Tag Archives: Crude oil

Estimated 230,000 gallons of crude oil spills into Iowa river after Train derailment 

Tanker cars carrying Alberta crude oil are shown derailed in Lyon County, Iowa, Friday. (Photo Sioux City Journal via AP)

Train carrying tanker cars of tar sands oil from Alberta to Oklahoma derails along flooded Iowa river

A train derailment has spilled an estimated 230,000 gallons of Alberta crude oil into the floodwaters of the Rock River, in Iowa, resulting in a disaster declaration from the governor and a massive clean-up operation.

The train derailed around 4:30am Friday, near Doon, in Lyon County. There were no injuries.

Oil spilled into the river after 32 tanker cars derailed. The train’s operator BNSF said 14 of the derailed cars had leaked oil, according to Lyon County Daily News.

The derailment forced evacuations of nearby homes and raised concerns about drinking water contamination. Rock Valley, a small city just to the southwest of Doon shut off all its drinking water wells.

Crews spent Saturday containing the spill and building a temporary road to move equipment to the crash site to make it easier to remove the piled-up train cars and advance the cleanup, the Sioux City Journal reported.

Crews work to clean up the BNSF railway after a 32-car derailment along banks of the Rock River south of Doon, Iowa.

BNSF spokesman Andy Williams said the cleanup and recovery were still in the early stages.

A disaster proclamation issued by Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds for Lyon and three other counties in response to the train derailment placed the blame on rain-fueled flooding.

The nearby Little Rock River rose rapidly after heavy rain Wednesday and Thursday. The Little Rock River flows into the Rock River which caused overflow on its banks along the route of the train tracks.

Some officials have speculated that floodwaters eroded soil beneath the train track. The cause has not been confirmed.

According to The Associated Press, the train was carrying tar sands oil from Alberta, to Stroud, Oklahoma, for ConocoPhillips. ConocoPhillips spokesman Daren Beaudo said each tanker can hold more than 25,000 gallons (20,817 imperial gallons) of oil.

CTV News is reporting almost half of the oil spill – an estimated 100,000 gallons (378,530 liters) – has been contained at the site using booms close to the derailment site. An additional boom has been placed about five miles (8.05 kilometers) downstream.

BNSF did not respond to questions on Sunday about the progress of the cleanup.

The Sioux County Sheriff posted a video depicting the aftermath of the derailment near Doon on Facebook:

Tanker Illegally Dumps Crude Oil Near Lloydminster, Sask. Water Treatment Plant


Illegal dumping to blame for an oil spill near Lloydminster

Global News | Feb 16, 2017

An oil spill near the water treatment plant in Lloydminster, Sask., was not a spill at all.

The Saskatchewan government said it was due to a tank-trailer illegally dumping around 2,000 litres of heavy crude into a ditch. The oil then entered the storm water system.

A city staff member saw the oil near the facility, which is northeast of Lloydminster on the Saskatchewan side of the border. City crews responded at around 12:30 p.m. CT on Tuesday.

“The city was quick to isolate the spill and to clean up and recover as much as possible,” Wes Kotyk, acting assistant deputy minister of the Saskatchewan Environmental Protection Division, said.

“The product that entered the storm sewer, there was no reporting of any of it exiting into any environmentally sensitive areas, so there’s no impacts to water bodies or other infrastructure,” Kotyk said.

No threat to the city’s drinking water supply is believed to exist.

It is being contained with sandbags.

Provincial officials are trying to determine who is responsible for the incident, for which possible fines range from one dollar to $1 million per day, Kotyk said.

No threat to the city’s water supply is believed to exist.

About 95 per cent of the oil was recovered as of Tuesday.

Remediation efforts could be done in “the next couple days,” according to Lloydminster Fire Department Chief Jordan Newton.

“There should be no permanent environmental damage. We are working to remediate all the environmental impact to return that area to what it once was,” Newton said.

Crews from the Ministry of Environment are investigating, along with Lloydminster RCMP and the Saskatchewan Water Security Agency.

A third-party environmental group is monitoring the situation as well, Newton said.

Anyone with information is asked to call Lloydminster’s public safety office at 780-874-3710.

With files from The Canadian Press


Sandpiper Pipeline Future Unclear As Enbridge Buys Into Dakota Access

Workers unload pipes for the proposed Dakota Access oil pipeline / AP

Workers unload pipes for the proposed Dakota Access oil pipeline / AP

This article was originally published by: Wadena Pioneer Journal

By Amy Dalrymple on Aug 15, 2016

Enbridge, which has been battling for approval of a Bakken crude oil pipeline across northern Minnesota, has announced it will invest in a different pipeline from North Dakota, leaving the future of its Sandpiper line unclear.

Enbridge Energy Partners and Marathon Petroleum Corp. plan to acquire a portion of the Dakota Access pipeline in a $2 billion deal that would leave Enbridge’s Sandpiper pipeline without an anchor customer.

Enbridge and Marathon, which previously planned to partner on the Sandpiper to transport crude oil from northwest North Dakota to Superior, Wis., expect to terminate their Sandpiper agreement later this year.

Once the deal is finalized, expected in the third quarter of this year, Enbridge said it plans to evaluate the timing and the scope of the Sandpiper project.

“We continue to believe that the Bakken is highly productive and a significant area of potential that requires pipeline capacity,” said Katie Haarsager, an Enbridge spokeswoman. “We’re still looking at the Sandpiper as a viable solution for moving Bakken crude.”

Marathon had committed to fund 37.5 percent of the construction of the $2.6 billion Sandpiper project. The pipeline was initially expected to be in service in 2016, but regulatory delays in Minnesota have prevented construction from starting.

Andy Lipow, president of Lipow Oil Associates consulting firm in Houston, said he thinks the announcement by Enbridge and Marathon puts the future of Sandpiper in doubt.

“My personal opinion is that this transaction makes it less likely that the Sandpiper pipeline will proceed, especially as we see oil prices hover between $40 and $50 a barrel,” Lipow said.

The Friends of the Headwaters environmental group based in Park Rapids said they considered the news a “soft victory” for members who have opposed locating the pipeline near the Mississippi Headwaters and other sensitive water bodies in northern Minnesota.

“This project would have put many miles of wetlands, lakes, rivers, streams and wild rice waters at risk of a catastrophic oil spill, and if this project does not move forward, it is a victory for clean water in Minnesota,” said Richard Smith, president of the group.

However, the group remains cautious because the deal is not yet final and they are anxious to hear what Enbridge will tell Minnesota regulators, Smith said. In addition, the group remains concerned about Enbridge’s Line 3 Project also proposed for that area.

Enbridge said Sandpiper would not be ready until 2019 after environmental groups pushed for an environmental impact statement, which led the Minnesota Court of Appeals to overturn the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission’s permit for the Sandpiper. That environmental study is now in its initial scoping phase.

The 225,000-barrel-per-day Sandpiper project has commitments from other shippers, but Marathon was the anchor shipper, Haarsager said.

Meanwhile, construction for the Dakota Access Pipeline is well underway and will transport crude oil from the Bakken to Patoka, Ill. The pipeline will initially transport 450,000 barrels per day with potential to be expanded to 570,000 barrels per day.

The deal announced this week means that Enbridge Energy Partners and Marathon Petroleum will own a minority interest in both the Dakota Access Pipeline and the Energy Transfer Crude Pipeline, jointly referred to as the Bakken Pipeline System.

The Energy Transfer Crude Pipeline is a converted natural gas pipeline that will transport crude oil from Patoka to the Gulf Coast.

With the slowdown in the oil industry and the addition of the Dakota Access Pipeline, the Sandpiper would not be needed for several years, Lipow said.

“These low oil prices have impacted production up in the Bakken and as a result, we don’t need as much pipeline takeaway capacity as had been previously thought when oil prices were $100 a barrel,” he said.

North Dakota produced a record 1.23 million barrels of oil per day in December 2014, but that has been on the decline since low oil prices prompted companies to cut back on drilling and postpone well completions. The state produced just under 1.05 million barrels per day in May.

Pipeline capacity is now about 850,000 barrels per day and will expand to 1.3 million barrels per day in 2017 after the Dakota Access Pipeline is online, according to the North Dakota Pipeline Authority.

Next year will be the first time in the history of the Bakken development that pipeline capacity will exceed the state’s oil production, said Justin Kringstad, director of the Pipeline Authority.

However, North Dakota oil production is expected to climb again with projections of between 1.3 million and 1.8 million barrels per day.

The deal announced this week involves Enbridge paying $1.5 billion and Marathon Petroleum paying $500 million to Energy Transfer Partners and Sunoco Logistics Partners for a minority stake in the holding company that owns 75 percent of the Bakken Pipeline System. Phillips 66 owns the remaining 25 percent of the Bakken Pipeline System.

Enbridge would not play a role in the construction or management of the Dakota Access Pipeline, Haarsager said.


“We’ll Blow Up More Pipelines,” Militants Threaten Buhari

Militants threaten to blow up more pipelines. (Vanguard)

Militants threaten to blow up more pipelines. (Vanguard)

The group took responsibility for February’s attack on an underwater pipeline that forced Shell to shut down its export terminal for weeks.

By Pulse NG

In Niger Delta:

A new militant group, Niger Delta Avengers, has sprung up and is threatening to launch attacks on oil pipelines over the alleged neglect of local communities by the government.

The group said in a statement on Monday, April 18, that President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration places more importance on the oil resources of the region than human lives..

The group took responsibility for February’s attack on an underwater pipeline that forced Shell to shut down its export terminal for weeks.

While speaking in China last week, the President had said the government would treat oil vandals like Boko Haram terrorists.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, last Sunday, also said the government would establish a permanent pipeline security force.

“The presidency can go ahead and set up a permanent security force, as stated by the vice president when he visited the SPDC (Shell Petroleum Development Company) Forcados Terminal,”the militant group said in a statement.

“We are not deterred by such threats as we are highly spirited and shall continue blowing up pipelines until the Niger Delta people are no longer marginalized by the Nigerian actors.”

READ: Militants bomb pipeline in sophisticated under water attack

The group also called warned the international community, especially China, from where Buhari has just returned, not loan Nigeria any money as “there will be no liters of crude oil to service the loan deal”.

Oil pipeline vandalism seemed to have stepped up in the country since ex-militant leader, Tompolo, was declared wanted in January by the Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over corruption charges.


Sioux Nation Draws Battle Lines Over Pipeline Route

In testimony filed prior to the hearings, Young stated: "TransCanada has never demonstrated any respect for the Indian nations. That is why the PUC should deny certification of the permit for the Keystone XL Pipeline Project."

In testimony filed prior to the hearings, Young stated: “TransCanada has never demonstrated any respect for the Indian nations. That is why the PUC should deny certification of the permit for the Keystone XL Pipeline Project.”

By: Talli Nauman – Native Sun News Health & Environment Editor

PIERRE – TransCanada Corp. cannot meet the socio-economic conditions necessary for building the proposed Keystone XL tar-sands crude-oil pipeline through Lakota treaty territory, representatives and expert witnesses for four tribal governments testified during hearings July 27 through Aug. 4.

The South Dakota Public Utility Commission scheduled the evidentiary hearings to air debate for its decision on the Canadian corporation’s request for renewal of a permit to build the line 314 miles through the counties of Harding, Butte, Perkins, Meade, Pennington, Haakon, Jones, Lyman and Tripp.

The permit would help the Canadian company reach its longstanding goal of connecting the Alberta oil shale fields with the refineries and export facilities on the Texas Gulf Coast. Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Councilor Phyllis Young said water quality is the main socio-economic concern. Treaty rights establish Lakota dominion over the air, land, and water that TransCanada Corp. seeks for the pipeline, but the company has not consulted with the tribe on that matter.

“I take objection with TransCanada, which does not have the authority to do that in this country. Treaties have set aside the homelands for us. Please understand, we are protecting our people,” Young said. “The ranchers, farmers, and Indians in South Dakota have not been consulted. I have a long history of relations with the people who want their homes to be protected, I speak for them also,” she said.

In testimony filed prior to the hearing, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Historic Preservation Office elaborated on the argument:

“The Keystone XL Pipeline (and other pipelines) will cross aboriginal and treaty territory that was exclusively set aside by the U.S. government for the Sioux Nation (Ft. Laramie Treaties of 1851and 1868).” The Sioux people were nomadic people and followed the buffalo. Our valuable cultural resources are located throughout the path of the Keystone XL Pipeline. Yet the proper procedures to make the requisite determinations have not been followed.

“The tribe said the permit renewal should be denied because “Keystone XL Pipeline is unable to continue to comply with Amended Condition number 43.” That condition of the original 2009 state permit, a document which has expired due to inaction, requires TransCanada Corp. to notify landowners if a possible protectable resource is found in the course of pipeline-related activities.

In testimony filed prior to the hearings, Young stated: “TransCanada has never demonstrated any respect for the Indian nations. That is why the PUC should deny certification of the permit for the Keystone XL Pipeline Project.”

TransCanada Corp. attorney William Taylor said the company is not required to consult with tribes. “Government-to-government discussions are between the U.S. and tribes, not TransCanada and tribes,” he said. “This discussion is irrelevant.”

Commissioners granted Taylor the opportunity to file a post-hearing brief arguing the basis for his objections. He asked Young, “Are you familiar with TransCanada’s Indigenous People’s Policy.” She replied: “I’m not sure.”

The policy states: “TransCanada respects the diversity of aboriginal cultures, recognizes the importance of the land and cultivates relationships based on trust and respect; TransCanada works together with aboriginal communities to identify impacts of company activities on the community’s values and needs in order to find mutually acceptable solutions and benefits.”

Jennifer Baker, attorney for the Yankton Sioux Tribe, presented a portion of the policy statement and asked, “Do you think TransCanada complies with its own policy on aboriginal relations?”
Young answered, “No.”

Representing the Yankton Sioux Tribe was Faith Spotted Eagle, elected by the tribal General Council to the Ihanktonwan Treaty Committee, which she chairs. She said the objective of the Yankton tribe’s testimony was “to provide information to the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission that the applicant does not continue to meet all conditions upon which the permit was issued including violations of treaties, socio-cultural threats, and threats to safe drinking water, in particular reference to the potential coming of man camps which presents a safety conference of an at risk population already threatened by violence.

“It is frightening to think that no fore planning has been done to even recognize what happens when man camps are plopped into rural communities where wide gaps exist in law enforcement further impinged upon by cross-jurisdictional problems between reservation and state areas, which are long standing issues,” she said.

“Man camps are inhabited by young and single men who are suddenly away from their families, spouses, and have the financial means to use and abuse illicit drugs. The result is easy to predict and does not require any scientific analysis – these young men, unfortunately, increase the crime rates including violent crimes, sexual crimes, and drug-related crimes. It is common sense that these men will need recreational outlets and will seek these at nearby casinos, including ours,” she said, citing the tribe’s Ft. Randall Casino and Hotel.

She noted that “the pipeline would trespass right through treaty territory guaranteed by the Ft. Laramie Treaty as well as additional lands beyond that area that are unceded lands, and we still retain a multitude of rights on those lands based on the treaty that are protected by federal law and that are vital to our cultural, spiritual, and physical survival.”

Among the rights are: hunting, fishing, gathering medicinal plants, use of the water, burial responsibilities, and sacred site protection, she said.

Yankton Sioux Tribal Police Chief Chris Sauncosi notified commissioners that he “can show that TransCanada cannot continue to meet the conditions upon which its original permit was issued.”

In a written statement, Sauncosi said, “I can provide testimony about the lack of interaction or communication between TransCanada and Tribal law enforcement and emergency response personnel.”

Cheyenne River Sioux Tribal Historical Preservation Officer Steve Vance, also formerly a law enforcement officer for the tribe, filed testimony stating that the pipeline construction phases “will greatly hinder the tribe’s and tribal member’s access to numerous cultural and historic sites. After all, people cannot simply walk through active construction zones to get to these sites.” If the pipeline is built, he said, “There will undoubtedly be an ongoing need for general inspection and maintenance of the completed pipeline. This, in turn, would place pipeline workers within the vicinity of many sacred places. Traditional practitioners seeking solitude while performing traditional worship practices would almost certainly be interrupted by pipeline workers. “As such, any disturbance by pipeline workers will necessarily have an immense negative impact on the ability of tribal members to perform traditional practices at these affected cultural and historical sites.

Vance compared the pipeline’s potential impact to the results of mining in the Black Hills. “This proposed project will have long term negative effects emotionally and spiritually on many tribal members.

Keystone held one teleconference some four years ago and made a visit to the tribal chairman’s office a year ago, according to Vance. However, he said, “The impacts to cultural resources could not be discussed during these preliminary meetings because the resources were not sufficiently identified at the time.”

He said measures to avoid and mitigate impacts on cultural and historic resources should have been addressed in a Programmatic Agreement, but the tribe “was not involved in the development of the P.A.”

Paula Antoine, Director of the Sicangu Oyate Land Office said the Rosebud Sioux Tribe “has passed resolutions to deny the KXL any access to our lands and in opposition of the pipeline. We view the KXL pipeline as the threat of “the black snake coming from the north” that was revealed to us through prophecy by our ancestors many years ago.”

She noted that a spiritual camp was established in March 2014 to publicly oppose “the black snake and all of the negative things it represents.”

She argued that “none of the testimony offered by Keystone or the PUC Staff shows or attempts to even demonstrate that the welfare of the citizens of South Dakota will not be impaired by the project. She said TransCanada has yet to prove its project will not pose a threat of serious injury to the socioeconomic conditions in the project area; will not substantially impair the health, safety, or welfare of the inhabitants in the project area; and will not unduly interfere with the orderly development of the region.

None of the testimony offers any evidence regarding whether or not the project will continue to have minimal effects in the areas of agriculture, commercial and industrial sectors, land values, housing, sewer and water, solid waste management, transportation, cultural and historic resources, health services, schools, recreation, public safety, noise and visual impacts, she said.

Construction Equipment Guide, Published On: 8/10/2015