CALGARY, Alberta, May 6 (Reuters) – The rupture of a major
pipeline in Western Canada, which sent oil gushing into a
wilderness area near a native community, was an isolated
incident and other parts of the line are safe, executives at
Plains All American Pipeline LP (PAA.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) said on Friday.
Plains officials, who have come under fire for limited
public disclosure following last Friday’s 28,000 barrel oil
spill in northwestern Alberta, told a news conference that the
break in the Rainbow pipeline was caused by poorly compacted
soil under the pipe following maintenance.
CALGARY, Alberta, May 5 (Reuters) – The section of Plains
All American Pipeline LP’s (PAA.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) Rainbow line that ruptured
on April 29, causing Alberta’s biggest oil spill in 36 years,
was being examined by regulators on Thursday.
The regulators were trying to determine if the crack is a
sign of bigger problems with the aging pipeline, which could
mean extensive repairs and a prolonged shutdown.
CALGARY, Alberta, May 4 (Reuters) – Plains All American
American Pipeline LP (PAA.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) has completed repairs to its
Rainbow pipeline in northern Alberta after the 187,000
barrel-per-day line ruptured last week and spilled about 28,000
barrels, the province’s biggest spill since 1975.
The company said it is still awaiting regulatory approval
to restart shipments on the line.
CALGARY, Alberta, May 3 (Reuters) – Regulators said on
Tuesday that about 28,000 barrels of oil spilled from a rupture
of a Plains All American Pipeline LP (PAA.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) pipe in Alberta
last week, making the spill more than a third larger than the
one that fouled a Michigan river system in 2010. Alberta's Energy Resources Conservation Board said most of the oil that spilled from the Rainbow Pipeline on Friday was contained on the right-of-way and on stagnant pools of water near the site of the breach. No one lives within 7 km (4 miles) of the break. The affected area is being fenced off and no oil has escaped from the site, the regulator said. Davis Sheremata, an ERCB spokesman, said the spill is the largest in the western Canadian province since 1993, when a line owned by BP Plc (BP.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) spewed about 19,000 barrels. The Board, which regulates pipelines in Alberta, will investigate how long oil was spilling from the ruptured pipe and whether Plains has adequate controls in place. "The control systems for the line, whether they were working and whether they were working as well as they could are going to be part of the investigation," he said. The line carries about 187,000 barrels of oil a day from Zama in northwest Alberta 770 km (480 miles) south to Edmonton. The leak occurred 100 km (62 miles) northeast of Peace River, Alberta. Oil market sources said the leak was having minimal impact on Canadian crude prices. In a major incident last summer, Enbridge Inc's (ENB.TO: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) Line 6B ruptured near Marshall, Michigan, spilling 20,082 barrels of heavy Canadian crude into the Kalamazoo River system. U.S. regulators kept the line shut for nine weeks as Enbridge conducted a battery of tests. The spill, which forced several families from their homes, made pipeline safety a national issue and prompted authorities to consider tighter regulations. Plains said it expected to complete repairs to the Rainbow line by the end of the week, though regulatory approvals will still be needed before it is allowed to restart. Company officials could not be reached for comment. Investigators at the site are still working to expose the damaged section of pipeline to see how big the breach of the line is and figure out if it was detected as quickly as it should have been, Sheremata said. Plains, which bought the pipeline from Imperial Oil Ltd (IMO.TO: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) in 2008, has said it is investigating the cause of the rupture. The line is operating south of the break, carrying about half the usual volume of oil. The April 29 incident was the second leak for an Alberta pipeline in a week. Kinder Morgan Energy Partners's (KMP.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) 300,000 bpd Trans Mountain oil pipeline was shut for five days beginning on April 22 after a small leak was spotted on the line's right-of-way 150 km (93 miles) west of Edmonton. Dan Woynillowicz, director of strategy and communications for the Pembina Institute, an environmental think tank, acknowledged the incidence of pipeline ruptures in Alberta has decreased in recent years. However, the industry's rapid expansion plans and aging of existing infrastructure increase vulnerability to spills, Woynillowicz said. "This is happening at a time when the Alberta government is very actively advocating for the Enbridge Gateway pipeline to the West Coast and the Keystone XL Pipeline into the U.S., both of which are controversial pipelines where there is significant concern along the routes about pipeline safety," he said. "This certainly isn't going to ease those concerns given the scale of this spill, how long it took for there to be disclosure (of volume of oil spilled) and people still don't know the extent of the impacts." (Reporting by Scott Haggett; editing by Rob Wilson and Sofina Mirza-Reid)
CALGARY, Alberta (Reuters) – Suncor Energy Inc (SU.TO: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), Canada’s biggest oil and gas company, said on Tuesday its quarterly operating profit rose four-fold, surging past expectations on strong oil prices and higher production, but its shares fell, puzzling analysts.
Suncor, Canada’s dominant oil sands producer, said operating income, which excludes unusual items, rose to C$1.48 billion ($1.55 billion), or 94 Canadian cents a share, in the first quarter. That was up from C$370 million, or 24 Canadian cents, in the year-before quarter and well ahead of the average analyst forecast of 77 Canadian cents.
EDMONTON, Alberta, March 15 (Reuters) – Hyperinflation
remains a risk for Canadian oil sands producers as a return to
high oil prices prompts a spate of new projects in the region,
the head of Total SA’s (TOTF.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) Canadian unit said on
Jean-Michel Gires said oil sands producers need to tap new
pools of labor or face a possible return to the skyrocketing
inflation that plagued the oil sands industry in 2007 and 2008,
when the costs of some projects rose by half in a year.
EDMONTON, Alberta, March 15 (Reuters) – A glut of Canadian
oil at the Cushing, Oklahoma, storage hub will depress prices
there for at least two years until new pipelines can take the
crude to other markets, J.P. Morgan’s head of global oil
research said on Tuesday.
The oil faces bottlenecks both in Western Canada and at the
huge Cushing site, trapping it in both locations and keeping
prices low, Lawrence Eagles said in a presentation to the World
Heavy Oil Congress.
CALGARY, Alberta, Feb 15 (Reuters) – Canadian Natural
Resources Ltd (CNQ.TO: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and North West Upgrading Inc are
expected to announce on Wednesday a long-awaited deal to
process bitumen for Alberta’s government, spurring construction
of a C$5 billion ($5.05 billion) refinery to handle the oil.
The Alberta government said on Tuesday it plans a news
conference in the region that will be the site of the proposed
plant, hosted by the premier and energy minister. An Alberta
Energy official said details would be released at 9 a.m. local
time (1600 GMT) on Wednesday.
CALGARY, Alberta, Feb 15 (Reuters) – TransCanada Corp
(TRP.TO: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), the country’s No. 1 pipeline and power company,
boosted the cost estimate for its controversial Keystone
pipeline system by $1 billion on Tuesday and said U.S.
approvals for its line to the Gulf of Mexico will be further
The company, which reported a stronger-than-expected
fourth-quarter profit, said Keystone’s final cost will be $13
billion, because of the rising Canadian dollar, higher costs
for the line’s first two phases to Illinois and Cushing,
Oklahoma, as well as scope changes and regulatory delays in
approving the system’s third leg from Cushing to the Gulf
CALGARY, Alberta, Feb 10 (Reuters) – Nexen, the operator of
the Long Lake oil sands project, warned that output may fall
short of forecasts because of operational problems that
analysts say may take heavy spending to fix.
Nexen shares dropped about 3 percent after it said on
Wednesday fourth-quarter output at the underperforming oil
sands project in the Canadian province of Alberta rose 10
percent from the third quarter to 28,100 barrels a day.