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Apr. 2, 2015, 10:12 AM
- TransCanada (TRP +1%) confirms it has scrapped plans to build a marine oil export terminal at Cacouna in Quebec as part of its proposed Energy East pipeline project, and will consider alternate terminal options in Quebec.
- "This decision is the result of the recommended change in status of the Beluga whales to endangered,” TRP CEO Russ Girling says.
- Some businesses in New Brunswick are hoping TRP finds no acceptable Quebec alternative, and that their province could be the only export point for crude oil transported through Energy East.
- Earlier: Report: TransCanada will not build Quebec oil export terminal
Apr. 1, 2015, 2:44 PM
- Trans Canada (TRP -0.1%) reportedly has decided not to build the proposed Cacouna oil export terminal in Quebec as part of its C$12B Energy East pipeline, choosing instead to ship the crude from Alberta to another terminal in New Brunswick.
- The project has been strongly opposed by environmentalists who worry about the risk of oil spills as well as the impact construction and shipping would have on Beluga whales in the St. Lawrence River.
- The terminal is one of two marine export facilities planned as part of the Energy East pipeline, which would carry 1.1M bbl/day of crude oil to refineries and ports in eastern Canada.
- Earlier: TransCanada to decide fate of Cacouna oil terminal this week
Apr. 1, 2015, 10:58 AM
- TransCanada (TRP +0.1%) says it expects to make a decision this week on the fate of its controversial proposed Cacouna marine oil terminal in Quebec, a feature of the Energy East pipeline project that opponents say would destroy beluga whale habitat.
- The Cacouna terminal has been a source of controversy for TRP since December, when a federal committee recommended beluga whales be classified as endangered and said the whale populations in the area had fallen to 1K from 10K.
- If built, Cacouna would be one of two export points for the oil carried along the $12B Energy East pipeline route; TRP has suspended work on the terminal and says it is considering other options than the facility planned for the shores of the St. Lawrence River.
Mar. 26, 2015, 2:36 PM
- Canada's government says it will give the National Energy Board until next year to deliver up-to-date guidelines for oil pipeline companies to improve safety and protect the environment.
- The instructions coincide with several major pipeline expansion projects proposed in Canada by companies such as Kinder Morgan (NYSE:KMI), Enbridge (NYSE:ENB) and TransCanada (NYSE:TRP).
- The Conservative government has promoted expansion of the oil and gas industry, pledging to make the country an "energy superpower."
- Meanwhile, the NEB reportedly is investigating up to a dozen new allegations of natural gas pipeline safety code violations at TRP, which would mark the second time in recent years the regulator has probed safety practices at TRP following complaints by a whistleblower.
Mar. 18, 2015, 3:54 PM
- Canada's National Energy Board reportedly is investigating up to a dozen new allegations of gas pipeline safety code violations at TransCanada (TRP +1.9%).
- Documents reviewed by Reuters show the allegations include faulty or delayed repairs, sloppy welding work and a failure to report key issues to the regulator.
- It would mark the second time in recent years that Canada's energy regulator has investigated safety practices at the pipeline company following complaints by a whistleblower.
Mar. 17, 2015, 10:58 AM
- The Keystone pipeline disappointment is hardly a death knell for TransCanada (NYSE:TRP), as the company remains one of the top holdings in Skip Aylesworth’s Hennessy Gas Utility fund, which climbed 21% last year as distribution gains trumped price drops.
- TRP is "a fine, healthy company and, yes, this is a hiccup, and they would love to see Keystone happen, but it is just a part of their business," Aylesworth tells Barron's.
- Of one Aylesworth's favorite energy investments actually is Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A, BRK.B), which is heavily involved in the distribution of natural gas and owner of Burlington Northern, which is exploring using natural gas to fuel long-distance freight trains.
- Other favorites: ENB, WMB, LNG, NJR, KMI, SE
Mar. 6, 2015, 6:30 PM
- Pres. Obama's latest remarks about the Keystone XL pipeline (NYSE:TRP) appear to be his most negative yet, raising the hopes of green groups that the president is likely to decide against the project.
- "The reason a lot of environmentalists are concerned about it is the way that you get the oil out in Canada is an extraordinarily dirty way of extracting oil, and obviously there are always risks in piping a lot of oil through Nebraska farmland and other parts of the country," Obama told students today in South Carolina.
- The president says he still has not made a final decision, but "we’re not going to authorize a pipeline that benefits largely a foreign company if it can’t be shown that it is safe and if it can’t be shown that overall it would not contribute to climate change."
- "If indeed he is criticizing the extraction process itself, it does seem a step more negative,” says an analyst at ClearView Energy Partners.
Mar. 5, 2015, 10:58 AM
- Canada's National Energy Board says it received 1,800 applications to participate in hearings on TransCanada’s (TRP +1.2%) proposed Energy East pipeline project, but many of the applications appear to be copies of the same letter.
- Various individuals, companies, organizations and municipalities - such as the city of Winnipeg, which says a spill from the pipeline could affect its source of drinking water - submitted applications, as well as an unknown number of individuals that copied and pasted Greenpeace’s letter into their applications; not all applicants will be allowed to participate in the review process.
- The identical applications want the regulator's approval process to include a review of Energy East’s potential contributions to climate change.
- Energy East is a $12B project that would carry 1.1M bbl/day of oil from Alberta and Saskatchewan to refineries in Quebec and New Brunswick, and has sparked debate across Canada about climate change.
Mar. 4, 2015, 2:58 PM
- The U.S. Senate fails to override Pres. Obama’s veto of legislation approving the Keystone XL pipeline (TRP +0.7%), as the 62 votes to override fell short of the two-thirds majority needed.
- The effort to override Obama's veto was not expected to succeed, but Republicans saw the move as a way to emphasize that the pipeline has support of both parties; in today's tally, eight Democrats voted to override.
Feb. 26, 2015, 11:24 AM
- The Irving family, one of New Brunswick’s most powerful, appears to be at odds over the routing of TransCanada’s (TRP -1.4%) proposed Energy East pipeline, Financial Post reports.
- J.D. Irving Ltd., the family-owned forest products and shipbuilding company, has filed an application with Canada's National Energy Board saying it is “vitally concerned” about the portion of the pipeline that would pass through its Crown-leased lands in New Brunswick.
- The issue pits JDI against family-owned Irving Oil, which is partner with TRP in the marine terminal at the end point of the $12B project; Irving Oil has been a vocal supporter of Energy East and has committed to refine a minimum of 50K bbl/day delivered through the pipeline once it is built.
Feb. 25, 2015, 8:59 AM
- TC Pipelines (NYSE:TCP) agrees to acquire the remaining 30% interest in Gas Transmission Northwest from its parent company, TransCanada (NYSE:TRP), in a $446M deal.
- The total includes $253M in cash, the assumption of $98M in proportional GTN debt and the issuance of $95M of new Class B units to TRP which will entitle TRP to a distribution based on 30% of GTN's annual cash distributions.
- GTN is a 1,353-mile pipeline that transports natural gas under long-term contracts from the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin and the Rocky Mountains to Washington, Oregon and California.
- TRP says the partnership has the capacity to complete dropdowns in excess of $1B/year.
Feb. 24, 2015, 3:52 PM
- Pres. Obama has vetoed the bill approving construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline (TRP +0.4%).
- A spokesman for Senate Majority Leader McConnell says the Senate would vote soon on an override of the veto; Sen. John Hoeven, the bill's chief Republican sponsor, says the bill is about four votes short in the Senate and about 11 in the House.
- A White House spokesman says it is "certainly possible" the president could approve the project after the State Department review.
Feb. 24, 2015, 3:43 PM
- Morgan Stanley’s (NYSE:MS) infrastructure arm has begun seeking bids for natural gas pipeline operator Southern Star Central, Bloomberg reports.
- MS reportedly has sent offering documents to potential bidders including Tallgrass Energy Partners (NYSE:TEP) and TransCanada (NYSE:TRP), and is said to be soliciting bids from operators of gas pipelines including Williams Cos. (WMB, WPZ), Spectra Energy (NYSE:SE) and Boardwalk Pipeline Partners (NYSE:BWP), as well as other infrastructure investors such as Macquarie (NYSE:MIC).
- Southern Star operates 6K miles of natural gas pipelines in the midwestern U.S., and is valued at as much as $1.5B.
Feb. 23, 2015, 7:25 PM
- Most of the heavy Canadian crude planned to flow through the Keystone XL pipeline (NYSE:TRP) would be refined inside the U.S., and the resulting gasoline, diesel and other petroleum products would be consumed domestically too, according to a new analysis from consulting firm IHS.
- The report debunks a major argument of Keystone's detractors, as well as Pres. Obama, who have cast the project as an “export pipeline” that would only ferry crude through the U.S. en route to other countries.
- IHS says Gulf coast refiners are hungry for the heavy crude that would come out of Canada’s oil sands - diluted to flow through Keystone XL - and likely would displace heavy high-sulfur crudes now imported from Venezuela and Mexico.
- Meanwhile, the White House appears set to quietly kill off the forthcoming bill aimed at approving the controversial pipeline via a presidential pocket veto, sending the bill back to Congress after 10 days without a signature.
Feb. 13, 2015, 5:58 PM
- TransCanada (NYSE:TRP) is planning another cross-border pipeline, but unlike the Keystone XL project, the proposed Upland pipeline would serve U.S. customers by transporting oil away from the U.S., as much as 70K bbl/day of North Dakota crude that now moves by rail to refineries in east Canada.
- An undaunted CEO Russ Girling says he hopes Keystone is "an anomaly in Canada-U.S. trade of energy, but obviously, the market isn’t waiting for the regulators to catch up with their decisions; they’re moving the oil now."
- The project will be subject to regulatory reviews in Canada and the U.S., including the same kind of national interest analysis the U.S. State Department is now conducing on Keystone.
- It is not yet clear where Upland would enter the U.S., though it could be north of Minot, N.D.; the pipeline is expected to connect to the proposed 1.1M bbl/day Energy East pipeline in Saskatchewan.
Feb. 13, 2015, 10:39 AM
- TransCanada (TRP +0.2%) is slightly higher in early trading after posting better than expected Q4 earnings and raising its dividend by 8%, reflecting higher pipeline project earnings and new oil shipments on the southern leg of the Keystone XL project.
- TRP's latest estimate of the total cost for Keystone XL is US$8B, including US$2.4B spent as of the end of 2014.
- Says it has completed a successful binding open season for a proposed C$600M project called the Upland Pipeline, which would connect North Dakota’s oil fields with the cross-Canada Energy East project; TRP hopes to put Upland into service in 2018.
- Analysts see no material threat to TRP’s dividend growth guidance of at least 8% through 2017, even without the startup of major new pipelines such as Keystone XL, Energy East and two gas conduits planned to Canada’s Pacific coast.
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