North American Pipeline Capacity Crisis Looms Large

14 Jun 2017   Canada, Pipelines

Canada’s problem with its oil pipeline capacity is becoming increasingly serious as opposition to new pipelines is growing in intensity. The situation will only worsen in the coming months as production continues to grow. Despite opposition, Canada’s PM Justin Trudeau last year approved Kinder Morgan’s Trans-Mountain expansion project, which will see the twin pipe transport almost 900,000 barrels of crude daily to Canada’s Pacific coast. U.S. President Donald Trump also approved a crucial new pipeline project that was shelved by his predecessor: the 830,000-bpd Keystone XL that has been the target of vocal environmentalist and Native American opposition for years. Together, the two pipelines would relieve the pressure on the existing pipeline network—but there is just one problem: the expanded Trans-Mountain will take two years to become operational. For Keystone XL, there is no deadline yet. In the meantime, Canadian exporters are resorting to increased shipments by rail to […]

Pennsylvania pipeline fight could upend international oil flows

3 Jun 2017   Pipelines

Refiners from the Midwest United States are fighting for access to a vital Pennsylvania pipeline – a move that could cripple their East Coast competitors and redraw the map for international flows of crude and fuel into coveted coastal markets. The regulatory dispute centers on a proposal by pipeline operator Buckeye Partners’ to that state’s Public Utilities Commission. The plan would reverse the flow of fuels on a section of Buckeye’s 350-mile Laurel Pipeline, which currently flows from the East Coast to Pittsburgh. Because pipelines only flow in one direction, the change would effectively block five East Coast refineries from serving Pittsburgh – with Midwest refiners picking up their market share. The commission will decide on whether to allow Buckeye to reverse the flow from Pittsburgh, […]

Dakota Access pipeline now operational, developer says

1 Jun 2017   Pipelines

The Dakota Access pipeline, which sparked a protest movement in the northern Great Plpipeline, now transporting crude oil. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI June 1 (UPI) — Oil is now flowing through the controversial Dakota Access pipeline , carrying crude from Canada and North Dakota south to Illinois, its developer said Thursday. The pipeline , which sparked a months-long protest by Native Americans and environmental groups, is 1,172 miles long. It carries oil pumped out of the Bakken oil formation in Canada and parts of the northern U.S. plains south to a major pipeline hub, where it can be sent to Gulf Coast refineries. The Sioux nation first protested the pipeline during the Obama administration, arguing it ran close to the Standing Rock Sioux reservation and over land they consider historically sacred. Calling themselves the water keepers, protesters noted the potential danger to the Missouri River and its […]

Will New Pipelines Be Enough To Handle The Permian Boom?

10 May 2017   Pipelines, Shale Oil

As production in the Permian Basin continues to increase, the accompanying infrastructure has struggled to keep up. Expansions to pipeline capacity are needed to handle the heavier flow, as more investment is pumped into the Permian and new production comes on line. That’s got a host of Texas-based Permian players excited, as new pipeline projects are launched, existing lines are expanded and new acquisitions bring fresh capital into midstream ventures. According to the EIA , the rise in Permian output is expected to add 420,000 bpd by the end of 2017. Permian production in April 2017 was measured at 2.3 million bpd according to the Drilling Productivity Report , an increase of 300,000 bpd from last year. But existing pipelines can’t quite handle the load, and this has thrown spot prices off-kilter. WTI Midland, a local hub for the Permian, boasts a significant discount compared to WTI Cushing, though […]

Pipeline Companies Push Back Against Trump’s ‘Buy American’ Rule

2 May 2017   Pipelines

Companies, trade groups submitted comments to Commerce Dept. Pipeline operators argue policy would increase costs A directive requiring U.S. pipeline companies to use American steel and iron in their projects is testing President Donald Trump’s ability to keep his promises to two industries on opposing sides of the issue. In comments to the U.S. Department of Commerce, which is crafting the so-called “Buy American” plan, pipeline companies and their trade groups argued the change would increase costs and disrupt operations. Steel companies, meanwhile, embraced the policy as an opportunity to take advantage of the country’s surging oil and gas production. And Trump has vowed to support both. The debate goes to how the president will be able to reconcile the conflicting edges of his America-first platform. During his campaign, Trump promised to break energy loose from the leash of regulation and protect steel from the bite of unfair competition. […]

Next battleground: An aging Great Lakes pipeline stirs new protest

1 May 2017   Pipelines

The growing protest movement against U.S. oil and gas pipelines has so far focused on stopping or delaying new construction, with some high-profile successes. Now, in Michigan, a broad coalition of opponents is entering a new frontier: Pushing to rip out and reroute an existing pipeline – Enbridge Inc.’s aging Line 5, which crosses the Straits of Mackinac. They fear the pipeline will leak into the Great Lakes, which contain about a fifth of the world’s fresh water and sustain the state’s second- and third-largest industries, agriculture and tourism. Those concerns – which are shared by two likely candidates for governor – also have far-reaching implications for energy firms […]

Pressure building ahead of Keystone XL review

22 Apr 2017   Pipelines

Protests are coordinated around the Nebraska review of the planned Keystone XL oil pipeline, days before the developer’s annual meeting, organizers said. Bold Nebraska called on opponents of the project to hold grassroots events ahead of the May 3 public meeting for the Nebraska Public Service Commission. “To gear up for the upcoming public hearings and meetings, we’re launching a nationwide #NoKXL house party campaign,” the advocacy group said in a statement . Bold Nebraska said the Nebraska panel has scheduled other hearings in early August, “but the PSC has declined so far to tell us on which day(s) or what time this public comment period will take place during the week.” Bold Nebraska opposition to Keystone XL helped persuade […]

Canada pipeline development facing headwinds

20 Apr 2017   Canada, Pipelines

Delays in implementation and concerns about North American trade policies create uncertainty for the western Canadian pipeline development, analysis found. A survey from IHS Markit of the pending or proposed pipeline networks in Canada, including Keystone XL , found the review process takes more than five years on average per project. Those time delays, along with U.S. President Donald Trump ‘s pledge to reconfigure regional trade policies, leaves parts of the Canadian energy market in limbo, the report found. “Lessons from the timing of Keystone XL and concerns over a possible resurgence of U.S. protectionism have highlighted the importance of market diversification,” it said. Canada is the No. 1 oil exporter to the United States and remains relatively landlocked […]

US pipeline developers push back on Trump’s call for domestic steel

20 Apr 2017   Pipelines

US oil and gas pipeline developers, including the company behind the newly finished Dakota Access Pipeline, are pushing back on President Donald Trump’s call for future pipelines to be built with domestic steel. Energy Transfer Partners — a major owner of the Dakota Access pipeline that will next month carry Bakken crude from North Dakota to Illinois — said such a requirement would have a “significant adverse impact.” “The impacts of such a restriction are expected to severely delay project schedules, drive up costs, decrease availability and lower quality,” ETP said in comments filed to the Commerce Department earlier this month. Days after his inauguration, Trump signed an executive memorandum calling on the Commerce Department to develop a plan “under which all new pipelines, as well as retrofitted, repaired, or expanded pipelines” use US-sourced materials “to the maximum extent possible and to the extent permitted by law.” The caveats […]

Last stand: Nebraska farmers could derail Keystone XL pipeline

20 Apr 2017   Pipelines

When President Donald Trump handed TransCanada Pipeline Co. a permit for its Keystone XL pipeline last month, he said the company could now build the long-delayed and divisive project “with efficiency and with speed.” But Trump and the firm will have to get through Nebraska farmer Art Tanderup first, along with about 90 other landowners in the path of the pipeline. They are mostly farmers and ranchers, making a last stand against the pipeline – the fate of which now rests with an obscure state regulatory board, the Nebraska Public Service Commission. The group is fine-tuning an economic argument it hopes will resonate better in this politically conservative state than the […]

East Coast refiner shuns Bakken delivery as Dakota Access Pipeline starts

19 Apr 2017   Pipelines

Philadelphia Energy Solutions Inc, the largest refiner on the U.S. East Coast, will not be taking any rail deliveries of North Dakota’s Bakken crude oil in June, a source familiar with delivery schedules said on Tuesday – a sign that the impending start of the Dakota Access Pipeline is upending trade flows. At its peak, PES would have routinely taken about 3 miles’ worth of trains filled with Bakken oil each day. But after the $3.8 billion Dakota Access Pipeline begins interstate crude oil delivery on May 14, it will be more lucrative for producers to transport oil to refineries in the U.S. Gulf Coast. The long-delayed pipeline will provide a boost for Bakken prices and unofficially end the crude-by-rail boom that revived U.S. East Coast refining operations several […]

Blackstone to Buy Permian Basin Pipelines for $2 Billion

18 Apr 2017   Pipelines

EagleClaw Midstream to retain current management and name Deal is latest in a parade of transactions in prolific basin Blackstone Group LP agreed to acquire pipeline company EagleClaw Midstream Ventures LLC for about $2 billion in cash, the latest deal in the prolific Permian Basin of West Texas. The transaction, which includes more than 375 miles (603 kilometers) of natural gas pipes, is expected to close by the end of July. EagleClaw will retain its name and operate as a Blackstone portfolio company, with the leadership team remaining intact, according to a statement Monday. EagleClaw’s financial sponsor is a partnership between EnCap Investments LP and Flatrock Energy Advisors LLC, called Encap Flatrock Midstream. Blackstone joins a parade of pipeline buyers in the Permian Basin amid a drilling rebound spurred by higher oil prices. While most producers are targeting oil, it often comes mixed with substantial natural gas. The total […]

Dakota Access Pipeline to start interstate service May 14

14 Apr 2017   Pipelines, USA

The controversial Dakota Access Pipeline will begin interstate crude oil delivery on May 14, according to a filing with the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Energy Transfer Partners LP on Thursday filed what is known as a tariff, which lays out details about the line and the oil to be delivered. The 1,172-mile (1,885-km) Dakota Access line runs from western North Dakota to Patoka, Illinois. The $3.8 billion project became a focus of international attention, drawing protesters from around the world, after a Native American tribe sued to block completion of the final link of the pipeline through a remote part of North Dakota. The Standing Rock Sioux tribe said the pipeline […]

New U.S. pipelines to drive natural gas boom as exports surge

13 Apr 2017   Pipelines

U.S. energy firms are scrambling to finish a slew of pipelines that will unleash rich reserves of shale gas in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio as the nation prepares to become one of the world’s top natural gas exporters. The pipelines are expected to boost output from shale fields in the three states by giving producers access to new domestic and international markets. Those states could supply about a third of all U.S. natural gas once the pipeline expansion is complete, up from about 25 percent now, according to projections from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). The network will bring cheaper fuel supplies for power generation and industry being built in the eastern half of Canada and the United States, especially along the U.S. Gulf Coast. It would also transport the huge volumes needed to feed facilities that chill the gas to liquid so it can be shipped […]

New U.S. pipelines to drive natural gas boom as exports surge

13 Apr 2017   Pipelines, Shale Gas

U.S. energy firms are scrambling to finish a slew of pipelines that will unleash rich reserves of shale gas in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio as the nation prepares to become one of the world’s top natural gas exporters. The pipelines are expected to boost output from shale fields in the three states by giving producers access to new domestic and international markets. Those states could supply about a third of all U.S. natural gas once the pipeline expansion is complete, up from about 25 percent now, according to projections from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). The network will bring cheaper fuel supplies for power generation and industry being built in the eastern half of Canada and the United States, especially along the U.S. Gulf Coast. It would also transport the huge volumes needed to feed facilities that chill the gas to liquid so it can be shipped […]

Permian Pipeline Bottleneck Forces Steep Discounts

Oil production in the Permian Basin is rising so quickly that drillers may find themselves without enough pipeline capacity to move their product. Shale drillers large and small are rushing to West Texas, where drilling is profitable even at today’s prices. Other shale basins have lost capital and drilling rigs as industry activity becomes increasingly concentrated in the Permian. Even as shale production contracted in most of the country, the Permian continued to grow over the past several years through the worst of the downturn. Oil production in the Eagle Ford, for example, hit a peak in March 2015 at 1.7 million barrels per day (mb/d), but has since fallen sharply to just 1.1 mb/d today. But Permian production has spiked over the same timeframe, rising by nearly 0.5 mb/d to nearly 2.3 mb/d. (Click to enlarge) Production increases have continued despite the plunging rig count since 2014. Companies […]

Exclusive: NAmerico unveils natural gas pipeline plan to relieve Permian glut

NAmerico Partners LP is proposing a multibillion-dollar pipeline to ferry natural gas from fast-growing fields in West Texas to the Gulf Coast, the company said on Monday, angling to match plans by rivals such as Kinder Morgan Inc ( KMI.N ). The pipeline, one of at least three being considered to ease a looming gas glut in the Permian producing region, would link to existing lines, including those that export gas to Mexico and to a Cheniere Energy Inc ( LNG.A ) liquefied natural gas export facility under construction. The pipeline would be the first major project by NAmerico Partners, founded two years ago in Houston. The company is backed by private equity fund Cresta Energy LP, whose management includes former executives from Regency Energy Partners LP, a large energy infrastructure company that was bought by Energy Transfer Partners ( ETP.N ) in 2015. NAmerico Managing Partner Jeff Welch […]

Why to prefer pipelines

3 Apr 2017   Pipelines

Want to protect Pennsylvania’s environment and strengthen its economy? Build more pipelines. Despite the emotion-filled protests charging that pipelines will doom our future — including a group of environmentalists who marched on the Governor’s Mansion in February — the facts tell a different story. Pipelines are safer than any other mode of transporting fuel. When pipelines carry natural gas, they reduce carbon emissions and global warming. And the pipeline industry supports thousands of family-sustaining jobs. There are few places where the positive economic impact of the natural gas pipeline boon is more obvious than in Pennsylvania. At least 80,000 men and women are employed in extracting and distributing shale natural gas, according to the Governor’s Office. Industry groups, such as the Marcellus Shale Coalition, put that figure much higher, with at least a quarter-million jobs supported by the sector. Many of these jobs were created as the Great Recession […]

BP Sells Key North Sea Pipeline System to Ineos for $250 Million

BP Plc agreed to sell the Forties pipeline, one of the most important pieces of oil infrastructure in the U.K. North Sea, to Ineos AG for $250 million. Ineos will make a cash payment of $125 million on completion and transfer a share of future earnings up to $125 million over seven years, BP said in a statement Monday. The London-based oil producer will retain rights to use the pipeline system’s capacity. The two companies confirmed last month they were in discussions for the pipeline, which transports crude used to set the price of Dated Brent, the benchmark for more than half the world’s oil. BP is selling assets to help pay for the 2010 oil spill in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, for which it set aside more than $50 billion. It also needs to bring down debt and maintain dividends as oil continues to trade at half […]

North Dakota oil output set to rise as controversial pipeline opens

31 Mar 2017   Pipelines, Shale Oil

North Dakota oil production will get a shot in the arm next month as a pipeline comes online despite opposition by environmental groups and Native Americans, allowing the energy industry to save at least $540 million in annual shipping costs. The Dakota Access Pipeline gives the state’s producers cheaper access to refineries and other customers on the U.S. Gulf Coast. Market players said they expect this will hasten a revival of output from the Bakken region which fell sharply along with global oil prices during the past two years. “We’re back to growth in the Bakken,” Hess Corp ( HES.N ) Chief Executive Officer John Hess said in a recent interview. The New York-based company has contracts to send roughly half its daily North Dakota output […]

Bruised But Not Broken, Dakota Access Line Foes Turn to Keystone

31 Mar 2017   Pipelines, USA

Activists wait to march outside the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to protest the Keystone XL Pipeline and rally for Native American rights during the Native Nations Rise march on March 10, in Washington, DC. Environmentalists may have lost their months-long battle against the Dakota Access oil pipeline, but their war against the oil and natural gas industry is far from over. Not only are groups including Sierra Club joining forces and renewing their efforts to take down TransCanada Corp. ’s Keystone XL line, a project that now has the State Department’s blessing to carry Canada’s oil to the Gulf Coast. They’re also taking advantage of 300,000 new supporters and a surge in donations made to fight Dakota Access and Keystone to target smaller pipelines that had previously gone under the radar. “We do plan to double down on Keystone, and we plan to use Keystone as a launching […]

More Hurdles Ahead for Keystone XL, TransCanada Head Tells Trump

25 Mar 2017   Pipelines

TransCanada Corp. said there’s more “work to do” before it can start construction of the $8 billion Keystone XL pipeline. The controversial project, which would help bring crude from Canada’s oil-sands to the U.S. Gulf Coast, was approved by the Trump administration Friday. Other permissions, including from states along the way and the U.S. Interior Department, are still required. Foes including environmentalists and local landowners have vowed to continue fighting the pipeline, first proposed more than 8 years ago. President Donald Trump, in an appearance with TransCanada CEO Russ Girling at the White House , said the decision represented the start of a new era in energy policy. The policy is designed “to lower costs for American families and very significantly reduce our dependence on foreign oil and create thousands of jobs,” Trump said. Pipelines are the safest way to transport oil, the president said, adding that Keystone XL […]

Trump greenlights Keystone XL pipeline, but obstacles loom

25 Mar 2017   Pipelines

U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration approved TransCanada Corp’s ( TRP.TO ) Keystone XL pipeline on Friday, cheering the oil industry and angering environmentalists even as further hurdles for the controversial project loom. The approval reverses a decision by former President Barack Obama to reject the project, but the company still needs to win financing, acquire local permits, and fend off likely legal challenges for the pipeline to be built. “TransCanada will finally be allowed to complete this long-overdue project with efficiency and with speed,” Trump said in the Oval Office before turning to ask TransCanada Chief Executive Officer Russell Girling when construction would start. “We’ve got some work to do in Nebraska to get our permits there,” Girling replied. “Nebraska?” Trump said. “I’ll call Nebraska.” Trump announced the presidential permit for Keystone XL at the White House with Girling and Sean McGarvey, president of North America’s Building Trades Unions, […]

Trump Administration Grants Pipeline Permits Without All His Promised Conditions

25 Mar 2017   Pipelines

President Donald Trump vowed to win a “better deal” for Americans before approving the Keystone XL and the Dakota Access oil pipelines, promising to extract concessions and force the builders to use U.S. steel. Now his administration has authorized both projects — with those conditions mostly unmet. The outcomes illustrate the limits of the president’s power and poke holes in the carefully crafted image of Trump as a dealmaker so good at twisting arms that he wrote a book about his negotiating prowess. “Donald Trump’s promises on these pipelines are like the pipelines themselves: hollow,” said Senator Ed Markey, a Democrat from Massachusetts. “The only promises being kept with approval of these pipelines will be the ones made to Big Oil who want to export this dirty oil to thirsty foreign markets at the expense of our environment and our economy.” TransCanada Corp. says it has agreed to increase […]

Trump’s Keystone XL Approval Moves Pipeline Fight to Individual States

25 Mar 2017   Pipelines

TransCanada gets its presidential permit to move forward with building its Keystone XL crude oil pipeline, but the battle to flow crude through several states isn’t over, analysts say. After years of wrangling and what appeared to be a full stop by the Obama Administration in 2015, TransCanada Corp. has finally been granted approval from a U.S. president to build its Keystone XL pipeline across the Canada-United States border. On Friday, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Thomas Shannon Jr. signed the permit. But to make its way across the country, individual states where the pipeline would be constructed still have to sign off. And that’s easier said than done. “While presidential approval is a major step forward for the pipeline, the battle is far from over as the company still needs to secure some of the land rights with landowners, still needs a permit in Nebraska and […]

Keystone Foes Prepare to Fight as Trump Readies Pipeline Permit

24 Mar 2017   Pipelines

President Donald Trump is about to make good on his promise to approve the Keystone XL oil pipeline — but the fight is far from over. Instead, it shifts to courtrooms, a Nebraska agency and congressional town hall meetings, where environmental activists and landowners have plotted ways to keep blocking the pipeline TransCanada Corp. has been trying to build for more than eight years. Just winning Nebraska regulators’ approval for Keystone XL’s route through the state could take TransCanada another six months. “A federal approval of the permit is not the end of the line for this project; there’s still many obstacles,” said Anthony Swift, an attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council that opposes Keystone. “There’s legal challenges, there’s the Nebraska issues and, frankly, there are the economic and market obstacles.” The State Department will issue a permit for the project within days, according to people familiar with […]

State Dept. to approve Keystone pipeline permit: Politico

24 Mar 2017   Pipelines

A depot used to store pipes for Transcanada Corp’s planned Keystone XL oil pipeline is seen in Gascoyne, North Dakota, January 25, 2017. The U.S. State Department will approve by Monday the permit needed to proceed with construction of the Canada-to-United States Keystone XL oil pipeline, a project blocked by former President Barack Obama, according to Politico. The State Department’s undersecretary for political affairs, Tom Shannon, will approve the cross-border permit on or before Monday, at the end of the 60-day timeline that President Donald Trump ordered in January when he called for construction of Keystone and the Dakota Access pipelines. (Reporting By Valerie Volcovici; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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 […]