100,000 Liters of Spillage in Alberta Marsh After Pipeline Leak

A Calgary-based oil company reports that more than 100,000 liters of oil and water leaked down a hill into a Southern Alberta Marsh. Oil mixed with produced water and resulted in activation of the company’s response plan.

The company said on Monday that the spill was detected on Saturday afternoon.

The report also said that "impact on wildlife is currently being assessed by specialists on site but appears to have been minimal. Crews have physically contained the spilled fluids from causing further contamination and have already recovered a significant volume of the released fluid from the surface."

Farmland affected is currently not being used for pasture and landowners have visited the location.

The leak was detected within a few hours of when it began by staff monitoring pipeline pressure and appears to have come from where a feeder pipeline leaves oil-testing facilities, said CEO Colin Davies.

Initial estimates put the spill at 250,000 liters but was later decreased to between 100,000 and 200,000 liters.

CBC Canada


Judge Tells Minnesota Regulators to Approve Line 3, but Not Enbridge's Preferred Route

An administrative law judge on Monday told Minnesota regulators that they should approve Enbridge's proposed Line 3 oil pipeline but not the route that Enbridge has proposed for the replacement project.

Instead, administrative law judge Ann O'Reilly said in her recommendation that the pipeline project should only be approved if Enbridge replaces the existing line in its current location, citing integrity concerns with the current 50-year-old Line 3 pipeline.

O'Reilly said building the new Line 3 along a new route has more consequences than benefits for the state of Minnesota.

O'Reilly's recommendation comes after hearing days of testimony from the public and reading written comments submitted about the project. More than 72,000 written comments were submitted about the project, and 68,244 of them opposed it, according to O'Reilly.

The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission had been waiting for an official recommendation from O'Reilly before making a final decision on the pipeline project. The commission is expected to make a final decision in June.

Enbridge says the old 1,000-mile Line 3 oil pipeline is corroding and is very costly to maintain, requiring the need for a replacement pipeline in order to boost safety and pipeline capacity.

Many against the project have threatened a repeat of the protests that occurred in North Dakota near the Standing Rock reservation that delayed construction on the Dakota Access Pipeline for several months.

MPR News

Canada Supports Kinder Morgan's Appeal to NEB for Pipeline Permits

Canada's federal government said it backs Kinder Morgan's second appeal to the National Energy Board over local permits for the planned Trans Mountain oil pipeline expansion.

Kinder Morgan Canada is trying to push its $5.9 billion pipeline expansion project that was federally approved last year amid strong opposition from lower governments and environmentalist and aboriginal groups.

Canada said it supports Kinder Morgan's request earlier this month to set up a process to resolve potential disagreements with provinces or municipalities over the pipeline's path to the west coast.

Kinder Morgan's appeal this month is the second one filed after it submitted a similar one last month when the company failed to obtain local permits from of Burnaby, British Columbia.

The company said it has worked in compliance with Burnaby for many months but has still yet to obtain permits, resulting in potential delays to the expansion and millions of dollars in losses.


Minnesota Judge to Allow "Necessity Defense" in Enbridge Pipeline Case

A Minnesota judge is allowing a group of protestors to use a "necessity defense," which will allow them to present evidence showing that the threat of climate change from Canadian tar sands is so imminent that they were justified in attempting to shut down two Enbridge oil pipelines last year.

Two members of the activist group Climate Direct Action attempted to turn the emergency shut-off valves of two pipelines in Minnesota last October as part of a coordinated action to shut down five pipelines that carry Canadian tar sands into the U.S.

These two protestors claim this is the first time a judge has allowed a full necessity defense on a climate change issue. They plan to cite recent natural disasters like hurricanes and wildfires in the U.S. as evidence that climate change is making natural disasters worse.

A defendant who uses a necessity defense must show that the harm that would result from obeying the law would have been significantly worse than the harm caused by actually breaking the law. The defendant much also show that there were no alternatives to breaking the law, that the defendant was in physical danger, and that there was a direct causal connection between breaking the law and preventing the harm.

Enbridge last year condemned the protest, saying it was "dangerous and reckless," and had temporarily shut down the pipelines as a precaution.

Houston Chronicle

Update: Centurion Pipeline Spilled 15,800 Gallons of Oil

A leak that occurred last Tuesday from a Centurion Pipeline oil pipeline in Oklahoma spilled 377 barrels, or 15,800 gallons of oil before repairs began the following day, according to the Oklahoma Public Utilities Commission.

The oil ran into a dry creek bed about 30 miles north of Cushing, Oklahoma and was considered a "relatively large" spill that will take until at least the middle of next week to clean up, said a spokesperson for the Oklahoma Corporation Commission.

The leak last Tuesday was caused by a Plains All American Pipeline contractor who was excavating for another pipeline.

Centurion's pipeline has since returned to normal service.


U.S. Federal Judge Grants Trade Groups a Say in Potential DAPL Shutdown

A U.S. federal judge weighing whether to shut down the Dakota Access pipeline while an additional environmental review is conducted on the route said Friday that national energy and manufacturing trade groups could have a say in the verdict.

District Judge James Boasberg granted the request just days before Monday’s final deadline for all parties involved in the dispute to give their arguments.

After the Dakota Access Pipeline began operations in June, Boasberg ordered that the Army Corps of Engineers further review the pipeline’s impact on the Standing Rock tribe land. Boasberg is deciding whether to temporarily shut down the 1,200-mile pipeline until that review is completed.

The Standing Rock Sioux and other American Indian tribes are fighting against the line, saying it threatens cultural sites and water supply.

Groups in the energy industry, such as the American Petroleum Institute, American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers, and Association of Oil Pipe Lines, submitted a request to Boasberg to be able to weigh in on the matter.

These groups and the operator of the $3.8 billion oil pipeline argue that shutting down the line would have a significant economic impact throughout the oil industry and other smaller economies.


Nebraska Commission Hears Arguments For, Against Keystone XL Route

Nebraska held a hearing Wednesday for opponents and supporters to allow for public comment on the proposed route of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline through the state.

The Nebraska Public Service Commission scheduled a public hearing from 1 to 8 p.m. at the O'Neill Community Center in O'Neill, Nebraska and also held a similar hearing on May 3 in York. A five-day hearing with formal arguments is scheduled for August 7-11 in Lincoln.

A decision was not made at the end of the hearing, nor is it expected as the commission will have until November to decide on the pipeline route.

Pipeline operator TransCanada applied for approval of the route of its Keystone XL oil pipeline, which would travel from western Canada to Steele City, Nebraska and connect to the southern portion of the existing pipeline to crude oil refineries in the Gulf Coast.

Houston Chronicle

Dakota Access Pipeline to Start Interstate Crude Oil Delivery Next Month

The Dakota Access Pipeline will begin interstate crude oil delivery on May 14, according to pipeline operator Energy Transfer Partners.

The company on Thursday filed a tariff with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, in which it laid out details on the oil pipeline.

After months of sometimes-violent international opposition and protest against the 1,172-mile pipeline, Energy Transfer Partners requested to a federal judge earlier this month that it keep secret the details of the line in order to prevent vandals from damaging the line.

The pipeline operator asked in its request to U.S. District Judge James Boasberg to shield pipeline information that could be used by anyone "with the malicious intent to damage the pipeline."

Judge Boasberg said in a ruling that some but not all information may be shielded from public view. Information relating to pipeline maps at certain crossings, detecting and shutting down spills, maps of spill scenarios, and details to monitoring systems may be shielded from public view, according to Boasberg's decision.

The $3.8 billion project starts in western North Dakota at the Bakken Shale Play and runs to Patoka Illinois.


Crews Responding to Oil Spill in Alberta, Canada

Officials are responding to an oil spill in oil-rich Alberta, Canada after a pipeline operated by Husky Energy broke on Thursday.

The involved pipeline has been shut down, according to Husky Energy, and the Alberta Energy Regulator is investigating the cause of the leak and the amount spilled, which is currently unknown.

Husky was still working on Monday to isolate the oil that spilled from the line into Coxhill Creek near Calgary. The company said there was no flowing water at the site of the spill and that the spill was light. No wildlife was harmed by the spill, according to the province regulator.

Although the spill was light, the company said it occurred in an area with difficult terrain that is making the cleanup process slow.

Husky Energy also noted that its leak detection system was operational, but the spill was not identified until it was seen by a worker. Husky said an investigation will answer why the pipeline leak detection system did not flag the spill.

Calgary Herald


Federal Judge to Rule on Dakota Access Pipeline Work by Next Week

Federal Judge James Boasberg told lawyers that he will decide within the next week whether to temporarily halt construction on the last section of the Dakota Access Pipeline over claims from two Native American tribes that the pipeline violates their religious rights.

Boasberg said he will issue a ruling before oil begins flowing in the pipeline. He has ordered pipeline developer Energy Transfer Partners to update him weekly on when oil would be ready to flow through the line after construction is complete.

The Standing Rock and Cheyenne River Sioux tribes want Boasberg to order the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to withdraw permission from Energy Transfer Partners to lay pipe under the Missouri River as it violates their right to practice their religion, according to claims in court.

The religion claim is new to the court hearings, as the tribes first claimed the pipeline would potentially contaminate water supply and ruin sacred sites. Boasberg questioned the legitimacy of the argument, and both the Army Corps and Energy Transfer Partners say his questioning is due to the delay of the tribes' claim.

Boasberg ruled at a past hearing that as long as oil is not flowing in the pipeline, there was no imminent harm to the tribes.

Energy Transfer Partners is finishing the last section of the 1,172-mile pipeline and estimates that it will be operating no later than early April.

ABC News

TransCanada Applies for Keystone XL Route Permit in Nebraska

TransCanada last week filed an application with the Nebraska Public Service Commission to route its revived $8 billion Keystone XL pipeline through the state and expects a decision this year from the commission.

The 1,179-mile oil pipeline was under review for six years and ultimately rejected under the Obama administration. President Donald Trump then approved the project and invited TransCanada to reapply for a permit just a few days after he took office in January.

The project is already receiving major opposition from Nebraska environmentalists and landowners, just as it did a few years ago when it was finally vetoed in 2015. Opponents are worried about possible oil spills and believe the project is "all risk and no reward," according to Nebraskan activist Jane Kleeb.

If built, the pipeline would carry 830,000 barrels per day of oil sands crude from Alberta, Canada to Nebraska before heading to a refining market on the Gulf Coast.

TransCanada said that although $8 billion is the most recent estimate of the cost of Keystone XL, the estimate would be refreshed this year.


Energy Transfer Completes $2 Billion Stakes Sale in Dakota Access Pipeline

Dakota Access Pipeline builder Energy Transfer Partners completed its $2 billion sale of stakes in the oil pipeline after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers granted its regulatory approval for the company to complete construction on the line.

Energy Transfer Partners sold a 27.6 percent share of the pipeline to Enbridge and a 9.2 percent share to Marathon Petroleum. The total $2 billion stakes sale for the roughly $4 billion pipeline leaves Energy Transfer Partners with a 38.25 percent stake in the pipeline and Phillips 66 with its 25 percent stake.

The sale had been announced months ago but was put on hold while the Dakota Access Pipeline was halted due to regulatory reviews under the Obama administration. Since then, the Army Corps under the Trump administration has reversed the regulatory holdups, and construction has restarted.

Energy Transfer Partners said it will use the money from the stakes sale for debt reduction.

Fuel Fix


Marathon Petroleum Affiliate to Buy Enbridge Pipeline for $220 Million

Marathon Petroleum's affiliate MPLX announced it is purchasing a 433-mile crude oil pipeline from Enbridge for $220 million.

The 230,000-barrel-per-day Ozark pipeline begins in the Cushing, Oklahoma storage hub where it then runs to refining and pipeline systems in Illinois.

MPLX said it is planning to expand the capacity from 230,000 to 345,000 barrels per day and hopes to complete this by the middle of 2018.

"Ozark Pipeline will expand the footprint of our logistics and storage segment by connecting Cushing-sourced volumes to our extensive Midwest pipeline network," president of MPLX Don Templin said in a statement.

The transaction is expected to close by end of March.

Fuel Fix

U.S. State Department: Enbridge Pipeline Capacity Boost Poses No Threat to Environment

The U.S. State Department on Friday released a statement that said a Canadian company's plan to increase capacity on a pipeline that crosses the U.S.-Canada border would not have a significant negative impact on the environment.

The statement comes after a four-year review by the State Department after pipeline operator Enbridge Energy Partners asked the department for a presidential permit in 2012 that would allow the company to transport 800,000 barrels per day on a three-mile section of its Alberta Clipper pipeline.

The Alberta Clipper pipeline, also known as Line 67, carries tar sand oil from Canada through North Dakota and Minnesota to Wisconsin. It was built in 2009 for approximately $1 billion and currently carries 450,000 barrels daily. 

The State Department has issued a public comment period of 45 days on its draft environmental impact statement. Once the presidential permit is received, the Alberta Clipper capacity increase will await approval from the U.S. government.


Sioux Tribe: We are Running Out of Options to Fight Dakota Access

After several months of a relentless fight, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe said it is beginning to run out of legal options to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline, which was granted legal approval Wednesday to finish construction under the Missouri River just north of the Standing Rock reservation.

The tribe is not the only group that thinks the odds are against the pipeline fighters as legal experts have also agreed that any court at this point in the grueling process would not likely halt the 1,172-mile oil pipeline headed by Energy Transfer Partners.

Although the options are running low for the tribe, chairman of Standing Rock Sioux David Archambault II told Reuters reporters that they are "still going to continue to look at all legal options available" to them as the fight is still not over.

The U.S. Army on Wednesday granted the final permit for the 1.5-mile section remaining of the pipeline weeks after President Donald Trump signed an executive order that required the Army to expedite its review and approval process of the oil pipeline.

The tribe and other pipeline opponents saw a short victory in December when the crossing permit was denied under the Obama administration. Following the construction halt, the U.S. Army said it would conduct a full environmental impact review of the pipeline route as well as consider alternate routes.

That victory was reversed, however, when President Trump prompted the restart of construction by signing an executive order on January 24 to approve the pipeline.

Some pipeline protestors have told reporters that, although frustrated with the outcome, they are happy to see a resolve. Other fighters have said they will continue to stand against construction until the "black snake" is destroyed.


Major Texas Oil Pipeline Back in Service after Rupture

A major Texas oil pipeline that was shut down after a rupture resumed operations Sunday after necessary repairs, according to Seaway Crude Pipeline Co.

The 500-mile Seaway S-1 oil pipeline, a 50/50 venture between Enterprise Products Partners and Enbridge Inc, was shut down last week after it was punctured by a third party contractor working on road construction. Oil spewed several stories high into the air and onto a major Dallas highway.

Pipeline representatives have not reported how much oil was spilled from the incident, but no injuries or fires occurred as a result.

The Seaway S-1 carries 400,000 barrels per day from Cushing, Oklahoma down to the U.S. Gulf Coast.



Sioux Tribe: "Rogue" Protestors Hurting Cause to Fight Dakota Access Pipeline

Since the predicted revival of the Dakota Access Pipeline, protests against the project have reignited around the country, but not all are aiding the cause of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe which has been standing strongly against the oil pipeline since the summer of 2016.

On Wednesday a "rogue" group of about 70 protesters was arrested near the main protest camp in North Dakota after the protestors attempted to create an illegal camp on private property, against the request of the tribe and other district leaders.

Officials requested several times that the group dismantle the camp and leave immediately, but the group showed no signs of these instructions. They were subsequently arrested by the Morton County Sheriff department.

Members of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe said this defiant act by the "rogue" group has put their cause at risk.

Both the Sioux tribe and other environmentalists are prepared to fight in court should the easement be granted for Energy Transfer Partners to finish construction of the pipeline underneath Lake Oahe, which is a half-mile upstream from the tribe's reservation.

President Trump signed an executive order last week that calls for the Army Corps to expedite its environmental review and approval process of the pipeline.






Protestors in Nebraska Strategize Fight Against Revived Keystone XL

January 26, 2017 - Protesters against the Dakota Access Pipeline and Keystone XL Pipeline demonstrate outside the San Francisco Federal Building. Pax Ahimsa Gethen - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0.

January 26, 2017 - Protesters against the Dakota Access Pipeline and Keystone XL Pipeline demonstrate outside the San Francisco Federal Building. Pax Ahimsa Gethen - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0.

About 150 people gathered on Monday in Nebraska to strategize their fight against the newly revived Keystone XL oil pipeline that would travel from Alberta, Canada through Montana, South Dakota, and Nebraska.

TransCanada's proposed Keystone XL project was rejected in 2015 under the Obama administration, but President Donald Trump signed an executive order last week reviving the project, saying it would create tens of thousands of jobs in the U.S.

When the pipeline project was first proposed, it was fought hard by landowners in Nebraska who refused to grant right-of-ways for the pipeline route. Landowners believed then, and believe now, that the pipeline would destroy wildlife, livestock, drinking water, and downstream communities.

Of the U.S. states the pipeline would travel though, Nebraska is the only one TransCanada needs easements for. Landowners who refuse to grant the easements say the pipeline should be rerouted if not stopped completely.

Despite the renewed fight against the project, TransCanada's pipeline still has many hurdles to push past before it can potentially be approved, including awaiting approval for a permit by the U.S. Department of State and being reviewed by the Nebraska Public Service Commission.

Houston Chronicle


Major Texas Oil Pipeline Remains Shut After Rupture

A 500-mile oil pipeline owned by Enterprise Products Partners and Enbridge Inc. was punctured by a construction worker during road work on Monday, gushing oil several stories high and onto a highway northeast of Dallas.

The Seaway S-1 pipeline has been shut down and remains shut as of Tuesday while crews work on cleanup procedures. A section of State Highway 121 near Trenton also remains closed to prevent accidents on the roadway.

Pipeline representatives were not immediately able to indicate how much oil was spilled.

A contractor working for the Texas Department of Transportation accidentally punctured the high-pressure pipeline while working on the road. No injury or fire as a result of the incident was reported.

The pipeline is operated by Seaway Crude Pipeline Company, which is a joint venture between Enterprise and Enbridge. Seaway announced in a statement Monday that the company is developing "a plan to resume operations as quickly and safely as possible."

The Wall Street Journal

Cleanup Underway at Dakota Access Protest Campsite, Signals Cooperation Among Clashes

September 16, 2016 - Dakota Access oil pipeline protest site on federal land near Lake Oahe in North Dakota ( Native News Online )

September 16, 2016 - Dakota Access oil pipeline protest site on federal land near Lake Oahe in North Dakota (Native News Online)

Cleanup of a protest camp near construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota is underway, signaling cooperation between authorities and the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe who have clashed in recent months.

The groups made a decision to clean the polluted campsite on Sunday, agreeing that keeping the debris onsite could cause environmental disaster and risk to public safety should spring floods occur.

The campsite is located on land owned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and was once home to up to 10,000 protestors during the height of protest against the Dakota Access oil pipeline. Since then the number of protestors remaining has dwindled to just a few hundred after a tribe leader encouraged people to go home when a permit to continue construction on the pipeline was denied in December.

Those in charge of cleaning the site, which consists of abandoned cars, structures, and waste, said their intention is not to destroy the camp but to prevent waste from contaminating water sources.

Few protestors remain at the camp and continue to fight a pipeline they believe would contaminate water supply and destroy sacred Native American sites. Protestors celebrated a victory in December when the Army Corps denied a permit needed to construct under the Missouri River, but their victory was short-lived after President Donald Trump signed an executive order last week to expedite the completion of the pipeline.