Regulator: Expand Pipeline, Protect Killer Whales
Canada's National Energy Board (NEB) regulator recommended on Friday that Ottawa approve expansion of the government-owned Trans Mountain oil pipeline, but made new, nonbinding recommendations to mitigate harm to Pacific Ocean killer whales and the environment.The pipeline is in the national interest as it will create jobs and give Canadian oil access to more markets, the NEB said in a report. But expanding it is likely to significantly harm the killer whale population off the coast of British Columbia and increase greenhouse gas emissions from ships…
Canada to Ban Tankers off North British Columbia
Canada's Liberal government has introduced legislation for a moratorium on oil tanker traffic along the northern coast of the British Columbia province, the country's transport department said on Friday, delivering on an election promise. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau ordered the ban soon after the election in 2015, in which he took power on a pledge to balance resource development with protecting the environment. Friday's bill will likely pass because Trudeau's Liberals hold a majority in Parliament.
Canada Oil Sands Asia Export Dream Faces Port Bottleneck
The bullish view for Suncor Energy Inc (SU.TO), Cenovus Energy Inc (CVE.TO) and other Canadian energy producers calls for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau by next month to approve a major pipeline expansion to the west coast, boosting sales of land-locked oil sands crude to Asia. But a growing number of shipping brokers and physical oil traders warn that any new influx of oil will hit a bottleneck in Vancouver, because of the port's inability to accept the megaships that dominate oil trade globally. This bottleneck marks one of the more under appreciated hurdles facing Canadian oil sands crude being shipped from its busiest port of Vancouver, these shipping brokers say. Middle Eastern producers already ship oil ship to Asia far more cheaply, thanks to the bigger vessels they employ. And U.S.
Canada Oil Spill Program Hit by Cheap Crude
The two-year oil price crash has hurt a Canadian government program that funds research on oil spill cleanups, resulting in fewer applicants than expected, a senior federal official said. As a result, the government will expand the scope of its Oil Spill Response Science Program and open a second call for applications this month, Marc Wickham, Natural Resources Canada's director of energy science and technology programs, said in an interview late last week. The program funds research that improves cleanup methods for marine oil spills. Those eligible include production, pipeline and shipping companies in the energy sector. Wickham spoke with Reuters after it obtained details of the program's amendment through an access-to-information request.
Rapid Oil Spill Response Vessel Launched
Western Canada Marine Response Corporation (WCMRC) launched their newest oil spill response vessel in Burrard Inlet. The boat, named after former employee George Penman, was christened at a private ceremony in Coal Harbour. The $4.5 million G.M. Penman is a 65-foot Ocean Class Oil Spill Response Vessel (OSRV) built by Rozema Boat Works in Washington State. It is only the fifth vessel of its kind in the world with sister vessels operating in Santa Barbara servicing the offshore production platforms off the California coast.
British Columbia: Oil Spill Response shows Unprepared for More Tankers
British Columbian officials on Friday criticized the Canadian government's response to an oil spill in the waters around Vancouver, calling into question plans for new crude oil export pipelines in the Pacific Coast province. Nearly 3,000 liters of oil spilled after an anchored bulk carrier began leaking bunker fuel in English Bay, just west of Vancouver's downtown core, on Wednesday. Officials in the province said the coast guard responded but was slow to contain the slick, which spread towards beaches.
Canadian Pipeline Expansion Continues
Kinder Morgan Energy Partners said on Friday that crews have resumed survey work related to its Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project in the Vancouver suburb of Burnaby, even as Canadian police arrested more protesters at two work sites. Kinder Morgan said it was able to move its equipment onto Burnaby Mountain overnight and that crews would be working 24 hours a day for the next 10 to 12 days to complete drilling work required by regulators. The company, which hopes to nearly triple the capacity of the existing 300…
Canada Revamps Pipeline Safety Rules Ahead Of New Projects
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.
Canada Seeks Tightened Marine Oil Spill Plan
Canada moved on Tuesday to strengthen its response plan for oil spills at sea ahead of the development of new pipelines that would sharply increase tanker traffic in Canadian waters if they are built. Among the new measures, the federal government said it would remove a per-incident liability cap on a domestic clean-up fund, which means that all the money in the fund could be made available to clean up a single spill. It also pledged to cover spill costs if clean-up funds were exhausted. It also said it will lift its ban on the use of dispersants in cases when using them offers a net environmental benefit. Dispersants are chemicals that break down oil slicks but can also harm marine life.
Keystone Backers Keep Their Faith In Embattled Pipeline Plan
Six years after applying to build the Keystone XL pipeline, Canada's frustrated oil industry appears steadfast in its support of the plan even though Washington has again delayed a decision on whether to approve the politically charged project. The reason is simple: A massive new pipeline to the U.S. Gulf Coast remains the most elegant solution for producers looking to export burgeoning supplies of crude from Canada's oil sands to the United States. TransCanada Corp's $5.4 billion pipeline would seamlessly pump enough crude from Alberta to Texas to meet 4 percent of total U.S. demand.
Proposed Canadian LNG Export Terminal Gets License
The federal government approves a 25-year export licence for shipping LNG from Kitimat, a West Coast terminal proposed by a Shell consortium . The licence awarded to LNG Canada, a consortium of Shell, Korea Gas Corp., Mitsubishi Corp., and PetroChina International, will allow the export of up to 24 million tonnes of LNG per year, the largest of three export licences awarded to date, according to The Canadian Press. The LNG Canada terminal is one of five proposed for the B.C. coast, and the project has yet to undergo an environmental assessment. Plans to make the B.C.