Dismissal of Lawsuit over Keystone XL Pipeline Requested by US Attorneys

The Trump administration attorneys wanted a U.S. judge to throw out a lawsuit from Native American tribes in Montana and South Dakota. The lawsuit is blocking TC Energy’s proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline that would carry up to 830,000 barrels per day from Canada to Nebraska.

A Thursday hearing on the government's attempt to dismiss the case will be presided over by U.S. District Judge Brian Morris. The judge blocked the line in November, saying more environmental studies were needed. But Trump circumvented that ruling in March by issuing a new permit for the $8 billion, 1,184-mile project.

According to the administration, Trump's approval applies only to a 1-mile section of pipeline along the U.S.-Canada border and not the rest of the line, but the tribes argue that Trump's permit applies to the entire pipeline.

The tribes fears that a spill could damage a South Dakota water supply system that serves more than 51,000 people including residents of the Rosebud, Pine Ridge and Lower Brule Indian reservations. Also they say that President Donald Trump approved the pipeline without considering potential damage to cultural sites from spills and construction.

Source:
chron

Keystone XL Route Approval Affirmed by Nebraska Supreme Court

Nebraska Supreme Court has affirmed the November 2017 decision that approved the Keystone XL Pipeline route through the state which was taken by the Nebraska Public Service Commission, TC Energy Corp. announced on August 23.

“The Supreme Court decision is another important step as we advance towards building this vital energy infrastructure project,” said Russ Girling, TC Energy’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “We thank the thousands of government leaders, landowners, labor unions and other community partners for their continued support through this extensive review process.  It has been their unwavering support that has advanced this project to where it is today.”

The pipeline project still faces obstacles after a November 2018 ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Brian Morris to block construction activities in Montana. But in March, President Donald Trump issued a new Presidential Permit for Keystone XL, superseding the one he issued in 2017.

The Nebraska Public Service Commission on November 20, 2017 gave approval to TC Energy (then TransCanada) to build the Keystone XL pipeline using the Mainline Alternative Route. But environmental groups had challenged the Nebraska Public Service Commission decision to approve the project.

Source:
napipelines

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.

Source:
pgjonline

UGI to Buy Assets from TC Energy for $1.28 Billion

UGI Corp, a Pennsylvania based energy distributor would buy some assets of Columbia Midstream Group from TC Energy Corp, formerly known as TransCanada. The deal is set for nearly $1.28 billion to expand UGI’s midstream business.

“This transaction expands our midstream capabilities in the prolific gas producing region of the Southwest Appalachian Basin and provides an initial investment into both wet gas gathering and processing,” John Walsh, the chief executive officer of UGI, said.

With this deal, TC Energy could help finance the oft-delayed and controversial Keystone XL pipeline project and the new high-profile Coastal GasLink system project. These projects are likely to generate higher returns than these legacy assets.

Columbia Midstream Group operates in the Appalachian Basin and owns four natural gas gathering systems. It also has an interest in a company with gathering, processing and liquids assets, and a pipeline that runs through western Pennsylvania, eastern Ohio and northern West Virginia.

Source:
reuters

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.

Source:
Reuters

Risk of Losing Nearly $1 Billion - Keystone XL Pipeline Fighting for Rights to Allow Pre-Construction

TransCanada is asking a judge to reverse his order blocking the project’s ability to begin pre-construction work. The company would like to proceed with purchasing materials and finalizing contracts.

Attorneys on behalf of TransCanada will argue in a Wednesday telephone conference that U.S. District Judge Brian Morris should clarify or amend his rulings to say the injunction does not include finalizing contracts, purchasing materials, and conducting land surveys and federal permit discussions.

TransCanada wants to keep preliminary work on track so they can be prepared to start pipeline construction as early as possible.

Delays as little as several weeks could delay the company’s 2021 target for oil to start flowing.

The company is at risk of losing nearly $1 Billion in earnings as well as missing out on the opportunity to employ 6,600 workers, Senior Vice President of the company said in a statement.

Source:
AP News

Environmental Group Blasts Trump Administration and Keystone Environmental Review

The Sierra Club has blasted the environmental assessment of the Keystone XL Pipeline, stating that the Trump administration is putting lives at risk to prop up the Canadian tar sands industry.

"Once again, the Trump administration is attempting to take a shortcut around the legally required review process on Keystone XL, putting our communities at risk for the sake of propping up the Canadian tar sands industry," said Kelly Martin, director of the Sierra Club Beyond Dirty Fuels Campaign.

The review released on Monday showed that the line had minor to moderate effects regarding noise and vibration, water resources, and biological resources. Soils, air quality and cultural resources, and negligible impact on land use would all be minorly affected as well.

The outcome of the report shows the current U.S. government’s support for the project.
President Donald Trump granted the project a permit last year, reversing his predecessor’s rejection of the pipeline.

Energy Secretary Rick Perry predicted the pipeline would be built when asked about it on Monday during a U.S. Chamber of Commerce event.

Source:
Houston Chronicle