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Sunday, March 3, 2013

Some pipeline news

h/t rj

Work on Keystone XL Halts in Texas over “Wrong Type of Oil” Claim - In Texas, a judge ordered the halting of TransCanada's Keystone XL pipeline after a landowner filed a lawsuit claiming that the company lied to Texans about type of oil it would be transporting. Landowner Michael Bishop, a 64-year-old retired chemist in medical school, claims that TransCanada (NYSE:TRP)lied in telling Texans that it would use the pipeline to transport crude oil, which will instead be used to transport tar sands oil, or diluted bitumen. According to Bishop, tar sands oil does not meet the state's definition of crude oil as “liquid hydrocarbons extracted from the earth at atmospheric temperatures,” he told the Associated Press, which mean it “has to be heated and diluted in order to even be transmitted.” Environmentalists argue that tar sands oil is a lot more difficult to cleanup should a spill occur, contaminating nearby water and land. Not to mention, refining the product in Texas will raise its already high greenhouse gas emissions rates.

New Report Could Effect Huge Change in the Pipeline Industry - How are leaks detected on today's oil and gas pipelines? Often times they're found – not by the owners and operators of the pipelines – but by complaining landowners who live where the pipeline crosses. It’s true, says Dr. David Shaw, one of the authors of a draft “Leak Detection Study” prepared for the U.S. Department of Transportation, for a report that will go to the US Congress early in 2013. Dr. Shaw is a project engineer with independent consulting firm Kiefner & Associates, Inc., a high-end, Ohio-based consulting firm that specializes in pipeline engineering. The Study - commissioned and funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) - analyzed several leak detection systems. What the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is to airlines, for example, PHMSA is to the pipeline industry. “Very often pipeline operators haven’t known they have a leak until they get a phone call from somebody saying there’s oil in my field,” Dr. Shaw said in a recent interview with the Oil and Gas Investments Bulletin.
 Enbridge Pipeline Faces Scallop-Farmers Fight - A line of yellow buoys marking the boundaries of a scallop farm outside Prince Rupert, British Columbia presents the biggest challenge Enbridge Inc. (ENB) may face in its bid to connect Canada’s oil sands to Asia. The aboriginal communities on British Columbia’s northern coast, already a port for ships to load grain and coal sent by rail from Canada’s interior, are expanding shellfish farming and ecotourism, said Art Sterritt, executive director of Coastal First Nations. The native group seeks to develop an economy based on renewable resources and has attracted investment from former Prime Minister Paul Martin and Chinese companies. Coastal First Nations plans to fight any attempt by Enbridge to bring oil tankers to the area, said Sterritt.

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