into the water used by the Standing Rock tribe.

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With Tillerson, Trump Gives Keystone XL a Friend in D.C.

14 Dec 2016   Pipelines

President-elect Donald Trump’s plan to put a supporter of the Keystone XL pipeline into a crucial decision-making position may give the controversial pipeline a leg up. If approved as Secretary of State, Exxon Mobil Corp. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Rex Tillerson would be in a position to approve the pipeline’s presidential permit, a requirement for energy projects that cross an international border. President Barack Obama rejected the $8 billion project in 2015, saying it wasn’t in the national interest. “Keystone XL would do more than deliver oil from Alberta and North Dakota’s Bakken Shale to refiners on the Gulf Coast,” Tillerson said in an April 2015 speech. “It would improve U.S. competitiveness, increase North American energy security, and strengthen the relationship with one of our most important allies and trading partners.” Trump has expressed support for infrastructure projects, including adding pipelines. He said this weekend that he will […]

Pipeline 150 miles from Dakota Access protests leaks 176,000 gallons of oil

13 Dec 2016   Pipelines

A ruptured pipeline has spilled more than 176,000 gallons of crude oil into a hillside and a Little Missouri River tributary about 150 miles west of Cannon Ball, N.D., where thousands of activists have spent months fighting construction of the Dakota Access oil pipeline, state officials said Monday. A segment of the Belle Fourche Pipeline near Belfield, N.D., began leaking earlier this month, contaminating nearly 6 miles of the Ash Coulee Creek before cleanup workers contained it, Bill Suess, an environmental scientist from the North Dakota Department of Health, told the Associated Press . An estimated 130,200 gallons of oil spilled into the creek, and another 46,200 gallons leaked onto a hillside, Suess told Forum News Service in a separate interview. The spill dirtied private and federal land along the waterway, but no drinking water sources were affected, Seuss said. About 37,000 gallons of oil have been recovered so […]

Israel, Greece, Cyprus to push for gas pipeline to Europe: sources

12 Dec 2016   Cyprus, Israel, Pipelines

Israel, Greece, and Cyprus have decided to take their proposal for a pipeline from gas fields offshore Israel and Cyprus to Europe, Israeli energy sources said late Thursday. This followed talks in Jerusalem between senior government officials of the three countries. The sources said representatives of the three countries would hold talks soon with European Union Climate Action and Energy Commissioner Miguel Arias Canete to promote the proposed pipeline that would run from offshore Israel via Cyprus and then on to Greece, approximately 1,400 km (868 miles). The EU has been looking for ways to reduce its dependence on Russian gas. “A common pipeline is one of the strategic options for exporting gas to Europe from the Eastern Mediterranean and additional gas discoveries in Israeli and Cypriot waters will make this attractive,” Israeli Energy and Water Minister Yuval Steinitz said at the end of the talks. Article continues below… […]

Iraq invites bids to build first phase of oil export pipeline to Jordan

12 Dec 2016   Iraq, Jordan, Pipelines

Iraq has invited energy companies and investors to bid to build and finance the first phase of a pipeline that will eventually connect the southern city of Basra with Jordan’s Red Sea port of Aqaba. The State Company for Oil Projects (SCOP), an oil ministry arm overseeing the project, said the first phase includes the engineering, procurement, construction and financing of oil and gas pipelines linking the Basra fields to a connecting energy station near the city of Najaf. The initial section of the Basra-Aqaba pipeline was planned to pass through the Haditha pumping station in Anbar province, but the presence of Islamic State militants in the desert area forced the oil ministry to change plans. The pipeline will still pass through Anbar, but it will not go as far north as Haditha. By limiting the first stage to Najaf, the ministry is also delaying construction in Anbar itself. […]