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May 31, 2011

TransCanada shuts Keystone line due to new leak

CALGARY, Alberta, May 31 (Reuters) – TransCanada Corp
(TRP.TO: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) cannot yet say when it will restart its 591,000 barrel
per day Keystone oil pipeline as its second spill in less than
a month pushed oil prices higher, while other lines carrying
Canadian oil to the United States were also closed.

The company said on Tuesday the line was shut on Sunday after
a half-inch fitting failed at its Severance pumping station in
Kansas. The fitting leaked less than 10 barrels (420 gallons) of
oil, said company spokesman Terry Cunha, down from an earlier
estimate of a 40-barrel spill.

May 17, 2011

Canada oil output cut as Alberta wildfires rage

CALGARY, Alberta, May 17 (Reuters) – Canadian oil
production cuts could more than double by Wednesday as
companies move to protect employees and property from wildfires
raging through northern Alberta and cope with the shutdown of a
key pipeline.

Oil companies had shut in close to 50,000 barrels per day
of production on Tuesday because of wildfires in the Western
Canadian province, one of the largest suppliers of crude to the
United States. Further cuts are expected as big fields are
closed in because they cannot ship their oil to market.

May 16, 2011

Alberta town burns, oil facilities shut by wildfire

CALGARY, Alberta, May 16 (Reuters) – Wildfires whipped by
high winds destroyed more than a third of a sizable town in
northern Alberta and forced oil companies in Canada’s largest
energy-producing province to shut off tens of thousands of
barrels of output on Monday.

Dozens of forest fires flared up across the province during
a dry, gusty weekend, forcing the evacuation of several
communities, including Slave Lake, a town of 10,000 people in
northern Alberta known as a center for oil, gas and forestry.

May 11, 2011

Enbridge eyes new projects and foreign buys

CALGARY, Alberta, May 11 (Reuters) – Enbridge Inc (ENB.TO: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz),
which operates North America’s biggest oil pipeline system,
reported a 15 percent rise in quarterly profit on Wednesday and
said it is eyeing a return to international acquisitions.

Enbridge also said it is still considering building a
pipeline from the brimming storage hub at Cushing, Oklahoma, to
Houston despite rival proposals.

May 10, 2011

Keystone pipeline likely shut until weekend

CALGARY, Alberta, May 10 (Reuters) – TransCanada Corp’s
(TRP.TO: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) 591,000 barrel per day Keystone pipeline will likely
remain shut until the weekend after a 500-barrel oil spill at a
North Dakota pumping station on Saturday, a spokesman said on
Tuesday, .

Terry Cunha said in an email that the pipeline, which takes
oil from Alberta to Patoka and Wood River, Illinois, and the
oil storage hub of Cushing, Oklahoma, won’t reopen as early as
TransCanada first expected.

May 9, 2011

TransCanada Keystone pipeline shut after spill

CALGARY, Alberta, May 9 (Reuters) – TransCanada Corp
(TRP.TO: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) said on Monday its 591,000-barrel-a-dday Keystone oil
pipeline will remain closed for a few days after a fitting at a
North Dakota pumping station failed and spilled about 500
barrels of oil.

The line was shut early on Saturday after the spill within
the Ludden pump station, about 65 km (40 miles) southwest of
Milnor, North Dakota.

May 6, 2011

Alberta pipeline break an isolated incident-Plains

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.

May 5, 2011

Regulators inspect broken Alberta pipeline

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.

May 4, 2011

Plains completes repairs to ruptured Rainbow line

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.

May 3, 2011

Alberta oil spill tops 2010 Michigan one-regulator

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)

    • About Scott

      "Based in Calgary, Alberta, I've covered Canada's energy industry and the oil sands for the past five years for Reuters, and a decade before that for newspapers and other wire services."
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