Canada Revamps Pipeline Safety Rules Ahead Of New Projects

Posted by Joseph R. Fonseca
Wednesday, May 14, 2014

 

Canada unveiled new rules on Wednesday to enhance pipeline safety and spill response, 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 energy regulator, the National Energy Board (NEB), more power to enforce compliance on safety and the authority to step in to lead spill response if a company is unwilling or unable to do so.

Companies will also now be held liable, up to C$1 billion ($917 million), for all spills or incidents on their lines, whether or not they are at-fault or negligent, putting the onus on owners to ensure safe operations.

"This approach is called 'absolute liability' and it will apply to all federally-regulated pipelines," said Natural Resources Minister Greg Rickford at a press conference in Vancouver.

Companies found to be at-fault or negligent in an incident will continue to face unlimited liability.

The new measures, which include a revamp of some legislation dating back to the 1950s, build on a pledge last year to require all companies operating major crude oil pipelines in Canada to have C$1 billion on hand to fund spill clean ups.

In the case of a severe spill or incident, the government said it will backstop the initial cost of clean-up and remediation, with the NEB responsible for recovering those additional funds from pipeline companies.

"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," said Rickford.

The changes come a day after Canada moved to strengthen its response plans for oil spills at sea and just weeks ahead of its final ruling on Enbridge Inc's Northern Gateway pipeline project, which is expected in mid-June.

The controversial pipeline, which would carry crude from the oil sands hub ofEdmonton, Alberta, to a deepwater port in northern British Columbia, is one of three major domestic projects currently on the books.

Kinder Morgan is planning to expand and twin its Trans Mountain pipeline, which also carries oil to the Pacific coast, and TransCanada Corp has proposed a line to carry crude east to refineries in Quebec and New Brunswick.

The government has pushed hard to reassure Canadians that it has policies in place to regulate those proposed projects, which would allow Canadian oil producers, now dependant on U.S. markets, to tap directly into more lucrative foreign markets.

But the projects are fiercely opposed by many environmentalists and aboriginal groups, which fear spills and the possibility that pipelines will hasten development of the Alberta oil sands and exacerbate climate change.

In an effort to address some of those concerns, the government pledged to involve aboriginal communities in pipeline safety plans, and encourage more collaboration with industry.

Regulators are also carrying out more pipeline inspections and audits each year, and will be able to fine companies that do not comply with requirements up to C$100,000 per day.

There are about 73,000 kilometers (45,360 miles) of federally-regulated pipeline inCanada, transporting more than C$100 billion worth of oil, gas and petroleum products each year.

(Reporting by Julie Gordon; Editing by Bernard Orr)

($1 = 1.0906 Canadian Dollars)

Maritime Reporter September 2013 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Finance

NZ's Lyttelton Port Recommends Offer, to Pay Special Dividend

The board of New Zealand's  Lyttelton Port Co. Ltd recommended minority shareholders accept an offer of NZ$3.95 a share offer from the commercial arm of the Christchurch city council.

A Boost for UK Offshore Drilling? DW Monday Muses

Drilling activity offshore UK is now expected to increase over the next few years as government and industry reacts to the recommendations in Sir Ian Wood’s report

MHI, IHI & DBJ Join Forces On Investments

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI), IHI Corporation and the Development Bank of Japan Inc. (DBJ) concluded a three-way formal agreement today on their respective

Environmental

Fortum Buys Stake in Wave Power Startup

Finland's top utility, state-controlled Fortum, on Monday said it has acquired a 14 percent stake in Finnish wave energy developer Wello. Wello has developed

Cavernous Swiss Power Plant Undermined by Renewable Energy

Deep in a Swiss mountain, workers have blasted out a cathedral-sized hole for a power plant that will help keep Europe's lights on, but the profit outlook for the 1.

China's National Carbon Market to Start in 2016

China plans to roll out its national market for carbon permit trading in 2016, an official said Sunday, adding that the government is close to finalising rules

Energy

Fortum Buys Stake in Wave Power Startup

Finland's top utility, state-controlled Fortum, on Monday said it has acquired a 14 percent stake in Finnish wave energy developer Wello. Wello has developed

Gazprom Neft Starts Oil Production, Shipments from Iraqi Badra Field

Russia's Gazprom Neft said on Monday it started commercial production and shipments of oil produced at its Iraqi Badra oil field. Gazprom Neft, the oil arm of state gas company Gazprom ,

Statoil Says Normal Operations at In Amenas Gas Plant Resuming

Normal operations are resuming at the In Amenas gas plant in Algeria 18 months after a raid by Islamist militants killed forty employees, one of the plant's operators, Statoil, said on Monday.

News

Fortum Buys Stake in Wave Power Startup

Finland's top utility, state-controlled Fortum, on Monday said it has acquired a 14 percent stake in Finnish wave energy developer Wello. Wello has developed

Gazprom Neft Starts Oil Production, Shipments from Iraqi Badra Field

Russia's Gazprom Neft said on Monday it started commercial production and shipments of oil produced at its Iraqi Badra oil field. Gazprom Neft, the oil arm of state gas company Gazprom ,

Statoil Says Normal Operations at In Amenas Gas Plant Resuming

Normal operations are resuming at the In Amenas gas plant in Algeria 18 months after a raid by Islamist militants killed forty employees, one of the plant's operators, Statoil, said on Monday.

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Maritime Standards Navigation Offshore Oil Pod Propulsion Port Authority Ship Electronics Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.2679 sec (4 req/sec)