Archive | Oil and Gas Sector-Politics and Image

Sorry, Vancouver: The rest of Canada needs pipelines – by Gary Mason (Globe and Mail – December 2, 2016)

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley should bundle up when she comes to Vancouver next week to sell the merits of Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline. She is in for a frosty reception.

There is no bigger opponent of the pipeline than the city’s mayor, Gregor Robertson. When Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the project’s approval this week, Mr. Robertson didn’t hide his disappointment. It was clear the pair’s bromance had taken a hit.

In a statement, Mr. Robertson talked about how Vancouver had the strongest and greenest economy in the country. He boasted about the tens of thousands of jobs that had been created in the city in the past year alone. All of which, he contended, could be jeopardized by the Trans Mountain project. Continue Reading →

Trudeau shows grit endorsing pipeline project, but the toughest work remains – by John Ivison (National Post – November 30, 2016)

http://news.nationalpost.com/

OTTAWA — True political leaders, it’s said, have the ability to look their supporters in the eye and explain to them that, while they might not want to follow a particular course of action, it is for the greater good.

Justin Trudeau showed that kind of leadership in announcing the approval of the Trans-Mountain pipeline in British Columbia. “I’m convinced it is safe for B.C. and right for Canada,” he said at a press conference Tuesday.

He said the approval of the Trans-Mountain pipeline and the replacement of the aging Line 3 between Alberta and Manitoba are in the national interest. His government risks paying the electoral price in lower mainland seats — a number of B.C. Liberal MPs, such as Ron McKinnon and Terry Beech, are openly hostile to the development. Continue Reading →

Trudeau shows grit endorsing pipeline project, but the toughest work remains – by John Ivison (National Post – November 30, 2016)

http://news.nationalpost.com/

OTTAWA — True political leaders, it’s said, have the ability to look their supporters in the eye and explain to them that, while they might not want to follow a particular course of action, it is for the greater good.

Justin Trudeau showed that kind of leadership in announcing the approval of the Trans-Mountain pipeline in British Columbia. “I’m convinced it is safe for B.C. and right for Canada,” he said at a press conference Tuesday.

He said the approval of the Trans-Mountain pipeline and the replacement of the aging Line 3 between Alberta and Manitoba are in the national interest. His government risks paying the electoral price in lower mainland seats — a number of B.C. Liberal MPs, such as Ron McKinnon and Terry Beech, are openly hostile to the development. Continue Reading →

Pipeline approvals show Canada is back as a responsible oil producer – by Claudia Cattaneo (Financial Post – November 30, 2016)

http://business.financialpost.com/

For Western Canada’s oil producing regions, Tuesday’s approval of two major pipelines marks the beginning of the end of a decade of uncomfortable confrontation and missed opportunity.

It’s been that long since the first major and probably most attractive projects, Keystone XL and Northern Gateway, were proposed, in good faith, to transport growing oil production.

Opposition by environmentalists, aboriginals and local communities led to a flurry of other options: Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain expansion, Enbridge Inc.’s Line 9 expansion and reversal (in operation since last year), TransCanada’s Energy East, Enbridge’s Line 3, plus a big build up in costly and dangerous oil transportation by rail. Meanwhile, there were bottlenecks, regulatory gridlock and losses in investment and income. Continue Reading →

Not all foreign investment is in Canada’s national interest – by Sean Speer and Shuvaloy Majumdar (Globe and Mail – November 28, 2016)

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/

Let us be precise: Chinese SOEs are controlled and influenced by
the Chinese government and are plainly agents of the Chinese state.
Former senior CSIS official Ray Boisvert has said: “state-owned
enterprises have the same marching orders or essentially the same
mandate or mission” as the broader Chinese state. These companies
have non-market objectives including corporate espionage, the
acquisition of strategic resources and geopolitical calculations.

New reports that Ottawa may relax restrictions on foreign investment in previously protected sectors such as broadcasting and telecommunications is welcome news. It’s the type of structural reform that could provide a long-term boost to the Canadian economy. The Trudeau government has already signalled progress on opening up the aviation sector and will deserve considerable credit if it maintains such ambition across other parts of the economy.

But such a liberalization should not be executed unthinkingly. Federal investment policy should be prepared to distinguish between state-owned enterprise (SOE) investment and investment from different sources – and maintain the capacity to exclude investments that aren’t in the national interest. Continue Reading →

Kinder Morgan pipeline risks exaggerated by critics – by Gary Lamphier (Edmonton Journal – November 24, 2016)

http://edmontonjournal.com/

Human beings aren’t terribly adept at evaluating risks. While we perceive some things as fraught with peril — like walking down a dark downtown street — we ignore others.

For instance. I live in an inner-city neighbourhood and have walked Edmonton’s streets at night many times. I’ve never had a problem. While growing up in Windsor, Ont., I’d often attend evening events in nearby Detroit. Again, despite Motown’s murderous reputation, I never faced any danger.

On the flip side, statistics show that more than 1,900 Canadians died in motor vehicle accidents in 2013. A further 165,306 people suffered injuries, including 10,315 that were classified as serious. Continue Reading →

Mammoth Texas oil discovery biggest ever in USA – by Steve Visser (CNN.com – November 18, 2016)

http://www.cnn.com/

(CNN)Geologists say a new survey shows an oilfield in west Texas dwarfs others found so far in the United States, according to the US Geological Survey.

The Midland Basin of the Wolfcamp Shale area in the Permian Basin is now estimated to have 20 billion barrels of oil and 1.6 billion barrels of natural gas, according to a new assessment by the USGS.

That makes it three times larger than the assessment of the oil in the mammoth Bakken formation in North Dakota. The estimate would make the oilfield, which encompasses the cities of Lubbock and Midland — 118 miles apart — the largest “continuous oil” discovery in the United States, according to the USGS. Continue Reading →

Canada’s energy sector braces for rising threat from activists – by Shawn McCarthy (Globe and Mail – November 14, 2016)

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/

Canadian security experts are increasing their vigilance against activists’ threats to the country’s energy infrastructure, as civil-liberties advocates worry about the use of improper surveillance on peaceful opponents to major projects.

In what is billed as a training workshop, Carleton University’s Infrastructure Resilience Research Group is playing host to a closed-door conference on Monday and Tuesday for lawyers, police, regulators and industry representatives on “the challenges of dealing with natural resource development projects and activism.”

One of the organizers, professor emeritus Martin Rudner, said there are significant threats from “domestic extremists” to Canada’s energy infrastructure, including pipelines, generating stations and transmission lines. Continue Reading →

Oil, Coal Seen as Winners With Trump Victory – by Sarah Kent, Benoit Faucon and Kevin Baxter (Wall Street Journal – November 9, 2016)

http://www.wsj.com/

Republican Donald Trump’s election as U.S. president promises relief for U.S. coal miners, a boost for American oil players and fresh uncertainty for Western energy companies’ plans to return to Iran, as he seeks to undo eight years of Obama administration energy policy.

Mr. Trump was often vague on specifics on energy policy but his aim was clear. He said he would pull back regulations that weighed on coal and petroleum sectors, end U.S. participation in global efforts to curb climate change and review a deal to lift sanctions on oil-rich Iran

Mr. Trump’s energy ideas are “basically the antithesis of the current administration’s,” said consultancy JBC Energy.His surprise election sent energy stocks down on Wednesday morning, as BP PLC fell 1.5% in London trading, while Royal Dutch Shell declined by 1% PLC. The FTSE 350 oil and gas index fell 1.2% in early trading. Continue Reading →

Pipeline political incorrectness must be punished – by Kevin Libin (Financial Post – November 9, 2016)

http://business.financialpost.com/

Peak oil, in case you forgot, was another environmentalist-enforced energy
truth, which insisted we’d been so prodigal with fossil fuels that we were
on the cusp of running out of oil. The urgency of this crisis, the fossil-fuel
doomsdayers insisted, required us to transition even more aggressively to
renewable technology, whatever the cost. Inconveniently, new technologies
suddenly began unlocking more unconventional oil and gas reserves than we
knew existed and will probably ever use.

Ian Anderson should have known that oil executives are meant to be seen and not heard from. Has the president of Kinder Morgan Canada not realized yet the unspoken deal?

Canadians get to keep using, extracting and selling fossil fuels on the condition that we all make like we’re utterly ashamed of it. When energy executives so much as hint publicly that we’re doing anything less than ravaging the planet, as Anderson did recently, it upsets a delicate balance.

Speaking to the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade Thursday, Anderson dared say he had no firm idea about how much humans were causing climate change. Continue Reading →

Applying Hollywood’s magical thinking to oil – by Garry Lamphier (Postmedia Network – November 9, 2016)

http://www.lfpress.com/

Leonardo DiCaprio is worried, very worried, about the state of the planet. So the jet-hopping, yacht-loving, multiple-home-owning Hollywood megastar recently took a break from the money-grubbing world of Tinseltown to educate us plebes (you know, those of us who ride the LRT to work, recycle our cans and bottles, and turn down the thermostat) on the threat of climate change.

DiCaprio wants us to know that the situation is bad, and getting worse. He teamed up with the National Geographic Channel and director Fisher Stevens to make Before the Flood, a 95-minute documentary that chronicles the impact rising temperatures are having on our planet, from Greenland to Indonesia.

This involved a lot of flying hither and thither to exotic locales where DiCaprio speaks to climate scientists, religious leaders, activists and even fellow celebs like Oscar-winning movie director Alejandro Inarritu (The Revenant), Tesla Motors founder Elon Musk and U.S. President Barack Obama. Continue Reading →

Trudeau’s marine safety plan paves the way for OK of Trans Mountain pipeline expansion – by Claudia Cattaneo (Financial Post – November 8, 2016)

http://business.financialpost.com/

With his announcement Monday of a $1.5 billion marine protection plan, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau created the conditions to approve Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

If he does, Trudeau will have broken the paralysis on pipeline approvals orchestrated by the environmental lobby that culminated with last year’s refusal by U.S. President Barack Obama to permit TransCanada Corp.’s Keystone XL pipeline.

Though Trudeau didn’t tip his hand about his plans for tripling the capacity of the Edmonton to Vancouver pipeline, he said the oceans’ protection plan meets the highest global marine safety standards. His cabinet is due to decide by Dec. 19 whether the Kinder Morgan project is in the national interest. Continue Reading →

Canadians need to understand the importance of oil export pipelines – by Patricia Mohr (Globe and Mail – October 25, 2016)

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/

Patricia Mohr is an economist and commodity market specialist in Vancouver. She developed the Scotiabank Commodity Price Index, the first of its kind for Canada.

Much has been said and written about the vital need to build oil export pipelines to the coasts of British Columbia and Atlantic Canada. Yet many Canadians still appear unaware of how critically important this is to our economy.

Canada owes its economic prosperity to trade – we are a trading nation – and crude oil dominates. In 2014, before the oil-price downturn, oil generated a $70-billion trade surplus, far outstripping any other export category, and virtually covered large, chronic deficits in autos and auto parts (minus-$15.9-billion), machinery & equipment (minus-$21.5-billion) and electronics (minus-$34.3-billion).

Even at the bottom of the oil-price correction early this year, crude remains the largest positive contributor to Canada’s merchandise trade, contributing more than $30-billion annualized in net export revenue as of August. Continue Reading →

U.S. shale cowboys do the unthinkable and bring mighty Saudis to their knees – by Eric Reguly (Globe and Mail – October 23, 2016)

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/

The oil war is pretty much over, and Saudi Arabia lost. How did the world’s most powerful oil producer, which set prices for decades by riding herd over the member states of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, get it so wrong?

In a word: shale. The Saudis underestimated not only the strength and flexibility of the American shale-oil industry, but also that of the financing machine behind it. American capitalism proved to be the superior fighting force.

The Saudis sat uneasily for a decade as they watched the shale-oil industry go from technological curiosity to production juggernaut, propelling the United States into the global energy big leagues. At last count, total American oil production (from conventional, offshore and shale wells) was about 9.2 million barrels a day, not much less than that of market leaders Russia and Saudi Arabia. Continue Reading →

Eco radicals scoff at the law—and the law surrenders – by Peter Foster (Financial Post – October 17, 2016)

http://business.financialpost.com/

Last week’s valve tampering on major Canadian pipelines to the U.S. represents a dangerous escalation of the war against the oilsands, and against fossil-fuelled Western society in general. It also provides a critical test of the rule of law.

Activists belonging to something called Climate Direct Action attempted to shut down five oil pipelines designed to carry 2.7 million barrels a day. They claimed to be acting in support of other protestors who had succeeded in holding up construction of a new pipeline near “sacred” lands of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in North Dakota.

The five pipelines belong to the companies at the eye of the political storm over new infrastructure in Canada — Enbridge, TransCanada and Kinder Morgan — along with Spectra Energy, which recently merged with Enbridge. Continue Reading →