Shareholders urge TransCanada to back Keystone XL despite risk

22 Nov 2017   Canada, Pipelines

TransCanada Corp should push ahead with an $8 billion Keystone XL pipeline expansion after the state of Nebraska on Monday approved a route that would raise the cost of the controversial project, some shareholders said.  The approval quashed the last regulatory hurdle for the nearly decade-old project, but the Nebraska Public Service Commission denied TransCanada’s preferred route. That opened the door to potential delays and emboldened activists who said they would try to kill the project through protests. TransCanada has so far spent $3 billion on the 1,179-mile pipeline and has said it would make a final investment decision by December, based on commercial support and Nebraska’s regulatory approval. More clarity on the company’s strategy is expected at its investors day next Tuesday. […]

Oil prices jump on Canadian pipeline disruption to United States

22 Nov 2017   Pipelines, Prices

Oil prices jumped by over 1 percent on Wednesday as ongoing cuts of piped Canadian crude to the United States added to falling U.S. crude inventories, while expectations of a prolonged OPEC-led production cut also offered support.  U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $57.83 a barrel at 0734 GMT, up $1, or 1.8 percent from their last settlement. Sponsored Brent crude futures, the international benchmark for oil prices, were at $63.20 per barrel, up 63 cents, or 1 percent. Traders said the firm price lift was due to drop in crude supplies from Canada to the United States. TransCanada Corp said it will cut deliveries by at least 85 percent on its […]

TransCanada to cut Keystone crude deliveries through month-end: sources

22 Nov 2017   Canada, Pipelines

TransCanada Corp has told some customers that it will cut deliveries by 85 percent or more on its 590,000-barrel-per-day Keystone crude pipeline through to the end of November, according to three sources familiar with the matter. The line, which links Alberta’s oil sands to U.S. refineries, was shut last week after a 5,000-barrel spill in South Dakota [nL1N1NN1AW]. Some customers have received higher cuts depending on commitment levels, one of the sources said. A company official could not immediately be reached for comment. Transcanada in an earlier statement said that over 160 workers were on the site of the spill and more than 16,000 gallons had been removed as of Nov. 21. “Repair plans will be confirmed once we are able to safely expose the impacted section of pipe,” the company said. The prompt WTI spread was trading up 4 cents at 10.22 p.m. EST, the first […]

Nebraska clears path for Keystone XL pipeline, in boost for Trump

21 Nov 2017   Pipelines

Nebraska regulators approved a route for TransCanada Corp’s  Keystone XL pipeline through the state on Monday, lifting the last big regulatory obstacle for the long-delayed project that U.S. President Donald Trump wants built. The 3-2 vote by the Nebraska Public Service Commission helps clear the way for the pipeline linking Canada’s Alberta oil sands to refineries in the United States, but is likely to be tied up for years in court challenges by opponents who say the project is an environmental risk. “We are going to fight like hell to make sure this pipeline never gets built,” said Jane Kleeb, the head of anti-pipeline Bold Nebraska, a political advocacy group. The commission’s approval was not for TransCanada’s preferred route, but for a more costly alternative that would add 5 miles (8 km) of pipeline, along with an additional pumping station and […]

Nebraska Regulators Approve Alternative Route for Keystone XL Pipeline

21 Nov 2017   Pipelines

Nebraska regulators on Monday allowed the Keystone XL oil pipeline to clear its final major hurdle, granting a victory to President Trump and Republicans who have for years pressed for the project. But the pipeline company will not be allowed to build along its preferred route, the regulators announced, opening up new questions about how the project will proceed. The pipeline’s future was complicated by the commission’s 3-2 vote to approve the alternate route. The decision drew tempered reactions both from opponents of the project and TransCanada, the pipeline company, which was noncommittal about its path forward. “As a result of today’s decision, we will conduct a careful review of the Public Service Commission’s ruling while assessing how the decision would impact the cost and schedule of the project,” Russ Girling, TransCanada’s […]

Keystone XL Approval May Open Door for Foes to Fight Route

21 Nov 2017   Pipelines
Keystone XL Approval May Open Door for Foes to Fight Route

Nebraska’s approval of an alternative route could throw more uncertainty into the mix for the long-delayed Keystone XL oil pipeline.  The Public Service Commission approved TransCanada Corp.’s project on a three-to-two vote, removing one of the last hurdles to the Calgary-based company’s construction of the $8 billion, 1,179-mile (1,897-kilometer) conduit, which has been on its drawing boards since 2008. The decision, though, wasn’t wrinkle-free: The panel mandated an alternative route that was immediately targeted by the project’s opponents as lacking adequate vetting. TransCanada is now “assessing how the decision would impact the cost and schedule of the project,” Russ Girling, TransCanada’s chief executive officer, said in a statement. The company’s shares rose 1.3 percent to C$63.35 at 12:24 p.m. in New York trading.

 Source: Nebraska Public Service Commission

The uncertainty expressed by Girling was quickly reflected in analyst notes.  “While today’s Keystone XL pipeline approval is an important milestone, it does not provide certainty that the project will ultimately be built and begin operating,” said Gavin MacFarlane, a vice president at Moody’s Investors Service. “Pipeline construction would negatively affect TransCanada’s business risk profile through increased project execution risk, and would likely put pressure on financial metrics.” Jane Kleeb, president of the environmental advocacy group Bold Alliance, said green-lighting the alternative may have helped the commission reach a “middle ground solution.” But it opens new questions that she said her group would likely explore in federal court.

Pipeline leak raises questions over fate of Keystone XL

18 Nov 2017   Pipelines

A leak from the existing Keystone oil pipeline running from Canadian oil fields shows why an expansion shouldn’t be built, environmental groups said. Pipeline company TransCanada said it took about 15 minutes to isolate a section of a pipeline in Marshall County, S.D., after a pressure drop was detected on the system Thursday morning. The drop in pressure was indicative of a leak and the company said about 5,000 barrels of oil were spilled. The release came before Monday’s decision from Nebraska regulars on whether or not the company can go ahead with its plans for an extension, the Keystone XL oil pipeline. Kelly Martin, a campaign director with the Sierra Club, said TransCanada’s […]

More Trans Mountain hearings scheduled in Canada

18 Nov 2017   Canada, Pipelines

Detailed route hearings for plans to expand the Trans Mountain crude oil pipeline in Canada are scheduled in British Columbia in early 2018, a regulator said. The National Energy Board said it scheduled two hearings for February for segments of the Kinder Morgan project. So far, the NEB said it’s received 22 statements in opposition to the segments in question following 20 hearings. “Approximately 93 miles of detailed route plans within segments 3 and 4 that were not opposed by landowners or affected persons have now been approved by the NEB,” the regulator stated. “Prior to beginning construction in these areas, the company must satisfy all applicable NEB pre-construction conditions.” The City of Burnaby, British Columbia, in December filed an […]

South Dakota pipeline spill will take months to clean up

18 Nov 2017   Pipelines

The crude oil spill on the Keystone pipeline in South Dakota will take months to clean up, a state official said on Friday, just days before Nebraska was due to decide on another pipeline project by the owner, TransCanada Corp. Canadian heavy crude prices and TransCanada Corp shares slid on Friday, the day after the 5,000 barrel spill, tied for this year’s largest pipeline leak in the United States. No date has been set for reopening Keystone, TransCanada said, adding that a media report that had stated a restart date was incorrect. The spill gave further ammunition to environmental groups and other U.S. opponents of another pipeline the company has proposed, the long-delayed Keystone XL. Keystone carries 590,000 barrels per day (bpd) […]

EU’s Tusk calls for swift decision on Russian pipeline

17 Nov 2017   Europe, Pipelines, Russia

The head of the European Council, Donald Tusk, has urged EU nations to swiftly adopt a change of rules to help the bloc in its attempt to regulate Russia’s planned Nord Stream 2 pipeline. The European Commission is proposing to extend EU internal energy market rules to cover offshore gas pipelines, which it sees as undercutting EU efforts to reduce dependence on Moscow and its support for Kiev. “I would like to encourage you to proceed swiftly with this proposal,” Tusk said in the letter, seen by Reuters and dated Nov. 10, to the heads of the bloc’s 28 nations. “Time is of the essence, if we are to achieve the objectives of our Energy Union.” Tusk has […]

Keystone XL opponents make last-gasp effort in Nebraska

16 Nov 2017   Pipelines

Opponents of TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline have launched a last-minute public relations blitz before Nebraska regulators weigh in on its route next week in the last big regulatory hurdle for the long-delayed project. The proposed 1,179-mile (1,897 km) pipeline would link Canada’s Alberta oil sands to U.S. refineries. It has long been a lightning rod of controversy for environmental groups and worried about spills and global warming, and former President Barack Obama rejected it. But President Donald Trump backs it as part of his broad energy strategy, and says it will lower fuel prices, shore up national security and bring jobs. Sponsored Volunteers for Bold Alliance, an activist group that has been fighting the project since it was proposed nearly a decade ago, are knocking […]

EU Proposes Rules for Offshore Gas Links as Russian-Owned Nord Stream 2 Pipeline Nears

9 Nov 2017   Europe, Pipelines

The European Union proposed Wednesday to extend its natural-gas regulations to offshore pipelines, marking the latest effort to derail an energy link between Russia and Germany that is fueling tensions within the bloc. The European Commission, the bloc’s executive, unveiled an amendment to energy rules after a monthslong struggle to intervene in the controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline project. The Baltic Sea link would enable Russia’s state-owned PAO Gazprom to double its natural-gas transit via Germany to Europe. That would strengthen Moscow’s hand to bypass transit routes through Ukraine without losing its dominant gas market share in the EU, which stood at 42% last year. While the effort to regulate the pipeline may enjoy support in the European Parliament, it is likely to face resistance from some EU governments such as Germany. The EU’s executive […]

Alberta’s leader tours in support of Trans Mountain oil pipeline

8 Nov 2017   Canada, Pipelines

Support for the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline from Alberta to British Columbia is support for the economy, the premier of oil-rich Alberta said. Alberta Premier Rachel Notley is touring the country in support of pipeline company Kinder Morgan ‘s multibillion dollar expansion project, heading first to Toronto before taking her message to Vancouver. Canada is the fourth largest producer of oil and natural gas liquid in the world, but export capacity is constricted because pipeline capacity hasn’t kept pace with production. Nearly all of Canada’s oil exports head to the United States. The country’s National Energy Board approved of Kinder Morgan’s plans to triple the capacity of the network to around 890,000 barrels of oil per day in […]

Minnesota oil pipeline review ‘half-baked,’ opponent says

3 Nov 2017   Pipelines

A review of plans by Enbridge Energy to overhaul an oil pipeline through Minnesota was “half-backed,” the regional chapter of the Sierra Club said. The next phase of a state review of the plans to overhaul the oil pipeline began Wednesday and runs through Nov. 15th. Enbridge aims to spend more than $7 billion to upgrade the 50-year-old system, noting that operating the aging infrastructure carries more risk than running oil through a “newly constructed, modern pipeline.” An administrative judge in the case told the state Public Utilities Commission, the vetting authority, that an environmental impact statement on the proposal was adequate. According to Margaret Levin, the director of the regional chapter of the Sierra Club, the […]

Hearings canceled over Minnesota oil pipeline

27 Oct 2017   Pipelines, USA

Minnesota agency cancels hearings over an Enbridge oil pipeline because of “logistical and safety issues.” File photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI Oct. 26 (UPI) — More than $20 million in state property taxes are on the line amid shows of civil disobedience over an Enbridge oil pipeline, a Minnesota trade group said. Public hearings of plans by Enbridge Energy to overhaul its Line 3 pipeline through Minnesota were canceled by authorities in St. Cloud because of “logistical and safety issues” at a convention center. The Minnesota Petroleum Council said it was unfortunate that those working to “actively obstruct civil discourse, stifle free speech, and disrespect those in attendance” were interfering with public vetting. “It’s estimated that the Line 3 replacement project would support thousands of Minnesota jobs and generate an estimated $20 million per year in state property taxes,” Executive Director Erin Roth said in a statement . “We hope […]

Enbridge pipeline in Minnesota still facing opposition

25 Oct 2017   Pipelines

More than 100 pages of testimony submitted in challenge to plans by Enbridge to overhaul a crude oil pipeline in Minnesota.  An agency charged with part of the vetting process for a crude oil pipeline through Minnesota pressed its case that plans by Enbridge are no longer necessary. The state Public Utilities Commission continued hearings in St. Paul on plans by Enbridge to spend more than $7 billion to overhaul sections of its Line 3 pipeline system that runs from Canada through Minnesota. Enbridge said replacements and upgrades to the 50-year-old system are the most efficient way to ensure the infrastructure is reliable. Enbridge added that state environmental reviews found the overhaul would be better than keeping the existing network in service. In more than 125 pages of testimony , Kate O’Connell, an energy regulation manager at the Minnesota Department […]

U.S. issues presidential permit to Enbridge cross-border crude pipeline

17 Oct 2017   Pipelines

After years of regulatory delays, the United States on Monday issued a presidential permit to a three-mile segment of Enbridge Inc’s ( ENB.TO ) Line 67 crude oil pipeline, which will enable the company to nearly double capacity on the cross-border conduit. Crude oil storage tanks at Enbridge’s facility in Sherwood Park are seen against the skyline of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada November 13, 2016. REUTERS/Chris Helgren The permit from the U.S. State Department for the so-called Alberta Clipper line will allow Calgary-based Enbridge to ship 890,000 barrels per day (bpd) of Canadian crude from Edmonton, Alberta, to Superior, Wisconsin, up from 450,000 bpd currently. Sponsored Enbridge said it welcomed the issuance of the permit after a nearly five-year review process. “Line 67 currently operates under an existing Presidential Permit that was issued by the State Department in 2009 and the 2017 permit authorizes Enbridge to […]

Europe Stands Divided On Gazprom’s Nord Stream 2 Pipeline

11 Oct 2017   Pipelines, Russia

Nord Stream 2—Gazprom’s pipeline project to twin the existing Nord Stream pipeline between Russia and Germany via the Baltic Sea, is dividing European nations and European Union (EU) institutions—with one group cheering on the resultant cheap gas, and the other group fearing Russia’s increased grip on the region. Proponents and supporters of the project argue that Germany and neighboring countries will get cheap, reliable gas from Russia that will complement—not replace—gas from existing supply routes. Opponents of the project argue that Russia’s Gazprom will increase its share of the European gas market, which would boost its already dominant position in Central and Eastern Europe, and therefore undermine the efforts of some European countries to diversify their gas supplies away from Russia. Opponents also see Nord Stream 2 as Moscow gaining political leverage over the EU. Nord Stream 2—currently planned for completion by the end of 2019—faces stiff opposition from […]

Canadian regulator closes books on TransCanada project

7 Oct 2017   Canada, Pipelines

A federal regulator in Canada confirmed it closed its files on the Energy East oil pipeline after planner TransCanada folded its tent on the project. The National Energy Board was among the last in the line of official bodies in Canada to weigh in on TransCanada’s decision to shelve a multibillion dollar pipeline project for eastern provinces. The NEB confirmed late Thursday it received notice that TransCanada was withdrawing its applications. “The NEB has no further work to complete on these projects and the hearing record is now closed,” the regulator said. TransCanada last month called on the NEB to suspend its review of the project after the regulator published a lengthy list of issues ranging from greenhouse […]

Gazprom’s Nord Stream Russia-German natural gas pipeline work completed

23 Sep 2017   Pipelines

Flows of Russian natural gas via Gazprom’s Nord Stream pipeline into northeast Germany have resumed after annual maintenance was completed on schedule, Nord Stream AG said in a press release Friday. Full capacity now available again to northeast Germany Greifswald received 12 million cu m during Thursday’s gas day Maintenance work on the 55 Bcm a year twin pipeline system began on September 11 with gas transmission having “resumed as planned,” boosting flow capacity for the Russian state-owned giant into Europe as a result. Video: Tight European natural gas markets approach Asian JKM prices Flows via the Nord Stream pipeline into Greifswald averaged 138 million cu m/d between September 1-10 before the beginning of the works, and flows have resumed with the receiving terminal in northeast Germany receiving 12 million cu m of Russian gas during Thursday’s gas day, according to data from Platts Analytics’ Eclipse Energy . During […]

Does Canada Need More Oil Sands Pipelines?

19 Sep 2017   Canada, Pipelines

The claim that building more pipelines to carry Canada’s oil sands production to ports for export will unlock significantly higher prices for bitumen is not supported by either past or current market conditions, a new study shows . According to Jeff Rubin, senior fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation, overseas markets pay even lower prices for bitumen than in North America, so there is no economic case for additional pipeline capacity to tidewater or expanded oil sands production. In his report , Rubin says that global agreements to reduce global carbon emissions over the next three decades will also reduce the size of future oil markets, not to mention the emerging push for electric vehicles. CIGI argues that there is no economic case for additional pipeline capacity to tidewater or expanded oil sands production. As expected, the government of the province of Alberta, Canada’s oil sands production […]

Colonial Pipeline Allows Port Arthur Refiners To Ship Fuel After Harvey

19 Sep 2017   Pipelines

Colonial Pipeline, the largest fuel system in the United States, said on Monday that Port Arthur, Texas refiners can use their own pumps as a temporary solution to get gasoline and other products into its main lines. Flow rates on Colonial’s lines, which supply more than 3 million barrels a day of fuel to the populous U.S. east coast, have been sharply reduced after Hurricane Harvey caused massive floods and damaged supply points, including at Port Arthur. The Port Arthur facility connects directly to Total and Valero’s refineries in Jefferson County, Texas. Traders said that while Colonial’s move may help resume shipments from Port Arthur, flow rates through the line overall would still likely remain low until repairs are complete. Colonial did not disclose current flow rates. Repairs at the Port Arthur injection point are expected to last through the end of the month, Colonial […]

Forget Oil, Water Is New Ticket for Pipeline Growth in Texas

19 Sep 2017   Pipelines

The torrent of dirty water coming out of almost every American oil well is the next big bet for a former fund manager for billionaire Paul Allen. Getting rid of wastewater from onshore wells has become an increasingly costly problem for oil producers as U.S. crude output surged in recent years, especially in the new shale fields from Texas to North Dakota. Drillers typically get about seven barrels of water for every one of oil, and some struggle to deal with the overflow that is mostly sent by truck to disposal sites miles away. David Capobianco, a former managing director for Allen’s Vulcan Capital, is trying to change that by building pipelines to get wastewater out. His newly formed WaterBridge Resources LLC aims to be a water-management company for oilfields. The firm is considering a public share listing within a year to 18 months, taking advantage of […]

Natgas pipeline builders hail U.S. okay of blocked New York project

16 Sep 2017   Pipelines

Energy traders and natural gas pipeline companies on Friday hailed a U.S. federal regulator’s decision to overturn New York’s denial of a water permit for building the Millennium Pipeline in the state. People in the industry expressed hope that the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission would be willing to override state decisions to block other pipelines, including Williams Cos Inc’s Constitution and National Fuel Gas Co’s Northern Access pipelines from Pennsylvania. These could also be approved if similar waivers are granted by FERC. FERC, which is in charge of U.S. energy regulation, now has three members, after two new commissioners were appointed by President Donald Trump. Environmental groups and other opponents of fracking blasted the decision, saying it violated the state’s authority. The New York Department of Environmental Conservation said it was reviewing whether to appeal FERC’s decision, “and will consider all legal options to protect public […]

Trans Mountain oil pipeline in Canada short on safeguards

16 Sep 2017   Canada, Pipelines

The parties behind the Trans Mountain oil pipeline to Canada’s western coast haven’t yet completed what they need to for the environment, a regulator found. The National Energy Board approved of Kinder Morgan ‘s plans to triple the capacity of the network to around 890,000 barrels of oil per day in November, though vetting is still under way for some aspects. The project is part of a national effort to tap into markets outside North America as nearly all of Canada’s oil exports go to the United States. The NEB said it completed a pre-construction audit and found planners haven’t yet laid out plans regarding safety and environmental protection during the build process. “This pre-construction audit is one of […]

Protesters Jailed Over Natural Gas Pipeline Protest In Virginia

16 Sep 2017   Pipelines

Nineteen protestors were arrested during a protest in Richmond, Virginia, against the construction of the Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley natural gas pipelines. The demonstration of roughly 40 people occurred outside of the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, which is charged with granting water quality permits to the developers of the pipeline. “This is an area where we are being rocked by extreme weather. Hurricane after hurricane and the wildfires in the west. We can’t get a break. We need to tell them to stop right now and leave it in the ground,” said Jamshid Bakhtiari of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network in Virginia told a local news station . Dominion Energy, the company developing the pipeline, responded: “I think it was very disappointing that these groups thought that the best way to support the victims of Hurricane Irma was to get arrested. Our company took a very different […]

Colonial to pump fuel through Port Arthur facility at reduced rates after Harvey

9 Sep 2017   Pipelines, USA

Colonial Pipeline Co, the biggest U.S. fuel system, said on Friday it expects the full restart of its crucial supply point at Port Arthur, Texas by the end of the month after Hurricane Harvey dumped heavy rains and caused flooding. In the meantime, Colonial is considering allowing shipments of fuel through the Port Arthur pumping facility at a reduced rate, starting September 15th. The Port Arthur region is home to Motiva Enterprises’ 603,000 barrel per day (bpd) Port Arthur refinery, the country’s biggest. Other refiners that operate in the area include Valero Energy Corp, which has a 335,000 bpd refinery, and Total SA, which has a 225,500 bpd plant. Gulf Coast facilities are slowly recovering from the devastating effects of Hurricane Harvey, which hammered Louisiana and Texas for several days, shutting key infrastructure in the heart of the U.S. oil and natural gas industry. Colonial’s […]

TransCanada may abandon Energy East pipe facing tougher review

8 Sep 2017   Canada, Pipelines

TransCanada Corp ( TRP.TO ) will suspend the application for its Energy East pipeline for 30 days and may abandon the project, the company said on Thursday, weeks after Canada’s National Energy Board (NEB) regulator announced a tougher review process. TransCanada will do a “careful review” of the new assessment process to gauge its effect on the costs, schedules, and viability of the pipeline to the Atlantic coast, the company said in a statement. The NEB in August expanded the scope of Energy East’s review, saying it will consider the project’s indirect greenhouse gas contributions and will provide “more visibility” to the evaluation of risks associated with accidents such as oil spills. Energy East, which would take crude from […]

To Understand Pipeline Economics, Follow the Money

8 Sep 2017   Pipelines

I have worked for electric and gas utilities in other states, so I am interested in seeing a modern energy system developed in Virginia. I prefer to find solutions where everyone wins, but Virginia is currently split between those who want to protect our land and waters and those who want the lower cost energy and jobs they think pipelines will bring. We can find ways where all interests are served, but we will have to reshape the plans that have been proposed. The promised economic benefits are what have motivated many political and business leaders to support the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP). Let’s set aside the environmental issues and focus on the economics. In dealing with contentious issues, it’s often hard to find agreement on the “facts.” We can avoid disagreement by using information that the pipeline owners (Dominion Energy, Duke Energy, and Southern Company, the parent company […]

Colonial Pipeline restarts gasoline Line 1

6 Sep 2017   Pipelines

Colonial Pipeline, the largest US refined products pipeline, resumed gasoline shipments on its Line 1 from Houston and Pasadena, Texas, the company said Tuesday. That returned the full system to service after Hurricane Harvey knocked out pumping from all Texas locations. Colonial resumed pumping of diesel and jet fuel shipments on its Line 2 from Houston on Monday. Valero Energy, the largest independent US refiner, has told federal regulators the ramp-up of its Houston-area refineries after Harvey could be stalled by a snag over gasoline specifications allowed on Colonial. The refiner said it wants to move winter-grade gasoline on the pipeline, in line with the US Environmental Protection Agency’s waiver lifting summer-grade gasoline requirements in 38 states and the District of Columbia two weeks early. Colonial filed its own emergency request to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission asking for the same action. Enterprise Products Partners has restarted “substantially all […]

Key fuel lines restart as concerns ease over supply crunch after Harvey

4 Sep 2017   Pipelines

Two key fuel pipelines were set to start up on Monday after certain segments in Texas were shut because of Hurricane Harvey, helping alleviate concerns about rising retail prices and the domestic distribution of gasoline and distillates. Colonial Pipeline Co, the biggest U.S. fuel system, said on Sunday it planned to reopen the main distillate line between Houston and Hebert, Texas, on Monday, and the gasoline line between those two points on Tuesday. The company had initially aimed to restart both its lines by Sunday. The company’s pipelines connect refineries along the U.S. Gulf Coast to markets in the Northeast, transporting more than 3 million barrels a day of gasoline, diesel and jet fuel. Explorer Pipeline said late on Sunday that its Texas-to-Oklahoma 28-inch fuel pipeline started up as expected. Its 24-inch fuel pipeline, which will run from Oklahoma into the U.S. Midwest, will restart on […]

Canada band raises new issue in Kinder Morgan pipeline challenge

31 Aug 2017   Canada, Pipelines

A crude oil storage tank at Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain Pipeline terminal is seen in Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada November 15, 2016. Chris Helgren CALGARY, Alberta (Reuters) – A Canadian aboriginal band seeking to stop Kinder Morgan Inc’s Trans Mountain pipeline expansion has asked a court to consider the federal government’s position for a tougher review on a rival project. The west coast Tsleil-Waututh Nation made the request in a letter to the Federal Court of Appeal seen by Reuters this week. The request came after Canada’s resource regulator announced a tougher upcoming review for TransCanada Corp’s Energy East pipeline last week, but the request cites the federal government’s May recommendation for that review. The request was part of a legal challenge that, if successful, would quash the federal approval for the C$7.4 billion ($5.9 billion) Trans Mountain project and cause lengthy delays. Kinder Morgan and the federal government, […]

Canadian oil pipeline protesters launch new battle from the water

30 Aug 2017   Canada, Pipelines

On a sparsely populated island off the coast of the northwestern United States, more than a hundred environmental activists gathered last weekend to practice seaborne drills to disrupt construction on Kinder Morgan Canada Ltd’s Westridge crude oil terminal. In kayaks and sailboats they practiced forming blockades, raising banners and rescue techniques. Sunday culminated in a mass role play in which kayakers blockaded a large vessel and unfurled banners emblazoned with “Stop Kinder Morgan” while pretend law enforcement boats circled around creating noise, waves and simulating arrests. The three-day camp on Lopez Island in Washington state’s San Juan archipelago marks the opening of a new front in the campaign to stop Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, a C$7.4 billion ($5.90 billion) project through British Columbia that gained Canadian government approval last year. The proposed project would triple capacity on an existing pipeline and transport 890,000 […]

East Coast May Face Fuel Shortages After Storm Disrupts Major Pipeline

30 Aug 2017   Pipelines, USA

The Colonial Pipeline stretches 5,500 miles through 12 states, including the Pelham junction and tank farm in Pelham, Ala. Flooding in Texas has disrupted the flow of fuel on a major pipeline that moves gasoline, diesel and jet fuel to the East Coast. The Colonial Pipeline said its system, which runs from Texas to New Jersey, is starting to have problems stemming from Hurricane Harvey . The notice from the company adds to concern that Houston’s hard-hit energy infrastructure could result in higher fuel prices or shortages in other parts of the country. Service at the pipeline’s fuel loading and pumping stations in Houston, Pasadena and Cedar Bayou, Texas, have been interrupted. That doesn’t mean the entire pipeline network isn’t operating, but it does mean that less fuel is going into the pipeline Tuesday. The Colonial is the biggest fuel pipeline in the U.S., stretching 5,500 miles through 12 […]

Nordic investors reject Dakota pipeline operator’s allegations

30 Aug 2017   Pipelines, USA

 Nordic investors rejected on Tuesday allegations in a lawsuit by the operator of Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) that they divested from the project due to pressure from Greenpeace and other environmental groups. The $3.8 billion pipeline, the focus of months of protests by Native American and green groups over tribal sovereignty and the risk of water contamination, started pumping oil in May. The pipeline’s operator Energy Transfer Partners LP sued Greenpeace last week, saying the negative publicity against it, its sister company Energy Transfer Equity LP and other firms caused billions of dollars in damage. Nordic bank Nordea, Norwegian private pension fund Storebrand, Norway’s public sector pension fund KLP and Norwegian commercial bank DNB, mentioned in the lawsuit, said their decisions to divest from the […]

British Columbia Vows to Block Pipeline Expansion

11 Aug 2017   Canada, Pipelines

The government of British Columbia, Canada’s westernmost province, vowed Thursday to use every legal option to stop construction of Kinder Morgan Inc.’s planned expansion of a pipeline connecting the Alberta oil sands with the Pacific Coast. Under new, left-leaning leadership and citing risks to its environment and food supply, the province began to detail its plan to halt the energy project that Prime Minister Justin Trudeauapproved…

US Energy Agency to Take on $50 Billion Backlog as Senate Acts

9 Aug 2017   Pipelines, USA

The main U.S. energy regulator can get back to the business of approving multibillion-dollar natural gas pipelines after the Senate moved to fill two of four vacancies at the long-crippled agency. Senators on Thursday confirmed the nominations to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission of Robert Powelson, former chairman of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, and Neil Chatterjee, a senior aide to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. With their appointments, the five-seat panel regains the quorum it needs to approve liquefied natural gas export terminals, clear natural gas pipelines and issue rules governing wholesale power markets. FERC was without a quorum for six months, a stalemate that potentially slowed $50 billion of energy ventures under consideration by the agency. “We aren’t counting our chickens yet, but the approvals would certainly be a net positive for midstream industry growth, and, ultimately, for producers and consumers of natural gas,” said […]

Colonial Pipeline rations space on gasoline line as demand recovers

9 Aug 2017   Pipelines

Colonial Pipeline Co, the largest U.S. refined products system, said on Tuesday it would go back to rationing space on its main gasoline line, as demand to haul fuel recovered amid stronger prices in the country’s populous northeast. Gasoline prices in the East Coast are still firm after rallying to the strongest levels this year in July as inventories draw down from a record and a spate of refinery issues. Colonial’s main gasoline line, with a capacity of about 1.2 million barrels per day, connects the refinery-hub of the Gulf Coast to the East Coast and news of increased flows to the region sent U.S. gasoline futures tumbling to a near two-week low. Cash gasoline prices in the New York harbor region also eased, traders and brokers said. The company said it would allocate space on the pipeline segment north of Collins, Mississippi for the next five-day […]

Keystone XL Pipeline Fate in Balance as Nebraska Opens Hearings

9 Aug 2017   Pipelines, USA

Nebraska regulators opened a final hearing on TransCanada Corp’s proposed Keystone XL pipeline on Monday, a week-long proceeding that marks the last big hurdle for the long-delayed project after President Donald Trump approved it in March. The proposed 1,179-mile (1,897-km) pipeline linking Canada’s Alberta oil sands to U.S. refineries has been a lightning rod of controversy for nearly a decade, pitting environmentalists worried about spills and global warming against business advocates who say the project will lower fuel prices, shore up national security and bring jobs. Trump’s administration handed TransCanada a federal permit for the pipeline in March, reversing a decision by former President Barack Obama to reject the project on environmental grounds. But the line still needs a nod from regulators in Nebraska – which would be the last of three states to approve its proposed path into the heartland. A lawyer […]

Enbridge: Michigan, North Dakota pipelines working as planned

3 Aug 2017   Pipelines

The source of opposition, pipeline company Enbridge said in its second quarter report that pipelines in Michigan and North Dakota were operating as expected. Second quarter net income was $92.6 million, up 10 percent from the same period last year. For the six months ending June 30, the company reported net income of $158.1 million, down about 3.5 percent from the same period in 2016. One of the larger pipeline operators in North America, the company attributed some of the weakness to increased operating costs, completion of tests on its Line 5 system through the Great Lakes and weakness in its natural gas business, which was sold off in June. Enbridge is facing push back from residents in the northern part of Michigan’s lower peninsula worried about the integrity […]

Russian gas pipelines to go ahead despite U.S. sanctions

3 Aug 2017   Pipelines, Russia

New U.S. sanctions will make it harder for Russia to build two gas export pipelines to Europe but the projects are unlikely to be stopped. U.S. President Donald Trump has reluctantly signed into law further sanctions on Russia but some of the measures are discretionary and most White House watchers believe he will not take action against Russia’s energy infrastructure. This would allow Gazprom’s two big pipeline projects to go ahead, although at a higher price and with some delays. The Kremlin, dependent on oil and gas revenues, sees the pipelines to Germany and Turkey – Nord Stream 2 and TurkStream – as crucial to increasing its market share in Europe. It also fears that Western partners – needed to develop the deepwater, shale and Arctic gas deposits that will fill the pipelines – will be scared off by sanctions. Gazprom warned investors last month that […]

Trump’s U.S.-Steel Pipeline Plan To Backfire On Energy Projects

27 Jul 2017   Pipelines

The U.S. Department of Commerce is due to submit a plan to President Donald Trump regarding a presidential memorandum on the use of American-made steel and iron products in pipelines. One of the first memorandums that President Trump signed after taking office was ordering the Secretary of Commerce to “develop 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.” In April, President Trump ordered the Secretary of Commerce to report if “steel is being imported into the United States in such quantities or under such circumstances as to threaten to impair the national security.” The Commerce Department is expected to release the report any day now, but over the past six […]

Dominion’s Atlantic Coast gas pipeline clears key environmental hurdle

22 Jul 2017   Pipelines

Dominion Energy’s Atlantic Coast natural gas pipeline Friday received a broadly favorable environmental impact statement from Federal Energy Regulatory Commission staff, marking a major milestone for the 600-mile, 1.5 Bcf/d line, among several high-capacity projects designed to bring gas to the Eastern Seaboard. The greenfield project (CP15-554) would move gas to points along its mainline in West Virginia, Virginia and North Carolina, and in concert with other projects aimed at the downstream market, would likely put downward pressure on Transco Zone 5 pricing, despite the demand growth expected there. FERC staff concluded that the project would have some adverse impacts on the environment but that most would be reduced to “less-than-significant levels” through a host of proposed plans, mitigation measures and steps laid out by the commission. Staff included 71 environmental conditions. FERC highlighted adverse impacts on steep slopes and adjacent water bodies, aquatic resources, forests, endangered species, as […]

Trump’s America-First Pipeline Plan Draws Ire of American Oil

22 Jul 2017   Pipelines

Donald Trump’s allies in the oil industry are warning the president that his bid to boost US steelmakers could backfire against their efforts to achieve his goal of “American energy dominance.” (Bloomberg) — Donald Trump’s allies in the oil industry are warning the president that his bid to boost U.S. steelmakers could backfire against their efforts to achieve his goal of “American energy dominance.” The intense lobbying effort comes as the Commerce Department faces a Sunday deadline to give the president a plan to require oil and gas pipelines use American-made steel, an idea Trump embraced in the initial days of his presidency. While the U.S. has imposed “Buy American” rules on government purchases for decades, it would be unprecedented to force those obligations on privately funded, commercial projects. The blueprint from Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross will set the stage for further protests from the oil industry, the U.S. […]

Big Michigan business concerned by Enbridge oil pipeline

13 Jul 2017   Pipelines, USA

Voices from the lucrative craft brewing industry in Michigan and the state cherry industry joined the chorus expressing concern about an Enbridge oil pipeline. “We have oil that’s coming from Canada, passing through Michigan, and the great majority of it goes to Canada,” Larry Bell, owner of Bell’s Brewery, said in a statement . “As Michiganders, we take all this risk, both from a business standpoint and an environmental standpoint, for the profit of a Canadian oil company.” Bell’s comments are part of a campaign organized by the National Wildlife Federation, which coordinated with the Great Lakes Business Network to highlight the potential risks from Line 5, a pipeline system operated by Canadian energy company Enbridge. The campaign comes as […]

Has Keystone XL Become Obsolete?

4 Jul 2017   Pipelines

Keystone XL may have become obsolete before it was even built, at least according to some sources close to TransCanada, which has gone on a hunt for clients. A Wall Street Journal analysis quotes these sources as saying Canadian producers and U.S. refiners are just not interested in the pipeline that is supposed to carry 830,000 barrels daily of Alberta heavy crude to Gulf Coast and Midwest refineries. This lack of interest seems to be driven by TransCanada’s quest for long-term commitments, with producers and refiners seemingly unwilling to make such commitments in the current price environment. Also, according to the WSJ, Canadian crude comes at a higher cost than alternative heavy crude blends, which is contributing to the lack of enthusiasm for long-term commitments. That is likely to change over the long term, however, when declining imports from Mexico and Venezuela will benefit Canadian crude. The company behind […]

Trump Approves New U.S.-Mexico Petroleum Pipeline

1 Jul 2017   Mexico, Pipelines, USA

To boost American energy exports, the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump has approved the construction of a new petroleum pipeline from the U.S. to Mexico that “ will go right under the wall, ” President Trump said on Thursday. As part of the ‘energy week’, which promotes U.S. global leadership and dominance in energy, President Trump announced six initiatives “to propel this new era of American energy dominance,” he said. The first initiative is the U.S. to start reviving and expanding its nuclear energy sector. Next, the Department of the Treasury will address barriers to the financing of highly efficient, overseas coal energy plants, President Trump said, mentioning Ukraine as one of the countries that need coal. The third initiative is the petroleum pipeline to Mexico. The fourth step to growing American relevance in global energy is U.S. Sempra Energy signing a deal to start negotiating sales of […]

Gazprom touts progress of Chinese gas pipeline

1 Jul 2017   China, Pipelines, Russia

Russian gas monopoly Gazprom chief Alexei Miller says he expects imminent development on a natural gas pipeline bound for the Chinese economy. File photo by Anatoli Zhdanov/UPI June 30 (UPI) — Russian natural gas company Gazprom expects to sign off on developments to increase its footprint in the Asian market, the company’s top executive said. “Today we’re finalizing the discussion of the exact schedule for the launch of supplies via the ‘eastern route’ in compliance with the contract,” Gazprom Chief Executive Alexei Miller was quoted by Russian news agency Tass as saying. “The plan is to sign the relevant document in nearest days.” The eastern route refers to the so-called Power of Siberia natural gas pipeline. Gazprom has a 30-year sales agreement with China National Petroleum Corp. that calls for 1.3 trillion cubic feet of natural gas per year through the pipeline. Russian President Vladimir Putin described the 2,500-mile […]

A New Problem for Keystone XL: Oil Companies Don’t Want It

30 Jun 2017   Pipelines

Keystone XL is facing a new challenge: The oil producers and refiners the pipeline was originally meant to serve aren’t interested in it anymore. Delayed for nearly a decade by protests and regulatory roadblocks, Keystone XL got the green light from President Donald Trump in March. But the pipeline’s operator, TransCanada Corp., is struggling to line up customers to ship crude from Canada to the U.S. Gulf Coast, say people familiar…

Pipeline Pinch Adds to Oil-Sands Woes as Keystone Wait Drags

Producers have little choice but to move those extra barrels by train, with costs two to three times higher than pipeline shipping. (Bloomberg) — Call it the pipeline pinch, or maybe the Keystone quagmire. While plans by Canadian companies from Suncor Energy Inc. to Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. to boost oil output are racing to fruition, the construction of three pipelines needed to move that product to market, including the infamous Keystone XL, is lagging years behind. The end result: Producers have little choice but to move those extra barrels by train, with costs two to three times higher than pipeline shipping. It’s an unwelcome added expense after oil plunged about 20 percent from this year’s peak. Futures prices have settled in below $45 a barrel, after many predicted it would rise to $60. “We’re not going to see significant new pipeline capacity until late 2019 or 2020,” said […]