Apr. 4, 2014, 11:22 AM
- It's been nearly three years since the Obama administration started stalling and deferring its decision on the Keystone XL (TRP) pipeline, but the prevailing view is that the project will go ahead - and when it does, an approval could be "a light bulb moment" for investing in Canadian energy, says analyst Sonny Mottahed of Calgary-based Black Spruce Capital.
- The Keystone debacle has resulted in negative investor sentiment toward Canadian energy stocks, depressing their values relative to U.S. counterparts, Mottahed says; approval would remove much of the negative psychology, with investors saying Canada is in the game again.
- Many investors also feel that Keystone delays are constraining the development of Canada's energy sector, "so if that roadblock is removed, it would be a big positive," says Nomura's Charles St. Arnaud.
- The uncertainty has resulted in “an overhang on market access against Canadians” that has pushed capital to the U.S. energy industry, Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ) CFO Corey Bieber says.
Apr. 2, 2014, 7:17 PM
- Canada's National Energy Board says it will hold public hearings into Kinder Morgan Partners' (KMP) planned $5.4B expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline that carries crude from the Alberta oil sands to the Pacific coast, first hearing evidence from aboriginal groups in August.
- The regulator, which plans to issue a recommendation on the project's future no later than July 2015, says its review will focus on 12 issues, including impact on the environment, effects on marine shipping, aboriginal interests, and contingency planning for spills and accidents.
- Energy producers such as Exxon (XOM) affiliate Imperial Oil (IMO), BP and Suncor (SU) are looking to the Trans Mountain expansion and other proposed pipelines - most notably Keystone XL (TRP) - to help ease the bottlenecks that have led to steep discounts for Alberta oil on global markets.
Mar. 19, 2014, 6:18 PM
- Greg Rickford, appointed today as Canada's new Natural Resources Minister after Joe Oliver was moved from the post to become Finance Minister following Jim Flaherty's resignation, takes charge at a "critical time for Canada's natural resource sector.
- Rickford will have a lot on his plate: accelerated extraction of Alberta’s oil sands and liquefied natural gas exports on the west coast, contentious pipeline issues from Enbridge’s (ENB) Northern Gateway to TransCanada’s (TRP) Keystone XL, streamlining the mining permitting process, and pushing forward with development of the Ring of Fire in Ontario.
- His experience in aboriginal affairs could prove crucial as Canada's indigenous people demand greater say on how energy and mining projects proceed.
Mar. 18, 2014, 4:44 PM
- TransCanada's (TRP) proposed Energy East pipeline won’t be the boon to eastern Canadian refineries that supporters claim because most of its oil would be bound for export markets, environmental groups argue in a new report.
- The $12B project likely would use the lion’s share of its 1.1M bbl/day capacity to send unrefined oil sands crude to markets such as India, Europe and possibly the U.S., according to the report.
- Supporters say Energy East will help ailing refineries in the East - reliant on high-cost crude from abroad - by connecting them with a stable, low-cost supply from western Canada; TRP has said the project’s economic benefits would be massive and has described it as a nation builder on a level with the Canadian Pacific Railway.
Mar. 13, 2014, 5:39 PM
- Gen. James Jones, Pres. Obama's former national security adviser, tells the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that approving the Keystone XL pipeline (TRP) would send a message to Russian Pres. Putin and other "international bullies" that they cannot use energy security as a weapon, and rejection of the pipeline would "make Mr. Putin's day and strengthen his hand."
- The Senate panel is holding its first hearing on the pipeline five years after it was proposed, as Democrats wrestle with its impact on the 2014 election.
- Meanwhile, results from Canadian polling firm Nanos Research indicate U.S. support for Keystone XL at 62%, down from 74% in a survey it conducted nearly a year ago - still strong support but moving in the wrong direction, which the pollster says should concern the pipeline's proponents.
Mar. 11, 2014, 7:05 PM
- The Keystone XL pipeline is the safest and most environmentally sound way to transport Canadian and North Dakota oil to Gulf Coast refineries, TransCanada (TRP) says in its last-ditch appeal for approval, along with more than 100K other opinions during a government public comment period that ended Friday.
- More than a dozen environmental groups said in joint comments that Keystone XL would boost air pollution at refineries, carry the risk of tough-to-clean spills and “would not lead to energy independence."
- Whatever Pres. Obama's decision, he's going to anger either environmental activists or labor unions; leaders of various U.S. building trades unions gathered in D.C. today and suggested the wrong decision could mean consequences for Democrats in the November elections.
- Hillary Clinton also faces a quandary: Some wealthy Democrat environmentalists are considering withholding support for a 2016 presidential bid unless she reassures them about killing Keystone.
Mar. 5, 2014, 11:40 AM
- Canada's government sends a letter to the Obama administration expressing a desire to work closely with the U.S. on reducing the impact of climate change, as it makes a final push for approval of the Keystone XL pipeline (TRP +0.3%).
- The letter argues the merits of the pipeline on environmental, economic and energy security grounds, and offers a willingness - without offering specifics - to take additional steps to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
- The letter points out that, unlike other countries that export crude to U.S. refineries on the Gulf coast, Canada has actually committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and achieved some reductions since 2005.
Mar. 5, 2014, 9:08 AM
- TransCanada (TRP) yesterday took a key step toward obtaining regulatory approval for its proposed $12B Energy East oil pipeline, as it filed a preliminary project description with the National Energy Board.
- The pipeline would connect 1.1M bbl/day of crude from western Canada to refineries and export terminals in Quebec and New Brunswick; the project involves converting part of TRP's existing natural gas mainline to oil service between Alberta and Quebec and then laying new pipe the rest of the way.
- TRP expects to file a full regulatory application for Energy East this summer, with startup expected in 2018.
Feb. 27, 2014, 11:26 AM
- The State Department acted properly in its choice of an outside contractor to review the Keystone XL oil pipeline, the department's inspector general report says, rejecting accusations by environmentalists of undue influence by the pipeline's developer on a draft federal environmental review of the project.
- TransCanada (TRP) had recommended four companies to State to conduct the environmental review but did not tell the department it had previously worked with one of the companies.
- Keystone supporters say the report should clear the way for the project's approval.
Feb. 25, 2014, 11:38 AM
- Canada’s National Energy Board is investigating whether some steel pipe and fittings on TransCanada's (TRP +0.4%) Keystone XL pipeline are below standards.
- An audit of TRP's safety practices found it operated safely for the most part, but identified some key areas where it needs to improve.
- The board began its work after its U.S. counterpart, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, began a similar study, the Canadian regulator says.
Feb. 24, 2014, 4:48 PM
- Pres. Obama has said a decision over whether to approve TransCanada's (TRP) Keystone XL pipeline probably will be made within “a couple” of months, according to two Republican governors who met with him.
- Speculation has swirled that last week's surprise Nebraska court ruling could give Obama a reason to delay deliberations on the project, although today's comments would suggest an earlier decision; meanwhile, many Democrats may not be so keen for a delay.
- The White House says there is no timetable for a decision on the project.
Feb. 20, 2014, 6:26 PM
- TransCanada (TRP) officials claim to be undeterred by the Nebraska court ruling analysts say will mean more delays for the Keystone XL pipeline.
- “This is a solvable problem," CEO Russ Girling said in today's earnings call, adding it is weighing its "many options" and has not decided on its next step; TRP could wait for the appeal to play out in Nebraska courtrooms or file a new pipeline application with the state’s Public Service Commission.
- The Nebraska process is not related to the U.S. State Department review of Keystone, Girling maintains, but the department has said Nebraska route considerations had to wrap up before it could complete environmental analyses or do other work on the project.
- Meanwhile, former U.S. Geological Survey Director Marcia McNutt is the latest ex-Obama administration official coming out in support of Keystone.
Feb. 20, 2014, 9:59 AM
- The Nebraska judge’s decision throwing out the Keystone XL (TRP -1.2%) pipeline route in the state appears to give Pres. Obama precisely what he hoped for: political cover to delay the politically sensitive decision past the 2014 midterm elections.
- Yesterday's decision invalidated legislation that let Nebraska's governor approve the route and bypass the state Public Service Commission; now the project will need commission approval, a process that by state law can take seven months.
- Putting off a decision lets Obama avoid angering voters in energy-rich states if he decides to back environmentalists and reject the project, and Keystone foes are optimistic that a review by the state commission would be much more rigorous than the process followed by the governor.
- Also: Q4 earnings.
Feb. 20, 2014, 9:10 AM| 1 Comment
Feb. 20, 2014, 8:47 AM| 1 Comment
Feb. 20, 2014, 3:46 AM
- Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper appears to have made little headway in persuading President Barak Obama to speed up a decision over whether to approve TransCanada's (TRP) Keystone oil pipeline at the "Three Amigos" Nafta summit in Mexico.
- Still, along with Mexican President Pena Nieto, they said that they are in favor of widening free trade via the Trans-Pacific Partnership with countries such as Japan and Malaysia.
- The leaders also disclosed a series of agreements, including one that would ease cross-border travel between the countries, and another that would strengthen road, rail and shipping links.
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