Portland Pipe Line Aims to Reverse Pipeline Flow Amid City Ban

The Portland Pipe Line Corp is trying to reverse a 75-year-old underground pipeline to receive crude oil from Canada to South Portland, Maine but is working against South Portland's ban on loading crude into tankers on its waterfront.

The ExxonMobil and Suncor Energy subsidiary filed a lawsuit against South Portland back in 2015 challenging its Clear Skies ordinance which bans the loading of crude oil into tankers on the city's waterfront. This ban effectively blocks the company from reversing the pipeline's flow to bring oil from Canada into South Portland.

The underground pipeline has been largely decommissioned over the last year due to lack of demand because the Canadian refineries are drawing crude from western Canada and North Dakota.

President of Portland Pipe Line Corp Thomas Hardison claims that Canadian suppliers can make available more than 100,000 barrels per day in volume, concluding that there is sufficient volume available to support a successful flow reversal project.

The city questions Hardison's estimates saying he did not provide detailed supporting data.

South Portland has asked a judge to dismiss the case, but the case continues.

Portland Press Herald

Natural Gas Explosion in Portland Causes Several Injuries, Immense Damage to Property

Firefighters work to put out fire after a natural gas explosion occurred in Portland, Oregon, October 19, 2016. Photo: Don Ryan / AP

Firefighters work to put out fire after a natural gas explosion occurred in Portland, Oregon, October 19, 2016. Photo: Don Ryan / AP

A natural gas explosion on Wednesday in Portland, Oregon caused eight injuries and several evacuations after it erupted into fire on a popular street called “Trendy Third.”

The explosion caused immense damage to property, crumbling a building to ashes and blowing out windows of another nearby building.

Utility company NW Natural responded to calls at 8:55am on Wednesday morning about a subcontractor hitting one of its gas lines while digging.

Workers from NW Natural were onsite by 9:10am and were working to control the gas leak when an eruption occurred at 9:38am. The cause of the ignition is unknown.

The company was able to control the gas leak by 9:52am, according to the update on its website. NW Natural is currently coordinating with Portland Fire, PGE and City of Portland structural officials to turn service back on in the area as soon as possible.

“We want to assure our customers and the communities we serve that public safety is our absolute priority. We continually train our crews to be ready, and I’m proud of their rapid response,” said CEO David Anderson in a statement.

NW Natural