Pipeline Safety: First, Last and Always


In an October 2013 article, CBC News reported that by 2011, safety-related pipeline incidents, ranging from fires to spills, increased from 45 total incidents in 2000 to 142 in 2011. Of equal importance to the number of incidents being reported is the headlines they are making. For example, in April 2014, a Canadian crude oil and natural gas company spilled 70,000 litres of oil and water near Slave Lake, Alberta. Two years earlier, another oil company dumped 461,000 litres of oil into the Red Deer River — which came on the heels of a spill of 4.5 million litres by the same company near Little Buffalo in 2011. And then there was the spill by a Canadian-owned pipeline that dumped more than 3 million litres of oil into the Kalamazoo River in Michigan in 2010.
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The Environment and the Oil and Gas Industry


As more oil and gas deposits are located and are able to be extracted the need to transport these finds to refineries or end users continues to grow. This is leading to an increase demand for new natural gas and oil pipelines throughout the country. Pipeline projects create concerns on several levels—from the impact of the construction, to the safety of the operation to questions about whether pipeline availability will only generate a need for further fracking (which of course is controversial in its own right.). Opponents of pipelines vociferously raise all these concerns, often delaying or derailing projects before they get started. Pipeline projects proponents whether oil or natural gas, need to understand and address these issues and the regulatory arena in which they will be raised in order to have the best chance of succeeding.
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Shifting U.S. Natural Gas Markets: The Best of Times or the Worst of Times?


The opening line of Dickens’ novel A Tale of Two Cities may have been describing the French Revolution, yet it applies to today’s natural gas revolution in the U.S. as well: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…”

Let’s start with the not-so-great news and end on a positive note.
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Keystone XL: So Close, But No Ball, Charlie Brown


Anyone in the industry knows better than to rejoice about something that looks like good news, yet, who could help indulging in even the most fleeting sense of victory when the State Department announced its most recent findings on Keystone XL?
 
For the fifth time, the State Department concluded that Keystone XL would neither significantly increase emissions, nor harm the environment, seemingly signaling a green light for President Obama to approve the project.
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