Trans Mountain Pipeline Construction Work Restarts

A year after the project’s latest regulatory setback, construction on parts of the Trans Mountain pipeline is restarting, Trans Mountain Corp said on Wednesday. The pipeline was bought last year by the Canadian government to help ensure the completion of the expansion to 890,000 barrels of oil per day after years of delay and strong disapproval by environmental and some indigenous groups.

“We are very happy that people will be in the field, digging the ground and installing the pipe,” Canada’s Minister of Natural Resource Amarjeet Sohi said at a news conference in Edmonton.

In the fourth quarter of 2019, approximately 4,200 workers are expected to be employed along the pipeline corridor and the company has issued notices to some contractors to mobilize construction equipment and crews, Trans Mountain Chief Executive Ian Anderson said in a statement.

Work is restarting at the Burnaby storage terminal where the pipeline terminates, and the Westridge marine terminal, where crude is loaded onto tankers. It will also soon begin in communities along the pipeline’s right-of-way in Alberta between Edmonton and Edson, and in the Greater Edmonton area.

Given a reason that the company failed to adequately consult indigenous groups, last year a Canadian court overturned the federal government’s 2016 approval of the project. But after a new regulatory review that gave a huge relief to Canada’s oil industry, Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government re-approved the pipeline in June.


10K Gallons for Crude Oil Flows into Alberta Creek Due to Pipeline Rupture

Calgary-based Bonterra Energy Corp’s crude oil pipeline ruptured and spilled approximately 10,000 gallons (40,000 liters/250 barrels) of crude oil into Alberta creek, Alberta Energy Regulator said.

According to Alberta Energy Regulator, the spill occurred 14 kilometers (8.7 miles) south of Drayton Valley, Alta last week and the line was shut in and depressurized, and that containment booms were installed. Also regulators said that no impacts to wildlife were reported.

The company said in a news release that it began investigating a problem with the pipeline at 8 a.m. Thursday, and at 1 p.m. it discovered a rupture that was leaking into Washout Creek. The cleanup and recovery is expected to continue for the next three weeks.

As an extra precaution, Bonterra has placed additional booms where the Washout Creek meets the North Saskatchewan River, which is the source of Edmonton's water supply. The company is removing the oil with booms and vacuums, and is mitigating the effect on wildlife by setting up barriers as well as visual deterrents that include having people present.


Keystone XL Pipeline’s Injunction Overturned by U.S. Court

An injunction barring some pre-construction activities to long-delayed TC Energy Corp's Keystone XL pipeline was dissolved by an appellate court on Monday. The company has been working for more than a decade to build the controversy-ridden 830,000 barrel per day pipeline.

The pipeline would run from an oil hub at Hardisty, Alberta, to Steele City, Nebraska, where it would join TC Energy's existing Keystone pipeline system.

Since the company is facing a pending Nebraska Supreme Court decision related to the pipeline's route and a lawsuit by two Native American communities in Montana, they said that it would not make any major capital commitments until it has a clear path to construction, and therefore has not made a final investment decision to proceed with the project.

While TC Energy is expecting a decision from the British Columbia Supreme Court to extend an injunction on its Coastal GasLink pipeline in the third quarter, Canada's National Energy Board said last week that the pipeline to supply the LNG Canada project in northern British Columbia was not subject to federal regulation.


Proposed Coastal Gaslink Pipeline Not Subject to Federal Regulation

Canada's National Energy Board said on Friday that TC Energy Corp's proposed 416-miles Coastal GasLink natural gas pipeline to supply the LNG Canada project in northern British Columbia is not subject to federal regulation.

According to the board’s decision, the company will not have to submit a new application for approval and cuts the risk of extra regulatory scrutiny delaying construction. The pipeline will run from Dawson Creek in the northeast of the province to the proposed LNG facility near Kitimat on the Pacific coast.

"Coastal GasLink is an integral part of LNG Canada and pipeline development is key for the timing of the project coming online," Wood Mackenzie analyst Dulles Wang said. "That (pipeline development) has always been viewed as one of the biggest risk factors and this decision clears that up."


$1.15 Billion Deal Signed to Sell Stake in Northern Courier Pipeline

In a signed deal for approximately $1.15 billion, TC Energy Corp. formerly known as TransCanada, will sell an 85 per cent stake in its Northern Courier Pipeline to Alberta Investment Management Corp.

TC Energy will remain the operator of the pipeline and will retain a 15 per cent stake. The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter and the sale will help the company’s efforts to fund its capital program, said TC Energy chief executive Russ Girling.

The 56 miles (90 km) pipeline transports bitumen and diluent between the Fort Hills mine site in northern Alberta and Suncor Energy’s terminal north of Fort McMurray, Alta.


Portion of TransCanada’s Keystone Pipeline Remains Shut as Leak Investigations Continue

A portion of TransCanada Corp’s Keystone oil pipeline remained shut on Thursday for investigation.

TransCanada shut a portion of the TransCanada Corp’s Keystone oil pipeline as they investigate a possible leak on its right-of-way near St. Louis, Missouri, a company spokesman said.

The pipeline was shut down on Wednesday, and remains shut on Thursday as investigations go on.

Crews were dispatched to assess the situation which seems to have occurred between Steele City, Nebraska and Patoka, Illinois.

The Keystone pipeline has a 590,000 bpd output and is a critical part of Alberta to U.S. refinery crude.

The release of oil gas stopped on Wednesday and all that remains is finding the actual leak.


$23 Million Marketing Effort Intends to Bolster Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion Among Albertans

Alberta’s government is ramping up their Trans Mountain pipeline expansion marketing efforts through a $23.4 million effort.

The campaign is called “Keep Canada Working”, and is aimed at getting people to support the project by educating them of the economic benefits.

“It is a win to make sure that more Canadians understand it (Trans Mountain) better than maybe they did a few years ago,” Notley said Thursday.

 “It is actually about the economic prosperity and security of Canadians from across this country.”

 Alberta’s United Conservative Party Opposition says the market campaign is too late. A spokeswoman from the party says merits of the project should have been promoted earlier.

The Federal Court of Appeal quashed Ottawa’s approval of the project in August on the basis of the NEB’s failure to fully examine the project’s effects on ocean ecosystem, including endangered killer whales.

It also found Canada failed to meaningfully consult with First Nations.


Trans Mountain to Begin Construction on Four Segments After NEB Approval

The National Energy Board says Trans Mountain Pipeline ULC can start construction on sections of its pipeline expansion in Alberta and British Columbia.

An NEB statement says that Trans Mountain met all applicable pre-construction condition requirements for segments one to four from Edmonton Terminal to its Darfield pump station near Kamloops, B.C.

96 percent of the detailed route for these particular segments have been approved by the board.

Subject to other government permits and regulations, the NEB has given Trans Mountain permission to begin construction and clear right of way.

While other active hearings are pending, work related to them will not be permitted until they are resolved.

The NEB added that 72 percent of the entire detailed route has been approved and hearings for the final segment are scheduled to begin in October.


Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion Restarting in August

Kinder Morgan is restarting its Trans Mountain pipeline expansion in August after being halted for months due to legal challenges and other protests, according to a filing on Tuesday.

The halt in spring was due in large part to environmentalists and other groups opposing the project as Canada prepared a bid to buy the project and boost its country’s oil exports.

Expansion work will begin in Alberta starting August while the North Thompson region of British Columbia will not be worked on until late September, according to a construction schedule from the National Energy Board.

Kinder Morgan cited that all non-essential work on the US$6 billion project was halted in May due to uncertainty and opposition from the province of British Columbia.

The expansion will triple current capacity to 890,000 barrels per day and ultimately improve Canada’s ability to access Asian and other world markets.

Canada agreed to buy the pipeline in late May and said that the deal is expected to close “mid to late summer.”

“We’re excited to be moving forward in Alberta and the North Thompson, bringing and delivering on our commitments to local, regional and Aboriginal jobs and benefits,“ Ian Anderson, president of Kinder Morgan Canada, said in a statement.