May. 14, 2014, 7:00 PM
- Canada introduces new measures to strengthen pipeline safety, ahead of the development of new projects proposed to carry crude from Alberta's oil sands to coastal ports for export.
- The new legislation will give Canada's National Energy Board more power to enforce compliance on safety and the authority to step in to lead spill response; also, companies now will be held liable up to C$1B (US$917M) for all spills or incidents on their lines, whether or not they are at-fault or negligent.
- "The 'polluter pays' principle will be enshrined in law so that it is clear Canadian taxpayers are not expected to foot the bill in the event of a major oil spill," Natural Resources Minister Greg Rickford says.
- The government is trying to raise public support for new pipelines as it prepares to rule on Enbridge’s (ENB) Northern Gateway project and Kinder Morgan's (KMI, KMP) plan to expand its Trans Mountain pipeline, and TransCanada (TRP) has proposed a line to carry crude to refineries on the east coast.
May. 13, 2014, 6:15 PM
- Delays to the Keystone XL pipeline are changing the nature of the relationship between Canada and the U.S., TransCanada's (TRP) Russ Girling said today at the Bloomberg Canada Economic Summit, and "nobody believes that this doesn't set a precedent."
- The CEO repeated today that a Keystone start-up as planned by the end of 2016 was still possible, though it may be tough to get it done by then, but "if we don’t get pipelines, we’re going to rail it."
- Meanwhile, TRP said today is the deadline for holdout landowners to sign easement deals allowing the pipeline onto their property; ~20% of Nebraskans who live on the route are holding out, and the company won't offer equally generous terms in the future.
May. 8, 2014, 11:34 AM
- TransCanada (TRP -0.2%) says it plans to build up to 370 km of new natural gas pipelines in Ontario to accommodate growing demand from the U.S. northeast.
- The Eastern Mainline project is designed to meet commercial obligations following the conversion of parts of the gas system to carry crude oil as far as Canada’s east coast under the $12B Energy East project, which would deliver up to 1.1M bbl/day of crude from western Canada and North Dakota’s Bakken region to export terminals in Quebec and New Brunswick.
- TRP does not disclose cost estimates for Eastern Mainline; startup is targeted for late 2016, while Energy East is scheduled to begin oil deliveries in 2018.
May. 7, 2014, 7:35 PM
- A Senate squabble over energy policy and procedure looks likely to kill a vote on the Keystone XL pipeline (TRP), as Democratic leaders reverse course on bringing up a measure sought by Republicans and some Democrats from energy states.
- Majority Leader Harry Reid had indicated he might bring to the floor a measure approving construction of the pipeline as part of a deal tied to passing an energy efficiency bill, but prospects faded today when Reid said he wouldn't allow more amendments to the bill, angering Republicans, who now may block the bill from advancing.
May. 7, 2014, 12:41 PM
- The price of crude from Alberta’s oil sands has surged nearly 60% since November, as new pipelines connect producers with refineries on the U.S. Gulf coast, meaning Canadian producers can begin to see a better return on investment while U.S. refineries can lessen their reliance on oil from Mexico and Venezuela.
- It also lessens the importance of the Keystone XL pipeline (TRP), WSJ's Ben Winkley writes, making it that much easier for the White House to delay a decision to clear the project.
- Traders say the current price gap of ~$20 between Alberta crude and benchmark WTI is about right, so with just a handful of refineries set up to receive tar sands crude, more transport capacity may not be needed, Winkley suggests.
- ETFs: USO, OIL, UCO, SCO, DTO, DBO, CRUD, USL, DNO, UWTI, DWTI, SZO, OLO, OLEM, TWTI
May. 2, 2014, 12:59 PM
- TransCanada (TRP -0.4%) ticks lower even after reporting strong gains for adjusted Q1 earnings, cash flow and revenue as harsh winter weather conditions helped pipeline demand.
- TRP attributes the gains to higher earnings from its NGTL System, Keystone, Bruce Power, U.S. power, and natural gas storage operations.
- TRP says it expects to place ~C$3.6B of assets into service this year, including its recently completed 485-mile extension of its Keystone pipeline system from Cushing, Okla., to the U.S. Gulf coast.
- Meanwhile, Natural Resources Minister Greg Rickford says Canada is not considering a NAFTA challenge after the U.S. delayed its decision on approving Keystone XL (earlier).
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May. 2, 2014, 8:32 AM
May. 1, 2014, 5:30 PM
May. 1, 2014, 2:18 PM
- Fifty-six U.S. senators - all 45 Republicans in the chamber and 11 Democrats - have introduced legislation that would provide immediate congressional approval of the stalled Keystone XL pipeline (TRP +0.3%) project
- It remains unclear whether the bill would even get a vote in the Senate, where 60 votes are needed to clear procedural hurdles against legislation.
Apr. 30, 2014, 7:35 PM
- While Pres. Obama seeks to delay a decision on the Keystone XL pipeline until after the November midterm elections, Canada's government reportedly is considering launching a challenge under NAFTA.
- The government, acting alone or with TransCanada (TRP) and perhaps pipeline shippers, is said to be weighing its legal options for challenging the U.S. handling of the pipeline. but no decision has been made on how to proceed.
- Unlike other cross-border pipelines, whose approvals were given in a short time, TRP could make the case that Keystone is being treated differently than comparable pipeline applications and denying it "fair and equitable treatment" under NAFTA, according to a leading international trade lawyer.
Apr. 30, 2014, 2:49 PM
- Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A +3%) is raising its stake in the proposed Canada LNG project on British Columbia's coast at Kitimat to 50% after two of the Asian partners pared their interests.
- Mitsubishi and Korea Gas had each owned 20%, and they now own 15% each, while PetroChina (PTR) maintains its 20% interest; Shell had owned 40%.
- Shell says early engineering work on the multi-billion dollar project is set to begin and would take up to two years to complete, but a final investment decision is still months away; it is partnering with TransCanada (TRP) on a proposed pipeline to carry gas to the coast.
- LNG Canada is designed to process 1.7B cf/day of gas in its first phase.
Apr. 28, 2014, 7:15 PM
- A U.S. Senate vote on the Keystone XL pipeline (TRP) as soon as next week reportedly is under discussion by top Democrats, who are weighing the political implications of holding a vote on approval of the controversial pipeline in defiance of Pres. Obama.
- A vote on Keystone may offer a strong boost to red-state Democrats in tough races this fall, allowing them to be seen as defying the White House in support of a project viewed favorably back home.
- An aide to Louisiana Sen. Landrieu, the new Senate Energy Committee chair who has frequently criticized Obama for delaying a decision on Keystone, says she will push for a binding vote to approve the project.
Apr. 23, 2014, 11:36 AM
- The latest Keystone XL delay is having an unintended consequence: the revival of the effort in Congress to bypass the White House by forcing approval of the project.
- Forcing approval would be difficult; Senate backers admit they still are a few votes short of the 60 needed to advance the bill, two-thirds of the Senate - 67 members - would be needed to override a likely presidential veto, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid so far has declined to bring up legislation that could embarrass Pres. Obama on Keystone (TRP).
- But the oil isn't going to stay in the ground, and transporting oil by rail has more than doubled in the last three years; at the NTSB's Rail Safety Forum this week, regulators and industry reps are discussing everything from tank-car design to emergency response planning.
Apr. 22, 2014, 7:21 PM
- Alaska’s legislature has approved Gov. Parnell’s plan to join four energy companies - XOM, BP, COP and TRP - in moving ahead on plans to build infrastructure to transport and market 35T cf of North Slope gas to be shipped by an 800-mile pipeline to a liquefied natural gas export plant.
- If the $45B-$65B project comes to fruition, gas could hit local and foreign markets in the mid-2020s, according to the state’s projections.
- The state would retain ownership of 25% of the LNG plant, which is planned at Nikiski in south central Alaska.
Apr. 22, 2014, 10:42 AM
- A court challenge holding up the Keystone XL (TRP +0.6%) pipeline should be dismissed, Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman says as he asks the state’s top court to throw out a trial judge’s February ruling that the route for the pipeline was approved without proper authority.
- The Nebraska Supreme Court may not hear the case until at least September and probably will not rule until after November's congressional elections; if the court upholds the trial outcome, Keystone would need to apply to the state’s Public Service Commission for approval in a process that could take as much as seven months.
- The trial judge erred in allowing a challenge by three property owners to move forward because they hadn’t shown they had been injured as taxpayers by the state’s plan, the governor said in a court filing yesterday.
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