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.
Oct. 13, 2014, 8:59 AM
- TransCanada (NYSE:TRP) says provincial regulators have approved its 900K bbl/day Grand Rapids pipeline to carry diluted bitumen from Fort MacKay in the oil sands of northern Alberta to the Edmonton transportation hub.
- As well as shipping crude to Edmonton, Grand Rapids will transport 330K bbl/day of diluent from the Edmonton area to the Fort MacKay terminal.
- PetroChina (NYSE:PTR) subsidiary Brion Energy will be the anchor shipper on the pipeline, with committed production from its Dover and MacKay projects expected to eventually reach 520K bbl/day.
Oct. 8, 2014, 6:55 PM
- TransCanada (NYSE:TRP) and Canadian proponents of the Keystone XL pipeline may have the last laugh on Pres. Obama and the U.S., as backers of a proposed shorter and cheaper pipeline through Canada say that project has a high probability of being built.
- Bloomberg reports TRP is expected to file an application to build the Energy East pipeline - which would carry oil from Alberta to eastern Canadian refineries and marine terminals - in the coming days with approval possible by early 2016, but the C$12B project still faces potential hurdles, particularly environmentalists’ concerns in Quebec.
- Energy East's New Brunswick end point would give Canada’s oil sands supertanker access to the same Louisiana and Texas refineries Keystone was meant to supply, and Putin's provocations in Ukraine are sparking growing interest in that oil from Europe.
Oct. 1, 2014, 8:18 AM
- TransCanada (NYSE:TRP) agrees to sell a 30% interest in Bison Pipeline to TC Pipelines (NYSE:TCP) for $215M.
- TRP says the deal advances its commitment to sell the remainder of its U.S. natural gas pipeline assets to its MLP; remaining assets available to be sold include a 30% interest in GTN, respective 44.5% and 61.7% interests in Iroquois and Portland, and respective 100% and 53.6% interests in ANR and Great Lakes.
Sep. 26, 2014, 6:17 PM
- There's a new reason the Canadian natural resources minister says he's more optimistic about the ultimate U.S. approval of the Keystone XL pipeline (NYSE:TRP): global security.
- The conflict with Russia has prompted discussions among the U.S. and its allies on how to ship more crude and natural gas to Ukraine as well as Europe, according to Minister Greg Rickford.
- "This has never been and will never be a question of if, it’s a question of when," Rickford says, adding that he made the case for Keystone in discussions last week U.S. energy counterpart Ernest Moniz.
Sep. 24, 2014, 2:50 PM
- Quebec's Superior Court grants a temporary injunction stopping TransCanada (TRP +0.2%) from conducting exploratory drilling in the development of the oil terminal at Cacouna in eastern Quebec until Oct. 15.
- According to the ruling, Quebec’s environmental regulator authorized the drilling without obtaining the answers it was seeking from Fisheries and Oceans Canada; the decision also pointed out that TRP had refused to sign an assurance that its work will not harm beluga whales.
- The marine terminal would allow TRP to export oil transported from the Alberta oil sands as part of its Energy East pipeline project, which has been submitted to the National Energy Board.
Sep. 22, 2014, 10:15 AM
- TransCanada’s (TRP -1.5%) bonds are trading at their biggest premium in six months amid fears the company will take on debt to fend off potential breakup attempts.
- The extra yield investors demand to hold TRP notes maturing in 2023 instead of U.S. government benchmarks increased Friday by 11 basis points, or 0.11 percentage point, to 105 bps.
- Even if a breakup is avoided, TRP may feel it needs to adopt more aggressive financial policies, including debt-funded share buybacks, to placate activist shareholders, Gimme Credit’s Phil Adams says.
- The news of added Keystone XL costs also are likely weighing on the bonds, as it could mean an extra $5B in issuance.
Sep. 19, 2014, 2:59 PM
- Mason Capital Management met with TransCanada (TRP +0.9%) shareholders to gauge interest in shaking up the company's corporate structure to boost its stock price, WSJ reports.
- Mason Capital discussed splitting up TRP's pipeline and power generation assets, and placing at least some of these assets in an MLP but is said to have met with some shareholder skepticism.
- Earlier today, TRP defended its corporate structure after reports suggested some U.S.-based activist hedge funds were looking at a possible breakup of the Canadian company and had contacted some large shareholders.
Sep. 19, 2014, 10:29 AM
- TransCanada (TRP +4.8%) is sharply higher in early trading as speculation abounds that U.S. activist hedge funds - perhaps including Dan Loeb's Third Point, which has amassed a position in recent months - are reviewing the company for a possible breakup.
- Responding to recent trading activity, TRP defends its corporate structure as the best way to maximize profit and dividend payouts to shareholders
- TRP also remains committed to plans to sell the rest of its U.S. natural gas pipeline assets to its TC PipeLines (TCP +4%) MLP over the coming years; it expects the assets to generate nearly $500M EBITDA in 2016 and beyond.
Sep. 18, 2014, 4:40 PM
- TransCanada (NYSE:TRP) CEO Russ Girling says the cost to build the Keystone XL pipeline likely will double from the current $5.4B estimate by the time the U.S. government completes its review of the project.
- The CEO's comments come after TRP told state regulators that the cost to build the South Dakota portion of the pipeline has more than doubled in the last four years to $1.97B from $921M due to pipe maintenance, labor agreements and inflation.
- Of the total 1,700-mile planned pipeline, the southern 485 miles which have been built and are transporting oil from Cushing, Okla., to Texas cost TRP ~$2.6B; for the remaining ~1,200 miles yet to be built, the company has invested $2.5B of the $5.4B figure it had estimated.
Sep. 18, 2014, 2:27 PM
- TransCanada (TRP +2.3%) spikes on a Reuters report that it is emerging as a possible M&A target, with several U.S. activist hedge funds reviewing the pipeline operator as a break-up candidate.
- Discussions about a potential campaign are in the early stages, but some of TRP's largest shareholders are said to have been contacted by hedge funds interested in a shake-up.
- The actions also have sparked discussion by TRP's board about its strategic direction, according to the report.
Sep. 16, 2014, 2:41 AM
- TransCanada (NYSE:TRP) says the cost of the South Dakota portion of the Keystone XL pipeline has more than doubled to almost $2B in the last four years while the project awaits federal approval.
- Many factors have led to the increase, including the drawn-out regulatory process, inflation, currency changes, labor cost increases and materials storage.
- The new estimate brings the total cost of the project to $5.4B, although it will be revised higher once regulatory approval is received.
Sep. 8, 2014, 7:23 PM
- Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM), ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP), BP, TransCanada (NYSE:TRP) and the state of Alaska, working together to develop a pipeline and liquefied natural gas plant, have submitted a formal request to the FERC to start an environmental review required for siting, design and permitting for construction.
- The planned 800-mile pipeline from Alaska’s North Slope to a liquefaction plant in Nikiski on the southern coast’s Cook Inlet would carry as much as 3.5B cf/day of natural gas.
- The Alaska LNG project is in the pre-engineering and design phase, which is expected to be completed by 2016 and cost ~$500M, but total investment costs could hit $45B-$65B before all is said and done.
Sep. 5, 2014, 3:25 AM
- Nebraska's highest court will hear arguments today for TransCanada's (NYSE:TRP) proposed $5.4B Keystone XL pipeline, following five years of wrangling at the federal level.
- At issue is a 2012 decision that killed legislation allowing the Canadian company to chart the pipeline’s course through Nebraska.
- While a ruling upholding that decision would add another obstacle to the project, a reversal could immediately send the case to President Obama, forcing him to choose between unions who support the project and environmentalists who don’t.
Sep. 3, 2014, 2:49 PM
- Kinder Morgan's (KMI, KMP) expansion of the Trans Mountain conduit linking Canada's oil sands to the Pacific is beginning to face the same kind of backlash that turned TransCanada's (NYSE:TRP) proposed Keystone XL pipeline to the Gulf coast into a proxy battle against climate change, according to a Bloomberg report.
- The mounting opposition threatens KMI’s largest project, which represents 30% of its investment plan.
- "The environmental movement has realized that one front in the climate change battle is trying to delay or deny pipelines,” says Morningstar's Jason Stevens. "If it gets stymied out for a long, long time, it’s a big chunk of cash flow five years out that won’t materialize."
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