Tag Archives: Alberta

Oil cleanup continues after pipeline spill south of Regina

21 Jan

Jan.19.2014

Enbridge Inc. says it has restarted the Alberta Clipper pipeline after it was shut down briefly due to an oil spill in southern Saskatchewan.

The leak happened at the Rowatt pumping station just south of Regina on Saturday just before 11 a.m. CST. 

It’s estimated that about 125 barrels were released. That’s enough to fill a small tank truck.

Normally, about 449, 000 barrels per day flows through the pipeline. 

The company said most of the crude oil was contained to the grounds of the Rowatt station, but high winds sprayed some of the oil onto a nearby farm field. 

Provincial officials including emergency response crews were notified, Enbridge said. 

“There is no impact to the public, wildlife or waterways,” the company said in a statement released Saturday. 

The cause of the spill has not yet been determined, and is under investigation. 

The National Energy Board is also responding to the spill. An emergency response team is at the site to monitor and assess the company’s immediate response.

Republished from cbc.ca: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatchewan/oil-cleanup-continues-after-pipeline-spill-south-of-regina-1.2502725?cmp=rss

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Same Company Building Keystone and Tennessee Pipelines

12 Apr

Two projects are currently being fought on the ground (and in the trees) halfway across the country from each other, and various sources (including an article in the Ecologist ) have confirmed that the same company is doing on-the-ground construction of both.

Michels Corp is a construction company that specializes in energy, transportation, telecommunications and utility infrastructure — especially pipelines. While Tar Sands Blockaders are busy stopping Michels from building the Keystone XL pipeline (which would bring more toxic tar sands into frontline communities in Houston), the coalition No Tennessee Pipeline is working to stop the same company from constructing a gas pipeline in Pennsylvania.

 

That means those of you living far from these pipelines’ construction sites now have twice the reason to get in touch with a Michels location near you and tell them what you think of their business decisions!

 

The fact that the same company is building these disparate projects draw an obvious connection between seemingly separate struggles. After all, working against a project that would destroy the places you love becomes an act of solidarity when that same company is also destroying the places that someone else loves.

 

On a deeper level, of course, all our struggles are connected. There are so many reasons to target infrastructure expansion: to act in solidarity with indigenous people across the continent and world; to stop evil corporations from making more money while impoverishing the rest of us; and perhaps most critically, because the very projects that Michels specializes in are the projects  needed to keep this death culture alive. Can there be any better reason for opposing them?

Republished from the Earth First! Newswire: http://earthfirstnews.wordpress.com/2013/04/11/same-company-building-keystone-tennessee-pipelines/

Alberta Natural Gas Liquids Pipeline Proposed: Keyera, Plains Seek Shipper Commitments for Deep Basin Connector

12 Apr

By Dan Healing – April 10, 2013

 
 

 

Alberta natural gas liquids pipeline proposed
 

Two new pipelines have been proposed to bring petroleum liquids from the Deep Basin to the Edmonton area.

Photograph by: Eric Hylden , THE CANADIAN PRESS

CALGARY — Two energy transportation companies are seeking shipper interest in a pair of pipelines to bring natural gas liquids from the Deep Basin of northwestern Alberta to a hub northeast of Edmonton.

Keyera Corp. of Calgary and the Canadian arm of Houston-based Plains All American Pipeline, L.P., announced Wednesday they are holding an open season process ending May 15 seeking non-binding nominations for volumes on the jointly-owned Western Reach Pipeline System.

The 570-kilometre link between the Gordondale area of northwestern Alberta and Fort Saskatchewan would consist of two new pipelines, with one dedicated to a mixture of propane, butane and condensate and the other to segregated condensate service.

The line would run through regions known for liquids-rich formations such as the Montney and Duvernay zones, the companies said. Production from those formations is growing thanks to horizontal drilling and multi-stage hydraulic fracturing technology.

“Keyera and Plains believe that separate dedicated pipelines for NGL mix and segregated condensate will benefit customers, avoiding the costs associated with pipelines operating in batch mode,” they said in a news release.

Fort Saskatchewan is an Alberta centre for fractionation, storage, pipeline and terminal facilities, some of which are owned by Plains and Keyera. The companies said they are evaluating proposals to expand those facilities.

Plains would construct and operate the system which would be owned equally by both. The lines could be operational by late 2015. Capital cost will be determined once volumes have been confirmed and the engineering design has been completed.

Keyera announced Monday a $210-million plan to expand its Simonette gas plant and pipeline gathering system to move more Montney liquids-rich gas, a plan backed by a contract with customer NuVista Energy Ltd.

Republished from the Edmonton Journal: http://www.edmontonjournal.com/business/energy-resources/Alberta+natural+liquids+pipeline+proposed/8224234/story.html?__lsa=d177-5080

Province Pushes Keystone XL Pipeline With Another Round of U.S. Ads

12 Apr

By Bryan Weismiller, Calgary Herald April 7, 2013

CALGARY —  Alberta is releasing another series of advertisements in U.S. publications aimed at convincing Americans that approving the Keystone XL pipeline would benefit both sides of the border.

The advertisements, which carry a $77,000-price tag, are being rolled out in the Washington Post and news websites this week as Premier Alison Redford returns to Capitol Hill to pitch power brokers on the value of the controversial oil pipeline.

“These ads are targeted at key decision-makers in the Washington area,” Neala Barton, press secretary for Redford, told the Herald.

“We want them to know about the province’s strong environmental record and the huge potential for energy security and job creation that the pipeline would bring.”

The quarter-page Post ad, titled “Keystone XL: The Choice of Reason,” appeals to American patriotism, middle-class prosperity and neighbourly goodwill.

It’s almost identical to one that ran in a Sunday edition of the New York Times newspaper last month.

“America’s desire to effectively balance strong environmental policy, clean technology development, energy security and plentiful job opportunities for the middle class and returning war veterans mirrors that of the people of Alberta,” reads an advanced copy of the April 9 advertisement.

“This is why choosing to approve Keystone XL and oil from a neighbour, ally, friend, and responsible energy developer is the choice of reason.”

Barton noted new online ads, which are slated to run on political news sites — such as National Journal, Politico and Roll Call — will contribute to reaching an audience of more than 1.5 million people.

Advanced copies of the ads, obtained by the Herald on Saturday, tout industry restrictions on greenhouse gas emissions, government funding for clean technology projects and vast stretches of protected land in Alberta’s oilsands.

“Blessed with natural resource. And a conscience,” read all three versions of the online ads.

Chris Sands, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute think-tank, expressed skepticism and characterized the Tory government’s sales pitch as a “teardrop in an ocean of political communication.”

“We’re bombarded by political ads from everybody all the time,” Sands said, in an interview from Washington.

“They just sort of wash over you.”

If approved, the Keystone XL pipeline would transport 830,000 barrels a day of Alberta oilsands bitumen through many states to the world’s largest refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast.

Calgary-based TransCanada PipeLines Ltd., the company behind the 1,800-kilometre oil pipeline, has faced fierce opposition from environmentalists and their supporters. Opponents say it’s fostering new fossil fuel consumption from the oilsands, which they believe is dirty oil with high greenhouse gas emissions.

On Sunday, a coalition of Keystone opponents launched a new national TV ad campaign, hitting many of the U.S. morning talk shows. The “All Risk, No Reward” coalition membership includes faith groups, environmental advocates, and landowners along the proposed pipeline route.

The U.S. Senate has previously backed construction on the pipeline, but a final decision must come from U.S. President Barack Obama, who has twice rejected the $7-billion project.

Sands questioned the Redford government’s decision to keep Keystone XL in the news when a likely favourable ruling on its fate is expected in coming weeks. It could, he warned, stir up pre-presidential election debates that pit environmentalists against pipeline proponents who say it’ll boost a sagging economy.

“If we go back to the rhetoric of that period it’s going to be harder for the president to make a low-key decision to move forward,” said Sands, an expert on Canada-U.S. business and economic relations.

“There’s a chance, not a guarantee, that would be one of the effects of advertising that way at this time.”

On Monday, Redford begins her three-day trip in Washington. It’s her second trip to the U.S capital in two months. She will be joined by Minister of International and Intergovernmental Relations Cal Dallas and Minister of Environment and Sustainable Resource Development Diana McQueen.

In addition to meeting with legislators and administration officials on both sides of the Keystone debate, Redford will speak at the Washington-based think tank Brookings Institution.

The entire cost of the mission is $34,000.

NDP Leader Brian Mason contended the Tory government should step up its environmental performance instead of trying to “convince the Americans that everything is rosy.”

While the ad boasts Alberta “was the first place in North America to legally require all large industry to curb greenhouse gas emissions,” Mason pointed to the Tory government’s acknowledgment it’s not close to meeting targets for reducing carbon emissions.

The province committed to slashing emissions by 50 megatonnes a year by 2020 but has averaged about 10 per cent of that since 2007.

“It’s extremely misleading if not false in describing Alberta’s environmental record,” Mason said of the New York Times advertisement.

With files from Darcy Henton and Amanda Stephenson, Calgary Herald

Republished from the Edmonton Journal: http://www.edmontonjournal.com/news/alberta/Province+pushes+Keystone+pipeline+with+another/8207735/story.html

Alberta Premier Lobbying for Keystone XL Pipeline in Washington

12 Apr

April 9, 2013

 

Alberta Premier Alison Redford meets with Gary Doer, Canada's ambassador to the United States (second from the right) in Washington on Tuesday. Redford was joined by Environment and Sustainable Resource Minister Diana McQueen and International and Intergovernmental Relations Minister Cal Dallas. Alberta Premier Alison Redford meets with Gary Doer, Canada’s ambassador to the United States (second from the right) in Washington on Tuesday. Redford was joined by Environment and Sustainable Resource Minister Diana McQueen and International and Intergovernmental Relations Minister Cal Dallas. (Charles Dharapak/Associated Press)

 

Alberta Premier Alison Redford appears to be looking to Congress for support of the Keystone XL pipeline in what could prove to be an end-run around U.S. President Barack Obama.

Redford is in Washington today where she met with Canada’s ambassador, Gary Doer.

During a photo op at the Canadian embassy, Doer waved toward the Capitol while stating that 62 senators had, in principle, voted for what the ambassador called “our favourite project.”

A March congressional vote, which supported the building of Keystone with 17 Democrats onside, was interpreted by some as a move toward taking away Obama’s presidential permit for the pipeline.

Another bill is currently before Congress that would explicitly remove the presidential permit and put the decision in the hands of pro-pipeline U.S. senators.

On Wednesday, Redford will meet with members of Congress to pitch the pipeline’s importance to the Canadian and U.S. economies, but her staff won’t yet say who she’s meeting.

Republished from CBC: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/story/2013/04/09/edmonton-redford-washington-keystone.html?cmp=rss

Harper Government Touts Northern Gateway Benefits While Announcing Trade Mission

6 Apr

By Peter O’Neil, Vancouver Sun April 3, 2013

 
Harper government touts Northern Gateway benefits while announcing trade mission
 Douglas Channel, the proposed termination point for an oil pipeline in the Enbridge Northern Gateway project, is pictured in an aerial view in Kitimat . The coastal city is now on the forefront of the province’s energy boom, which has been predicted to bring $181 billion in investment in natural gas to B.C. between 2012 and 2035.

Photograph by: Darryl Dyck, The Canadian Press Files , Postmedia News

OTTAWA – The Harper government touted the benefits of Enbridge Inc.’s proposed $6.5 billion Northern Gateway oilsands pipeline to Kitimat while announcing in Vancouver Wednesday the launch of a new trade mission to Asia.

Trade Minister Ed Fast, speaking at the Pacific Energy Summit, said he and Minister of State Alice Wong will lead a mission of Canadian businesspeople to Japan and China April 7-12.

Fast said he will meet with his Japanese counterpart, Toshimitsu Motegi, to discuss Japan’s recently-announced interest in joining negotiations leading to the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement with the U.S., Canada, Australia and a number of other Asia-Pacific countries.

Executives with 19 companies will join the trade mission in Japan, and 11 in China.

“The trade leadership shown by Japan’s new government truly is a positive sign for the entire global economy,” Fast is to say, according to a draft of the speech provided to The Vancouver Sun.

Fast also stressed in his speech B.C.’s potential to meet Asia’s energy needs with up to five Liquefied Natural Gas projects now being developed.

In addition to natural gas riches “Canada’s oil sands have enormous potential to fuel demand throughout the Asia-Pacific region.”

Enbridge Inc.’s Northern Gateway project must still pass the “rigourous” joint National Energy Board-Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency review that’s due to be completed by the end of the year.

But if it does the project could deliver 525,000 barrels of oil a day to Asian markets.

“There is, therefore, considerable incentive on both sides of the Pacific to make oil pipeline and B.C.’s LNG projects work,” according to Fast.

“Canada does not currently export LNG to Japan and exports very little crude oil and petroleum products there.

“We want to change that. We must change that.”

Fast’s speech also stresses Canada’s vow to reduce by 2020 Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions by 17 per cent from 2005 levels, even though a Pembina Institute report Tuesday suggested that this goal will be almost impossible to meet given projected growth in oil sands and LNG production.

The Harper government has at times appeared cautious about making firm statements that suggest it backing any specific oilsands pipeline, and there are currently two being developed. Kinder Morgan is also pitching a $5.4 billion project to twin its existing pipeline from the Edmonton area to Burnaby.

Last summer, for instance, Heritage Minister James Moore criticized Enbridge after a scathing U.S. regulatory agency’s report on the company’s failures during a massive spill in Michigan in 2010.

Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver doesn’t tend to mention either project in speeches, even though he has long stressed the need for Canada to find a way to get diluted bitumen to markets other than the U.S.

However, Oliver also has shown no hesitation, when faced with direct questions, to promote the financial payoff if the projects pass environmental reviews.

“In respect to Northern Gateway what we see are tremendous economic benefits, the creation of tens of thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions or billions of dollars to governments starting with the government of British Columbia and an opportunity for First Nations to participate in the economic and employment benefits,” Oliver said in Vancouver in February while replying to a question after a speech.

Republished from the Vancouver Sun: http://www.vancouversun.com/business/Harper+government+touts+Northern+Gateway+benefits+while+announcing+trade+mission/8189060/story.html

Arkansas Spill Shows ‘Nightmare Scenario’ if Keystone Approved, Group Warns

6 Apr

By The Canadian Press – April 2, 2013

 
Arkansas spill shows ‘nightmare scenario’ if Keystone approved, group warns (with video)
 

Crude oil from a ruptured pipeline spills into a drainage ditch leading into Lake Conway in Mayflower, Ark. Residents may be displaced for weeks, officials said, as crews continued to clean up the thousands of barrels of oil and water.

Photograph by: Alan English , AP/The Log Cabin Democrat

CALGARY — A crude oil leak from an ExxonMobil pipeline in Arkansas comes at a particularly bad time for the Canadian company looking to build the contentious Keystone XL pipeline through the American heartland.

TransCanada Corp. (TSX:TRP) hopes it is in the home stretch of a years-long process to win U.S. government approval for its multibillion-dollar project, which has been assailed by environmental groups for its potential impact on everything from fresh water sources to climate change.

The spill from ExxonMobil’s Pegasus pipeline is likely the last thing TransCanada needed, with the U.S. State Department being months away from issuing a final decision on Keystone XL after repeated delays, said Queen’s University professor Warren Mabee.

“I think that just is another set of bad publicity that Keystone is going to have to overcome,” said Mabee, director of the Institute for Energy and Environmental Policy at the university in Kingston, Ont.

“As we move towards a decision, this just becomes another hurdle for a new project to overcome — the idea that maybe these pipelines aren’t as safe as they’re made out to be.”

The leak from the Pegasus pipeline in no way changes the facts around the safety of Keystone XL, said Mabee, yet “politically, this is a big problem.”

“If it was purely down to the facts, the decision would come down easily on the side of the Keystone. That project would be approved,” said Mabee.

“If you have a president or a State Department that is looking for excuses to either put this project on hold or to justify cancelling it, this works right into that argument, unfortunately.”

Jim Murphy, senior counsel at the National Wildlife Federation, said the Pegasus spill serves as a “sad illustration” of the risks associated with oil pipelines.

“I think it certainly highlights the nightmare scenario that’s playing out in a lot of minds along the (Keystone XL) route,” he said.

In Arkansas, it doesn’t appear at this point that the oil has reached any nearby water sources, said Murphy.

“We certainly hope there’s no impact to water, but the fact that this much oil was able to spill so near important water bodies I think really indicates that if that oil doesn’t reach water bodies, it’s more luck than anything else.”

Pegasus carries 96,000 barrels per day from Patoka, Ill. — a major destination for Canadian crude, including that from the oilsands — to the U.S. Gulf Coast.

Keystone XL would dwarf that in size, with an initial capacity of 830,000 barrels per day.

ExxonMobil says as of Sunday, some 12,000 barrels had been recovered and crews continue to work on the cleanup.

Nearly three years ago, a major spill from an Enbridge Inc. (TSX:ENB) pipeline in southern Michigan fouled parts of the Kalamazoo River.

Although the NWF has been pushing for stronger pipeline safety regulations and response procedures, Murphy says those projects should not be built at all.

“We still have not changed our bottom line that tarsands oil is too risky and is just too destructive a fuel source for us to be developing and transporting.”

TransCanada spokesman Shawn Howard called the Pegasus leak an “unfortunate circumstance” that “demonstrates the pipeline industry must continue to focus on the safe, reliable operation of its energy infrastructure.”

“The fact remains that pipelines are the safest way to move oil and other products to markets to meet consumer demands and maintain our quality of life,” he said.

“TransCanada plans on building the most advanced, state-of-the-art pipeline that has been built to date using the latest technology, highest strength steel and most modern welding techniques.”

He said 57 new safety procedures, including remotely controlled shutoff valves and increased pipe inspections, should instill further confidence that Keystone XL will be operated safely.

The $5.3 billion Keystone XL pipeline would carry crude from Alberta to the U.S. Midwest and Nebraska, connecting with another $2.3-billion pipeline currently under construction between Oklahoma and the Texas. Those two pipelines were initially part of one project, but TransCanada decided to tackle them separately when Washington rejected its earlier proposal last year.

TransCanada refiled a new application with a reworked route through Nebraska, where there were concerns pipeline construction could damage a fragile ecosystem of grass-covered sand dunes and threaten a major aquifer.

A draft environmental report from the State Department last month flagged no major issues with the rejigged route. It will issue a final report after a comment period.

Republished from the Edmonton Journal: http://www.edmontonjournal.com/business/energy-resources/Arkansas+spill+shows+nightmare+scenario/8178079/story.html