Minnesota Regulators Postpone Line 3 Meeting After Protests

FILE: Protest against the Enbridge Line 3 replacement in Minnesota.

Enbridge Line 3 meetings postponed after protests erupt

Minnesota regulators postponed a meeting Tuesday on Enbridge Energy’s planned Line 3 replacement after pipeline opponents disrupted the meeting with a bullhorn and a boombox.

Protests erupted as the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission met to discuss whether Enbridge met conditions earlier imposed by the panel. The PUC approved the project in June, giving Enbridge a green light to replace its aging Line 3 crude oil pipeline across Minnesota.

Opponents in the back of the PUC hearing room took out a bullhorn and made speeches aimed at the commissioners, the Star Tribune reported.

“You should all be ashamed,” one protester said.

PUC Chairwoman Nancy Lange recessed the meeting but eventually canceled it when a protester playing music on a boombox refused to turn it off.

Several opponents sat with their backs facing the commissioners. Their shirts featured slogans such as “Enbridge lap dogs.”

In a statement, Enbridge said it was “unfortunate that a small group of people derailed” the meeting. The Canadian-based company said the conditions that were up for discussion were intended to “protect Minnesotans.”

“We acknowledge that the process has been long and difficult and raised many passionate interventions. But what happened today crossed the line,” Enbridge said.

State Rep. Dan Fabian, a Roseau Republican who chairs the Minnesota House Environment and Natural Resources Committee, also criticized the protesters.

“Minnesota is better than this nonsense,” Fabian said in a statement. He called on Gov. Mark Dayton’s administration, the PUC and local law enforcement “to do whatever necessary to prevent disruptions like this from happening in the future.”

Line 3 runs from Alberta, Canada, across North Dakota and Minnesota to Enbridge’s terminal in Superior, Wisconsin. Enbridge wants to replace the line, which it built in the 1960s and is running at only about half its original capacity. The replacement would restore its original capacity. But Native American and environmental activists contend the new line risks spills in fragile areas.

By The Associated Press

[SOURCE]

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Montana judge orders review of TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline route

Pipeline construction image. TransCanada

In setback for TransCanada, judge orders environmental review of Keystone XL pipeline revised route

(Reuters) – A federal judge in Montana has ordered the U.S. State Department to do a full environmental review of a revised route for the Keystone XL oil pipeline, possibly delaying its construction and dealing another setback to TransCanada Corp.

For more than a decade, environmentalists, tribal groups, and ranchers have fought the $8-billion, 1,180-mile (1,900-km) pipeline that will carry heavy crude to Steele City, Nebraska, from Canada’s oilsands in Alberta.

U.S. District Court Judge Brian Morris ruled late on Wednesday for the Indigenous Environmental Network and other plaintiffs, ordering the review of a revised pipeline route through Nebraska to supplement one the State Department did on the original path in 2014.

The State Department was obligated to “analyze new information relevant to the environmental impacts of its decision” to issue a permit for the pipeline last year, Morris said in his ruling.

Supporting the project are Canadian oil producers, who face price discounts over transport bottlenecks, and U.S. refineries and pipeline builders.

TransCanada is reviewing the decision, company spokesman Matthew John said. It hopes to start preliminary work in Montana in the coming months and to begin construction in the second quarter of 2019.

The company said this month it expects to make a final investment decision late this year or in early 2019.

The ruling is negative for TransCanada, since it adds uncertainty to timing, said RBC analyst Robert Kwan, and it was important that the pipeline be constructed during the current U.S. presidential cycle.

President Donald Trump is keen to see the building of the pipeline, which was axed by former President Barack Obama in 2015 on environmental concerns relating to emissions that cause climate change.

The White House did not respond to a request for comment. The State Department is reviewing the court’s order, a spokesman said.

The ruling was “a rejection of the Trump administration’s attempt to … force Keystone XL on the American people,” said Jackie Prange, a lawyer for the Natural Resources Defense Council, an environmental group.

Trump pushed to approve the pipeline soon after he took office, and a State Department official signed a so-called presidential permit in 2017 allowing it to move forward.

However, Morris declined the plaintiff’s request to void that permit, which was based on the 2014 review.

Last year, Nebraska regulators approved an alternative route for the pipeline, which will cost TransCanada millions of dollars more than the original path.

In a draft environmental assessment last month, the State Department said Keystone XL would not harm water supplies or wildlife. That review is less wide-ranging than the full environmental impact statement Morris ordered.

By Reuters 

[SOURCE]

 

TransCanada Sends More Crews to Keystone Pipeline Leak in South Dakota

An aerial view shows the darkened ground of the oil spill that shut down the Keystone pipeline near Amherst, South Dakota. (Courtesy DroneBase/Handout via Reuters)

TransCanada, the operator of Keystone pipeline says the company has sent additional crews and equipment to the site of a 210,000-gallon oil spill in South Dakota.

Crews shut down the Keystone Thursday after discovering a leak.

RELATED:

TransCanada said Saturday it is making progress in its investigation into the cause of the spill on farmland near Amherst in Marshall County.

But the company did not elaborate on the cause. The company says additional equipment and workers continue to be dispatched to the site.

TransCanada says the leak is under control and there is no significant environmental impact or threat to the public.

The spill happened just days before Nebraska regulators were to announce their decision on whether they approve an expansion of the Keystone system. The commission is set to announce their decision Monday.

Nebraska officials said Friday that the oil spill won’t affect their decision to approve or deny a route for the related Keystone XL project.

A spokeswoman for the Nebraska Public Service Commission said that commissioners will base their decision solely on evidence presented during public hearings and from official public comments.

The Keystone pipeline delivers oil from Canada to refineries in Illinois and Oklahoma.

Keystone Pipeline Shut Down after Leak Spills 210K Gallons of Oil In South Dakota

FILE: TransCanada workers excavating a section of the Keystone oil pipeline near Freeman after oil was discovered above ground. Apr, 2016.

Keystone pipeline shut down after oil spill in Marshall County

TransCanada Corp.’s Keystone pipeline has leaked an estimated 210,000 gallons of oil in northeastern South Dakota, the company and state regulators reported Thursday.

TransCanada said in a statement crews shut down the Keystone pipeline at approximately 6 a.m. Thursday and activated emergency response procedures after a drop in pressure was detected resulting from a leak south of the Ludden pump station in Marshall County.

According to TransCanada, the spill was completely isolated within 15 minutes. The cause is being investigated.

Brian Walsh with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources said he anticipates the clean up will take some time.

Walsh said the leak happened in a rural area about three miles from the town of Amherst.

This is the largest Keystone oil spill to date in South Dakota.

Back in April 2016, crews responded to a 16,800 gallons spill from the Keystone pipeline in Freeman, South Dakota.

David Flute, chairman of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate tribe, told BuzzFeed News Thursday’s leak was on a section of pipeline adjacent to his reservation. He said the area has “the cleanest lakes in South Dakota,” as well as a large subterranean aquifer, and that he was “concerned” about the possibility of contamination.

“I’m thinking there is going to be an impact, some type of environmental impact,” Flute said. “As the oil seeps, if they can’t contain the spill, which I’m hoping they do, if they’re unable to contain it from seeping into the water systems, it can be hurtful and harmful to everybody.”

In response to the spill, Sierra Club Beyond Dirty Fuels campaign director Kelly Martin released the following statement:

“We’ve always said it’s not a question of whether a pipeline will spill, but when, and today TransCanada is making our case for us. This is not the first time TransCanada’s pipeline has spilled toxic tar sands, and it won’t be the last. The PSC must take note: there is no such thing as a safe tar sands pipeline, and the only way to protect Nebraska communities from more tar sands spills is to say no to Keystone XL.”

There have been no reports of the oil entering any waterways or water systems at this time.

Trump’s Stock In Dakota Access Pipeline Raises Concerns

rt-dakota-access-pipeline-protest-1-jt-161124_16x9_608 Al Jazeera| Nov 25, 2016

Trump’s 2016 federal disclosure forms show he owns stock in the company building the disputed oil pipeline.

President-elect Donald Trump holds stock in the company building the disputed Dakota Access oil pipeline, and opponents of the project warn those investments could affect any decision he makes on the $3.8bn project as president.

Trump’s 2016 federal disclosure forms show he owned between $15,000 and $50,000 in stock in Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners.

That’s down from between $500,000 and $1m a year earlier.

Trump also owns between $100,000 and $250,000 in Phillips 66, which has a one-quarter share of Dakota Access.

While Trump’s stake in the pipeline company is modest compared with his other assets, ethics experts say it is among dozens of potential conflicts that could be resolved by placing his investments in a blind trust, a step Trump has resisted.

“Trump’s investments in the pipeline business threaten to undercut faith in this process – which was already frayed – by interjecting his own financial wellbeing into a much bigger decision,” Sharon Buccino, director of environment group Natural Resources Defense Council, told the Associated Press news agency.

Concern about Trump’s possible conflicts comes as protests over the pipeline have intensified in recent weeks, with total arrests since August rising to 528.

A clash this past week near the main protest camp in North Dakota left a police officer and several protesters injured.

In an interview with Al Jazeera, Orlando Cruz, a Native American protester, said the pipeline symbolises the subjugation of his people by the government for centuries.

“They took our land from us. They said, ‘Here, this is yours, here’s a reservation, you can do what you want on it.’ And we are here in the reservation now, and we don’t get to do what we want with it. And they get to put their pipeline through it,” he said.

‘Pay-to-play at its rawest’

The Obama administration said this month that it wants more consideration and tribal input before deciding whether to allow the partially built pipeline to cross under a Missouri River reservoir in North Dakota.

The 1,200-mile pipeline would carry oil across four states to a shipping point in Illinois.

The project has been held up while the Army Corps of Engineers consults with the Standing Rock Sioux, who believe the project could harm the tribe’s drinking water and Native American cultural sites.

The delay raises the likelihood that a final decision will be made by Trump, a pipeline supporter who has vowed to “unleash” unfettered production of oil and gas. He takes office in January.

Trump, a billionaire who has never held public office, holds ownership stakes in more than 500 companies worldwide.

He has said that he plans to transfer control of his company to three of his adult children, but ethics experts have said conflicts could engulf the new administration if Trump does not liquidate his business holdings.

Arizona Congressman Raul Grijalva, the senior Democrat on the House Natural Resources Committee, called Trump’s investment in the pipeline company “disturbing” and said it fits a pattern evident in Trump’s transition team.

“You have climate [change] deniers, industry lobbyists and energy conglomerates involved in that process,” Grijalva said. “The pipeline companies are gleeful. This is pay-to-play at its rawest.”

Besides Trump, at least two possible candidates for energy secretary in his incoming administration also could benefit financially from the pipeline.

Source: Al Jazeera News and Agencies

 

Kinder Morgan Braces For Standing Rock-Type Protests

Native Americans march to a sacred burial ground that was disturbed by bulldozers building the Dakota Access Pipeline, on Sept. 4 near Cannon Ball, N.D. (Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images)

Native Americans march to a sacred burial ground that was disturbed by bulldozers building the Dakota Access Pipeline, on Sept. 4 near Cannon Ball, N.D. (Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images)

Energy company already talking to RCMP about security, months before next pipeline might be approved

By Kyle Bakx, CBC News Posted: Nov 05, 2016

A person only has to read a few of the stories about the Standing Rock protest or see some of the pictures and videos to get a sense of the hostile stalemate over the construction of the new Dakota Access pipeline.

The protests in North Dakota began small and peaceful, but grew in support and captured the attention of the continent.

The tension continues to escalate as protesters chant, wave flags and set fires, while police have used rubber bullets, mace and Tasers.

‘It’s concerning because these aren’t rocket scientists or engineers who were shutting down these pipelines, they are everyday people.’— Michael Tran, RBC Capital Markets

The emotional conflict could move north across the border next year if Kinder Morgan receives provincial and federal approval to construct its Trans Mountain Expansion oil pipeline through parts of Alberta and British Columbia.

Even though the project may not go ahead, the Texas-based energy company is already bracing for the sizable security effort it may need. Installing nearly 1,000 kilometres of pipeline around mountains, rivers and other terrain is a challenge in itself, let alone co-ordinating contractors and hundreds of workers with protestors at the door step.

Pipeline activism is rising and Kinder Morgan knows it.

“I’d be naive if I didn’t expect that,” said CEO Ian Anderson told reporters recently in Calgary. “Hopefully, it’s peaceful. People have the right to express their views publicly and in that regard, we will accept and acknowledge that.”

“It’s when it goes beyond that that we’ll have to be prepared,” he added.

Dakota Access pipeline protesters confront law enforcement on Oct. 27, near Cannon Ball, N.D. (Caroline Grueskin/The Bismarck Tribune/Associated Press)

Dakota Access pipeline protesters confront law enforcement on Oct. 27, near Cannon Ball, N.D. (Caroline Grueskin/The Bismarck Tribune/Associated Press)

Meetings with RCMP

The preparations involve meeting with law enforcement.

“We’ve been in deep conversations with policing authorities, RCMP in the planning for our project — what can we anticipate and what their role needs to be,” said Anderson.

The RCMP, for its part, won’t provide any detail about those arrangements. Instead, it’s emphasizing its role as an impartial party.

“We will plan for any and all circumstances to ensure police and public safety.” said Sgt. Annie Linteau with the Lower Mainland District RCMP as part of an emailed statement. “We make every effort to ensure [protestors] understand where they can safely protest so their message will be heard.”

Kinder Morgan's Ian Anderson is anticipating protests if the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline is approved

Kinder Morgan’s Ian Anderson is anticipating protests if the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline is approved

Kinder Morgan has faced criticism from politicians such as the mayors of Burnaby and Vancouver and from some First Nations who do not feel they have been adequately consulted about the $6.8 billion project. Some First Nations also feel they have a veto right, although Ottawa dismissed that notion this week. As with most oil and gas development, there are concerns about the impact on the environment.

Fences and security cameras have become commonplace at pipeline facilities in recent years, but they have not deterred people from breaking in.

Several tampering incidents took place in Ontario over the last year. Last month, up to five major pipelines carrying Canadian oil were shutdown in the U.S. after a co-ordinated effort by an environmental protest group. The Standing Rock protests in North Dakota continue to the point U.S. President Barack Obama has suggested the pipeline may have to be moved.

Protesters square off against police between the Standing Rock Reservation and the North Dakota Access Pipeline route, outside the little town of Saint Anthony, N.D. on Oct. 5. (Terray Sylvester/Reuters)

Protesters square off against police between the Standing Rock Reservation and the North Dakota Access Pipeline route, outside the little town of Saint Anthony, N.D. on Oct. 5. (Terray Sylvester/Reuters)

Kinder Morgan is watching the situation closely because of how the protest suddenly gained massive momentum across North America.

The pipeline in B.C. won’t fly under the radar.

“There’ll be localized impacts, there will be regional effects and national and international focuses, so we’re preparing for all of those both from a security and safety standpoint,” said Anderson.

“They’ll look for soft spots in the system and it’s my job to make sure there aren’t any.”

Social media factor

The increase in pipeline protests and their severity is because of social media, according to some industry watchers such as Michael Tran, director of commodity strategy at RBC Capital Markets. Tran grew up in the industrial West Coast community of Kitimat, B.C., but now lives in New York.

He suggests events such as Occupy Wall Street, China’s ‘umbrella revolution’ and, to an extent, the Arab Spring were disorganized and didn’t have a specific goal in mind. The pipeline protests, such as the efforts made last month to shut down major pipes, are much more focused.

“It was probably two or three people who organized the protest and it went viral on social media and all of a sudden you had several people hop fences, had bolt cutters and guys who turned valves,” he said.

“It started as something relatively benign in terms of protest, to actually growing to something where you are physically doing something to shut down flow.”

The protest group said it planned for months to ensure there wouldn’t be an inadvertent oil spill or explosion. Tran suggests an alarming conclusion from the event was that it didn’t require much sophistication.

“It’s concerning because these aren’t rocket scientists or engineers who were shutting down these pipelines, they are everyday people,” he said.

All of this is front of mind for Kinder Morgan, while it waits for federal approval next month and an environmental certificate from B.C. shortly after. If it receives the green light, the company expects the governments, along with other proponents such as other First Nations and business groups, to support the project throughout construction and help counter the opposition.

canadian-oil-production-forecast

Whether realistic or not, some officials are hopeful the fate of the pipeline won’t be as polarizing as is expected.

“We have had a very good working relationship along that route with First Nations as well as with the company,” said B.C. Deputy Premier Rich Coleman about the Trans Mountain Expansion. “I look forward to hopefully something that everyone can work with and be happy with when the federal government does make its final decision.”

The recent spike in protest activity would suggest otherwise and that’s why detailed security planning is already underway well before the project receives a federal government decision to be approved or not.

In May, the National Energy Board recommended the multi-billion dollar pipeline be constructed if 157 conditions are met, including 49 environmental requirements. The NEB described the requirements as achievable for the company.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/tmx-kindermorgan-bc-oilpatch-pipeline-standing-rock-1.3836489

 

Company Agrees To Temporarily Halt Some North Dakota Pipeline Work Until Friday

Protesters hold signs outside the U.S. District Court in Washington, where a hearing was being held to decide whether to halt construction of an oil pipeline in parts of North Dakota where a Native American tribe says it has ancient burial and prayer sites, September 6, 2016. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Protesters hold signs outside the U.S. District Court in Washington, where a hearing was being held to decide whether to halt construction of an oil pipeline in parts of North Dakota where a Native American tribe says it has ancient burial and prayer sites, September 6, 2016. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Washington, Sept 6 (Reuters) – By Julia Harte

A Native American tribal chairman said his people were “disappointed” that a company agreed on Tuesday to temporarily halt construction of an oil pipeline only in some but not all parts of North Dakota where the tribe says it has sacred sites.

After violent clashes over the weekend between protesters and security officers near the construction site, the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and a neighboring Native American tribe had asked the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on Sunday for a temporary restraining order against Dakota Access, the company building the pipeline.

U.S. Judge James Boasberg said on Tuesday he had granted in part and denied in part the temporary restraining order, and that he would decide by Friday whether to grant the tribes’ larger challenge to the pipeline, which would require the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to withdraw permits for the project.

A group of firms led by Energy Transfer Partners (ETP.N) is building the 1,100-mile (1,770-km) pipeline. The $3.7 billion project would be the first to bring crude oil from Bakken shale, a vast oil formation in North Dakota, directly to refineries in the U.S. Gulf Coast.

Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chairman David Archambault II said in a statement the ruling puts the tribe’s “sacred places at further risk of ruin and desecration.”

Dakota Access agreed to halt activity until Friday in an area representing about half the total space requested in the tribes’ temporary restraining order.

It did not include ancient burial and prayer sites recently discovered by a historic preservation officer for the tribe, Jan Hasselman, an attorney for the Standing Rock Sioux, told a news conference on Tuesday.

Hasselman said the tribe would now wait for Boasberg’s decision on Friday and pursue appeals if the judge rules against the tribe.

Dakota Access accused the Standing Rock Sioux during Tuesday’s hearing of inciting the pipeline’s opponents to break the law. The company’s lawyers could not immediately be reached for comment after the ruling.

Saturday’s protests were triggered, the tribes said, when the pipeline company used bulldozers to destroy sacred tribal sites whose locations had been identified in court documents filed on Friday.

Tomas Alejo, who participated in Saturday’s demonstrations, said in an interview that the security officers had formed a “barricade” with guard dogs to prevent protesters from accessing the bulldozers, and that the dogs bit children and tribal elders.

Dakota Access said in its reply to the requested restraining order that the protesters “stampeded” the construction area and attacked the dogs and security officers with makeshift weapons, and that the bulldozers did not destroy important historical sites.

(Reporting by Julia Harte and Mohammad Zargham in Washington; Editing by Frances Kerry and Matthew Lewis)

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-pipeline-nativeamericans-idUSKCN11C26B

 

Tribe: Cultural Sites Found In Path Of Proposed Oil Pipeline

Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and their allies protest construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and their allies protest construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Associated Press, Sep 2, 2016

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe says it has found several sites of “significant cultural and historic value” along the path of a proposed oil pipeline.

The tribe is challenging the Army Corps of Engineers‘ decision to grant permits for Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners’ $3.8 billion Dakota Access pipeline, which crosses the Dakotas and Iowa to Illinois, including near the reservation in southern North Dakota.

A federal judge will rule before Sept. 9 whether construction can be halted on the Dakota Access pipeline.

Tribal preservation officer Tim Mentz says in court documents filed Friday that the tribe was only recently allowed to survey private land north of the Standing Rock Sioux reservation.

Mentz says researches found cairns, burials and other sites of historic significance to Native Americans.

http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/tribe-cultural-sites-found-path-proposed-oil-pipeline-41833582

Uncertainty Abounds As Canada’s Energy Sector Enters 2016

CorpusChristi

Stephen Ewart, Calgary Herald

About the only certainty for the Canadian oil and gas sector is that the number of known unknowns abounds.

Uncertainty has always been a hallmark of the oil industry and the current list of variables is led by particularly volatile crude prices, but also includes the review of oil and gas royalties in Alberta, Ottawa’s plan to roll out a national framework on climate change along with implementation of Alberta’s newly released GHG strategy, and the industry’s enduring concern over access to foreign markets.

It was a second straight year of steep oil price declines in 2015 as crude slumped to its lowest levels since the global financial crisis in 2009 and added clarity may simply reaffirm the bleak outlook for the industry entering 2016.

With Canadian producers and drillers facing what’s been called “one of the most difficult economic times in a generation” significant change is needed — and already underway as the job losses will attest — to address the fundamentals of doing business in a high-cost basin in a low-price environment but there’s tremendous uncertainty over how companies will react and adapt.

Investment firm ARC Financial has calculated revenues for the oil and gas industry in Canada will be $91 billion in 2015 — or almost 40 per cent less than a year earlier.

Bankruptcies are already occurring in the especially grim junior sector.

Capital spending by oil and gas producers in Canada plunged from $81 billion in 2014 to $45 billion in 2015 as West Texas Intermediate crude declined by more than 30 per cent from January and closed 2015 at US$37.04 a barrel. The International Energy Agency conceded in December “there are very few reasons” to expect a price recovery in 2016.

The main energy index on the Toronto Stock Exchange similarly fell by almost 30 per cent in 2015.

During the year, the North American benchmark crude averaged US$48.76 a barrel; or only slightly more than the price WTI has averaged, in today’s dollars, over the previous 50 years. However, after three years of averaging more than US$90 a barrel, WTI hit a recent peak at $107 in June 2014 and has lost approximately 70 per cent of its value since then.

Influential U.S. financial institutions Citigroup and Goldman Sachs have warned crude could retreat into the $20s if the persistent global supply glut increases while Morgan Stanley said in its recent outlook for 2016 that “headwinds growing for 2016 oil” as production continues to defy lower prices and falling rig counts.

The U.S. Energy Information Agency predicts WTI will average $51 a barrel in 2016 but acknowledges that’s “subject to significant uncertainties as the oil market moves toward balance … prices could continue to experience periods of heightened volatility.” In Canada, Scotiabank has warned it expects WTI to average “no more than $40-45 a barrel” in 2016.

The new year will be rife with challenges as a number of key developments occur.

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley delayed the royalty review report scheduled for December to early January to ensure “we don’t kick something out the door that’s not ready” but has already promised no surprises for industry and delayed any changes until January 2o17 as industry adjusts to what’s been a historic downturn.

Notley’s strategy to address greenhouse gas emissions are already announced with a carbon tax, 100-megatonne cap on GHGs from oilsands and the Alberta Energy Regulator assuming responsibility to reduce methane emissions from well sites and oilfield facilities. It remains to be seen what will comprise the national climate strategy Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has promised this spring. He’s said the plan with the provinces will be in place 90 days after the UN climate summit in Paris — so about March 12.

On May 20, the National Energy Board is scheduled to release its recommendations on Kinder Morgan’s plans to twin the existing Trans Mountain oil pipeline from Alberta to suburban Vancouver.

With TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline denied in the U.S., Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipeline facing intense opposition in northern B.C. and TransCanada’s Energy East still early in the NEB’s review process, Trans Mountain’s project is key to the industry’s goal of accessing more global export markets.

In a decision critical to the beleaguered gas industry, the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency is expected to rule this spring on the application of Malaysia’s Petronas to build a terminal in B.C. to ship liquefied natural gas to Asian markets. A final investment decision from Petronas for the first of the LNG facilities for the West Coast would likely follow government approval.

It will be the oil price that determines the fate of the industry more than anything else.

After effectively scrapping production quotas in December — and with renewed U.S. and Iranian oil exports expected to hit global markets this month — the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries is to meet June 2 to discuss the price war orchestrated by Saudi Arabia topush high-cost non-OPEC supply, including the oilsands, out of the market.

In an industry defined by uncertainty, Canadian producers have always known there’s nothing they can do about the price of oil and understood it’s up to them to change with the times to survive.

Stephen Ewart is a Calgary Herald columnist

http://calgaryherald.com/business/energy/ewart-uncertainty-abounds-as-canadas-energy-sector-enters-2016


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Navajo Women Walk 1,000 Miles To Protest Pipeline

By Leigh Cuen | Vocativ, Posted 04/07/15

Since January, over 70 Navajo people have joined a prayer walk across the American Southwest protesting a fracking oil pipeline in New Mexico. The walk aims to galvanize Native American communities to demand more from oil companies that profit from the reservations’ natural resources.

The participants started with a crowdfunding campaign that raised almost $6,000 to support their year-long journey. Over the past few months, the Nihígáál Bee iina group has used digital media to share their spiritual traditions, connecting Navajo communities across the country.

They are chronicling their journey on a Facebook page: “Despite being at the forefront of energy extraction, our people do not see its benefits; approximately 25% of our people today live without electricity and running water on the Navajo Nation, while our economy functions at an unemployment rate of about 60%.”

The group calls this 1,000-mile protest their Journey for Existence, commemorating the 150th anniversary of “The Long Walk,” where thousands of Diné (Navajo people) were marched at gunpoint for hundreds of miles into Bosque Redondo, a concentration camp where they would stay for four years.