Jan. 24, 2014, 8:25 AM
- The Obama administration is set to complete a critical phase of its Keystone XL (TRP) pipeline review next month, WSJ reports, setting the stage for Pres. Obama to make a decision on approving the controversial project in the thick of the midterm campaign season.
- The State Department aims to release a report on the environmental impact of the proposed pipeline extension next month, sources tell WSJ, a move that could put Obama on track to make a decision by May or June.
- Administration officials have long been vague about the timing of the State Department review.
Jan. 22, 2014, 5:18 PM
- TransCanada (TRP) spent more than $1M last year to lobby U.S. legislators and the Obama administration to build the Keystone XL pipeline, ~24% more than it spent in 2012.
- TRP's chief Washington lobbyist, Paul Elliott, is a former top campaign aide to Hillary Clinton, who served as Sec. of State in Pres. Obama's first term.
- The State Department is conducting an environmental analysts of Keystone and will determine whether the project is in the U.S. national interest before a final decision by Obama.
- Meanwhile, Total (TOT) CEO Christophe de Margerie is urging the U.S. to approve the pipeline to unplug a bottleneck that's stalling the development of Canadian oil sands.
Jan. 22, 2014, 9:55 AM
- TransCanada (TRP) says it has started operations on its Cushing Market Link pipeline that can ship up to 700K bbl/day of oil from the Cushing, Okla., storage hub to Port Arthur, Tex., the southern leg of the Keystone XL project.
- The pipeline will likely ship just over 300K bbl/day of oil this month, traders say.
- Feb. crude +0.9% to $95.82 on the New York Merc; Brent crude +0.7% to $107.46.
Jan. 17, 2014, 4:48 PM
- Sec. of State John Kerry meets with Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird and says the U.S. won’t be pushed into making a decision on the Keystone XL (TRP) pipeline, despite pressure from Canada and other supporters for quick action.
- Kerry's comments come a day after Baird expressed increasing Canadian impatience with the foot-dragging over the long-delayed decision.
- Canada believes the pipeline project ultimately will be approved, Prime Minister Harper's chief spokesman reiterates, adding Baird's remarks didn't reflect a changed view by the government but that it would like a decision "sooner rather than later."
Jan. 16, 2014, 3:22 PM
- Canada appears to be losing patience with U.S. foot dragging over the Keystone XL pipeline (TRP +0.8%), as Canada Foreign Minister John Baird tells a D.C. audience that his country wants a decision on the project - even a negative one - sooner rather than later.
- It appears to mark the first time a senior Canadian official has directly criticized Washington on the topic: "The time for a decision on Keystone is now, even if it’s not the right one. We can’t continue in this state of limbo."
- PM Harper turned a bit testy last week when he said Pres. Obama had "punted” the decision on Keystone.
- Earlier: CEO Russ Girling says TRP might look at building rail terminals to get crude oil shipped to the U.S. in the absence of new pipeline infrastructure.
Jan. 16, 2014, 11:47 AM
- TransCanada (TRP +0.4%) CEO Russ Girling says if the Obama administration doesn’t approve the Keystone XL pipeline, his company will have no choice but to consider the more dangerous alternative of building build rail terminals in Alberta and Oklahoma.
- Girling would consider building a rail terminal in Hardisty, Alberta, where the pipeline would have started, and an import terminal in Cushing, Okla., site of the biggest U.S. oil storage hub; the southern leg of Keystone XL from Cushing to refineries on the Gulf coast is set to come online next week.
- The Keystone controversy may be starting to wear down Canadians: A Nanos poll says 52% of Canadians support or somewhat support the project, down from 68% approval in April, while respondents who oppose or somewhat oppose rose to 40% from 28%.
Jan. 15, 2014, 6:15 PM
- Alaska plans to jump-start a $45B natural gas export project by pitching in more than 10% of the cost and joining Exxon Mobil (XOM), BP, ConocoPhillips (COP) and TransCanada (TRP) as an equity partner.
- The agreement between the state and the four companies outlines a framework in which Alaska would take as much as a 25% stake in a proposed gas processing plant, an 800-mile pipeline from the North Slope and a liquefaction facility in the Kenai Peninsula.
- The state would pay as much as $5.75B for its share of the $23B liquefaction facility, which would be capable of shipping 18M metric tons/year of liquefied natural gas; the producers would pay the remaining portion of the $45B total project cost.
- Alaska Gov. Parnell has asked the state's legislature to approve the deal and give state agencies the ability to negotiate shipping and leasing arrangements.
Jan. 10, 2014, 5:42 PM
- Alaska is dropping its agreement with Canadian pipeline builder TransCanada (TRP) in a bid to pave a new way forward for a long-hoped for natural gas pipeline.
- Alaska Gov. Parnell says a 2007 law was aimed at advancing a project designed for only one project developer, but the liquefied natural gas project now being pursued involves multiple interests.
- TRP would continue playing a role but under a different commercial agreement that also would include Exxon Mobil (XOM), BP and ConocoPhillips (COP).
Jan. 10, 2014, 11:52 AM
- Pres. Obama's call for a broad review of U.S. energy infrastructure could have implications for the Keystone XL pipeline (TRP), Yadullah Hussein writes, possibly causing yet another delay in a decision that has been stuck in regulatory review for more than five years.
- The Quadrennial Energy Review "will be developed through robust inter-agency dialogue and engagement of external stakeholders and will help to build on the nation's progress toward greater energy and climate security."
Jan. 9, 2014, 5:38 PM
Jan. 8, 2014, 3:56 AM
- A Canadian National Railway (CNI) train transporting propane and crude oil caught fire late yesterday after derailing in northwest New Brunswick in Canada.
- There don't appear to have been any injuries, while 45 homes were evacuated.
- The derailment is the latest in a series of accidents over the past year involving oil trains, including one just over a week ago in North Dakota, which caused explosions.
- The amount of oil transported by train has jumped, as pipelines haven't been able to keep up with the American oil boom. The accidents have raised fears about safety and have come as the U.S. reviews the proposal to build the Keystone XL pipeline (TRP).
Jan. 6, 2014, 2:58 PM
- Canadian PM Harper says he remains confident TransCanada's (TRP) Keystone XL pipeline eventually will be built even as Pres. Obama delays making a decision on the project; although Obama has "punted," which makes it impossible to put a timeline on a decision, Harper says believes “the project will one way or another proceed."
- On Enbridge's (ENB) proposed Northern Gateway pipeline, Harper sounds a bit like Obama; he won’t permit projects on Canadian soil “unless they’re not only in our economic interests, but also they meet the highest standards of environmental protection.”
Dec. 31, 2013, 5:35 PM
- The train derailment and fire in North Dakota that forced the evacuation of a nearby town is sure to trigger more debate about the safety of transporting oil as the U.S. reviews the proposal to build the Keystone XL pipeline (TRP).
- The accident in North Dakota is the fourth major North American derailment in six months by trains transporting crude, as record volumes of oil are moving by rail as U.S. output reaches its highest since 1988 and pipeline capacity has failed to keep up.
- Rail use probably would increase if Keystone is blocked, says Brigham McCown, a former director of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, while noting that pipelines have the advantage of being located mostly in more sparsely populated areas.
Dec. 23, 2013, 5:42 PM
- The U.S. Transportation Department doesn't plan to change regulations to better protect underground pipelines from riverbed erosion, saying its review found riverbed erosion contributed to just one in every 200 significant hazardous-liquid incidents involving pipelines during the past two decades.
- The issue has consequences for TransCanada's (TRP) proposed Keystone XL pipeline, which would cross nearly 1,100 bodies of water; at 14 major river crossings, TRP plans to bury pipe at least eight ft. beneath the riverbed, well within the 9-41 ft. of scour recently observed on the flooded Missouri River.
- TRP CEO Russ Girling reiterates he is “very confident” the controversial pipeline will be approved by Pres. Obama.
Dec. 21, 2013, 8:25 AM
- Canadian regulatory approval of the Northern Gateway pipeline doesn't feel like much of a victory for Enbridge (ENB), which now faces higher costs and more opposition from aboriginal and environmental groups.
- ENB contested the National Energy Board’s C$7.9B cost estimate but conceded its current C$6.5B projection likely will increase when it updates costs in Q1.
- Among the regulator’s 209 conditions imposed on ENB: liability coverage of C$950M, compensation for aboriginal hunters and fishermen, building extra oil storage in the event of disruptions, research on heavy-oil spills, establishing an emergency response plan.
- One condition not imposed: the sort of carbon emissions test Pres. Obama says will guide the U.S. decision whether to allow TransCanada's (TRP) Keystone XL pipeline to proceed - Keystone backers say the proliferation of projects such as Northern Gateway show the oil will get to market, one way or another.
Dec. 19, 2013, 5:20 PM
- Enbridge's (ENB) proposed $6.5B Northern Gateway oil sands pipeline project is approved with conditions by Canada's National Energy Board.
- Among the 209 conditions attached to the recommendation is for ENB to develop a marine mammal protection plan and conduct emergency response exercises.
- ENB must now seek approval from the federal government, which has 180 days to review the project that would deliver crude from Alberta to the Pacific Coast.
- The endorsement could set the tone for other strategic pipelines in Canada's regulatory queue, including ENB's Line 9 reversal, Kinder Morgan’s (KMI, KMP) expansion of its TransMountain line, and TransCanada’s (TRP) Energy East project.
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