Nov. 12, 2014, 6:57 PM
- Utility stocks tumbled today amid Pres. Obama's plan with China to curb greenhouse gas emissions, and will renew a push by environmental activists to deny government approval of pipeline projects such as Keystone XL (NYSE:TRP) and Alberta Clipper (NYSE:ENB) that would carry Canadian oil sands crude to U.S. refineries.
- “Achieving these goals will almost certainly require changes to the implementation of the EPA power plant regulations,” Council on Foreign Relations analyst Michael Levi says, referring to draft rules issued by the EPA in June that already have sparked pushback.
- Congressional Republicans, soon to have a majority in the Senate in addition to the House, promise to do everything possible to stop Obama’s emissions targets for power plants; the administration believes GOP gains mean Obama will not get legislative help in achieving his goals but that Republicans are unlikely to be able to stop executive orders and environmental regulations.
- ETFs: XLU, IDU, VPU, UPW, RYU, FUTY, FXU, SDP
Nov. 12, 2014, 5:47 PM
- TransCanada (NYSE:TRP) pushed higher near today's close following reports that the Keystone XL pipeline bill will be brought up in the U.S. House tomorrow.
- While Louisiana Sen. Landrieu argued on the Senate floor today for a vote to approve the pipeline, the House says it will forward a Keystone bill sponsored by Rep. Cassidy, Landrieu’s opponent in a Dec. 6 runoff election.
- The House is likely to approve the pipeline, while prospects in the Senate - where 60 votes are needed to pass the legislation, and Democrats are still in the majority until January - are less certain.
Nov. 11, 2014, 4:37 PM
- Senate Democrats are considering voting in the lame-duck session to force approval of the Keystone XL pipeline (NYSE:TRP), Bloomberg reports, citing a Democratic aide.
- The report said specific language has not been discussed but the vote would be held to help Sen. Mary Landrieu, who faces a runoff against Rep. Bill Cassidy in a Dec. 6 runoff election.
Nov. 7, 2014, 11:29 AM
- Republicans say their takeover of the Senate all but assures the building of the Keystone XL (TRP +1.2%) pipeline, but the math behind building it may no longer work, MarketWatch's Darrell Delamaide writes as he explains that "oil prices are falling below the price at which the high cost of extraction of this heavy crude oil can be profitable."
- New mines behind Canadian oil sands projects require oil near $105/bbl to make a "reasonable return," Delamaide points out, meaning Keystone is no longer an attractive investment.
- Sluggish economies in Europe and many emerging markets are lowering oil demand and creating downward pressure on prices, according to Delamaide.
Nov. 5, 2014, 10:43 AM
- TransCanada (TRP +2.8%) is up sharply as the new Republican-led U.S. Senate is expected to send Pres. Obama a bill to authorize the Keystone XL pipeline and dare him to veto it.
- Under a Democrat majority, a binding vote on Keystone has not been held since 2012, even though some of its members campaigned in favor of the pipeline ahead of yesterday's elections; the Republican-controlled House repeatedly has voted for the pipeline's construction.
- The larger question is whether TRP will build the pipeline at all, even if it gets through Congress and Pres. Obama; the proposed 1.1M bbl/day Energy East pipeline running from Alberta to Canada’s east coast would send Canadian crude to Europe, Asia and the U.S. Gulf coast, and rail transportation has cut the need for Keystone, whose costs have exploded to nearly $8B.
Nov. 4, 2014, 12:05 PM
- TransCanada (TRP -1.6%) reveals plans to spend as much as C$2.7B to expand its Nova natural gas pipeline system in western Canada to meet surging growth in unconventional natural gas supplies, and another C$475M to expand a gas pipeline project in southern Ontario.
- The news comes even as the company, in its Q3 earnings report, says estimated costs for its long-delayed Keystone XL oil pipeline have ballooned to ~$8B from $5.4B, and followed its filing last week of plans for a new, C$12B cross-Canada pipeline.
- TRP says the Nova Gas system will meet firm commitments for volumes of ~4B cf/day; subject to approvals from Canada’s National Energy Board as well as local regulators, TRP expects construction to start in 2016 and be completed by Q2 2017.
- The Ontario spending will be for additional natural gas infrastructure for its Canadian Mainline system to bring gas from the Marcellus Shale formation in the U.S. to eastern Canadian markets.
Nov. 4, 2014, 9:18 AM
Nov. 4, 2014, 8:25 AM
Oct. 31, 2014, 10:48 AM
- It was "pipeline theater at its finest" when TransCanada (NYSE:TRP) officially filed its Energy East application to the National Energy Board yesterday - 30K pages in 68 binders in 11 boxes, with panels of top executives in Toronto and Quebec City to explain the benefits - Financial Post's Claudia Cattaneo writes.
- The company pulled out all the stops "but that’s what it takes these days to get a pipeline approved [in] a social license obsessed world."
- The 4,600 km pipeline would carry 1.1M bbl/day of crude from Alberta and Saskatchewan to refineries in Quebec and New Brunswick, and reduce Canada’s dependence on the U.S. oil market by enabling exports to Europe and the Far East.
Oct. 29, 2014, 2:39 PM
- TransCanada (TRP -0.6%) says it will file an application tomorrow with Canada’s National Energy Board for approval of its proposed Energy East pipeline that would ship landlocked western Canadian crude to refineries in eastern Canada as well as on the Gulf coast.
- The filing is the official start of the regulatory process for the project, which will be subject to an environmental review, hearings and a recommendation from the board to the federal cabinet, which has the final say on approval.
- Energy East would convert an existing natural gas pipeline to carry 1.1M bbl/day of crude as far as eastern Ontario, then add new pipe to Quebec and New Brunswick.
Oct. 29, 2014, 10:43 AM
- TransCanada's (TRP -0.5%) proposed 1.1M bbl/day Energy East pipeline designed to ship crude from western Canada to refineries in the east also could be used to access the Gulf coast, creating an end-run around U.S. permitting delays for the Keystone XL pipeline, CEO Russ Girling says.
- The project has been positioned in Canada as a nation-building project, but Girling says it also would open up a new route to ship heavy crude by tanker to Gulf of Mexico refineries without requiring U.S. approval: “Once we’re on the water, we’ll show up just like any other crude oil in the world in the Houston ship channel.”
- The CEO says he has no plans to abandon Keystone amid increased demand for pipeline capacity from Canadian oil sands producers; oil sands output is up 71% since 2007 and is forecast by research firm IHS to double to 3.8M bbl/day by 2025.
Oct. 28, 2014, 4:58 PM
- A decision on TransCanada's (NYSE:TRP) long-delayed Keystone XL pipeline may come soon, U.S. Sec. of State John Kerry indicated today in Ottawa during a press conference with Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird.
- “I certainly want to do it sooner rather than later, but I can’t tell you a precise date,” Kerry said.
Oct. 27, 2014, 6:58 PM
- Three times more individuals and groups than four years ago want to have a say in South Dakota's decision whether to re-approve part of the Keystone XL (NYSE:TRP) pipeline that would run through the state if it is ever built, according to filings with the state.
- Nearly 45 applications have been submitted to the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission, up from 15 during the original approval process, and most contain reservations about the project.
- In the state, party status allows a city, county, government agency, non-profit organization or individual to cross-examine witnesses and take part in the discovery process; the Commission is expected to rule tomorrow on whether to grant the status to those who have applied.
Oct. 27, 2014, 11:59 AM
- TransCanada (TRP -0.6%) proposed the Keystone XL pipeline in Sept. 2008 when oil was more than $100/bbl, but prices are now closer to $80, energizing opponents of the pipeline.
- When crude prices are higher, producers would find another way to get the heavy oil delivered to refiners - by trains, for example - even if Pres. Obama blocked the link, but environmentalists now hope the lower price "changes the narrative."
- ClearView Energy analyst Kevin Book says falling oil prices may help environmentalists make a case that alternatives like rail, which cost more, aren’t viable, but he calls the current price drop a “blip” that probably won’t affect the U.S. review of Keystone.
Oct. 21, 2014, 10:18 AM
- TransCanada (TRP +1.3%) has delayed seeking regulatory approval of the C$12B Energy East pipeline project as it negotiates with Quebec’s Gaz Metro and Ontario units of Spectra Energy (SE +1.7%) and Enbridge (ENB +0.6%), Bloomberg reports.
- The feud centers on TRP’s plan to convert a 3K km stretch of its mainline gas conduit to carry oil; gas distributors claim that converting the mainline in eastern Ontario would lead to fuel shortages and higher prices, and they want TRP to build a standalone oil conduit or a gas line the same size as the existing one - which TRP would cost $1B more than planned and jeopardize the project.
- Energy East shippers probably would incur costs of $7.40-$10.20/bbl to move oil across Canada on the pipeline and then by tanker to the U.S. Gulf coast, the most likely market, Morningstar's David McColl says; currently, the costs are less than rail alternatives.
Oct. 16, 2014, 12:11 PM
- Resistance is mounting in Quebec over TransCanada's (TRP +3.5%) $12B cross-country Energy East project to convert a natural gas pipeline to oil, just weeks before the company files its formal proposal with the National Energy Board.
- Quebec’s largest natural gas distributor, Gaz Metro, plans to enlist the support of the provincial government to oppose the project it says will lead to supply shortages, higher prices and threaten Quebec’s economic growth.
- Roughly two thirds of Energy East would make use of underused natural gas pipe that’s already in the ground, with new pipe being built through Quebec and New Brunswick, but Gaz Metro says a portion of the pipeline already is fully used by customers at peak winter periods.
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