November 08, 2017

Affordable Energy News Service for November 8, 2017

Kinder Morgan denied expedited appeal for Trans Mountain pipeline — Ethan Lau

Canada's National Energy Board (NEB) will take until at least Dec. 4 to review Kinder Morgan Canada Ltd's appeal over its Trans Mountain oil pipeline expansion, the regulator said on Tuesday, rejecting the company's proposed "expedited" timeline. The company, a unit of Houston-based Kinder Morgan Inc , last month asked the regulator to intervene after it said it was unable to obtain permits from the city of Burnaby, British Columbia. Burnaby has long opposed the expansion over environmental concerns, and the lack of permits from the city adds to the hurdles facing the C$7.4-billion ($5.9-billion) expansion, as North American energy projects face increasing opposition from activists. Kinder Morgan Canada declined to comment, although in previous regulatory filings it said such cases could result in delays for the expansion, which is scheduled to go online December 2019. - Globe & Mail  

NEB won’t fast-track hearings to consider if Burnaby is obstructing Trans Mountain project — CP

The National Energy Board says it will not expedite the process to determine if the city of Burnaby, B.C. is deliberately obstructing construction of the expanded Trans Mountain Pipeline by refusing to issue necessary construction permits. The board says a three-member panel will hold hearings Nov. 29 and Dec. 4 to decide if the agency should use its power to override Burnaby’s authority to prevent construction. Kinder Morgan, the U.S. company which owns Trans Mountain, complained to the NEB late last month that it hadn’t been able to secure the permits it needs and believed the city was intentionally slowing construction. The company wanted the NEB to decide by Nov. 10, based only on written submissions, but the regulator has given provincial governments until Nov. 24 to make a written submission and then will hold two hearings to decide the matter. - Global News  

Saskatchewan Premier refuses to apologize for pipeline comments — CBC

The City of Burnaby is demanding Saskatchewan's Attorney General Don Morgan retract comments made in a press release accusing the B.C. city of impeding Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain Pipeline. "Saskatchewan has consistently taken the position that once an interprovincial pipeline has been approved by the federal government, provinces and municipalities should not be able to interfere," Morgan said in the release. In a Twitter video posted Tuesday, outgoing Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall refused to apologize. "We will never apologize for standing up for the interests of the energy sector," he said. "It's important that we send a strong signal to those working in that energy sector ... the government of Saskatchewan will stand with them."- CBC

Fossil fuels will still account for 74% of world energy use by 2040, OPEC says — AP

OPEC says growth in global oil demand will steadily lessen from an annual average of 1.3-million barrels a day between 2016 and 2020, to 300,000 barrels a day by 2035-2040. But it says fossil fuels will remain the main energy source decades from now. The organization’s annual World Oil Outlook published Tuesday says renewables are projected to record the fastest growth but their share of total energy supply is still anticipated to remain below 5.5% by 2040. The report by the 14-nation Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries says that the use of fossil fuels — 81% of the global energy mix in 2015 — will decline by 2040. But the cartel says they will still account then for 74% of all energy used. - Toronto Star  

Ontarians pay hydro price for Liberal smoke-and-mirrors — Andrea Horwath

In September, the NDP got its hands on and released internal government documents showing that Premier Kathleen Wynne’s Liberal government is on a $5.5-million spending spree for ads promoting their hydro-borrowing scheme. The documents show that those millions -– money that belongs to Ontario people – are being spent to counter negative media coverage of skyrocketing hydro bills. These ads are only the latest bad news in the ongoing hydro mess in Ontario. Wynne has been recklessly privatizing our hydro system. Despite hearing story after story about what that’s doing to families, she ploughed ahead, selling off more than half of Hydro One. Parents are being forced to choose between paying the electricity bill, or buying groceries; businesses are shutting down; seniors living on pensions are being forced from their homes because the bills became too much for their fixed-incomes to bear. - Toronto Sun  

Clean fuels standard may not come this fall: McKenna — CP

The single biggest element of Canada's national emissions reduction plan might not be unveiled on time. A year ago, the federal government announced plans to develop a national clean fuels standard to reduce harmful emissions. It was supposed to start with consultations in the spring and then follow up with the framework this fall. The discussion paper came in February followed by discussion groups and consultations with other governments and industry, but Environment Minister Catherine McKenna will no longer commit to unveiling the framework before Christmas. When asked specifically if it was still coming before Christmas as planned, all McKenna will now say is it is expected "in the coming months." Regulations to start implementing it were supposed to be published by the middle of 2018. The clean fuels standard will require fuel producers to reduce the carbon intensity of their products. One of the expectations is that Canada will require bigger blends of substances like ethanol, biodiesel and renewable diesel into existing fuels. - CTV News  

OPEC seeks consensus on duration of oil cut pact before meeting — Thomson Reuters

OPEC is seeking to achieve consensus agreement before a meeting on Nov. 30 on how long to extend a global pact to curb oil production, OPEC's secretary general said on Tuesday, with no country unwilling to prolong the accord. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, plus Russia and nine other producers, are cutting oil output by about 1.8-million barrels per day (bpd) until March 2018 in an effort to eradicate a supply glut that has weighed on prices. - CBC

Oilpatch spending to ramp up in Canada's 'hottest new play,' led by Chevron — Geoffrey Morgan  

Chevron Corp. is ramping up spending in the Duvernay shale basin, Canada’s “hottest new play,” after spending three years exploring its potential. “The Duvernay is one of the most prospective liquids-rich shale plays in North America,” Chevron Canada Ltd. president Jeff Gustavson said in a release Monday night, announcing the company’s move from exploration to commercial development in play. Wells in the Duvernay formation, which stretches across east-central and northern Alberta, turn up large volumes of natural gas but also high-value liquids like condensate, which is used in the oilsands and at times fetches the same price as light oil in the province. Oilpatch spending to ramp up in Canada's 'hottest new play,' led by Chevron. – Financial Post

Study aims to promote growth of solar energy — Chronicle Herald

Solar Nova Scotia is leading a study of the growing solar energy industry in Atlantic Canada, with a goal of stimulating business opportunities in solar energy. Ottawa is providing Solar Nova Scotia Society with a $44,200 grant through Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency’s business development program to help finance the study. The province is contributing $35,000 and Solar Nova Scotia is adding $8,800 from its own funds, to complete the $88,000 study. - The Chronicle Herald  

United States 

Op-ed authors fail to make case for opposing natural gas pipeline — Ivan Most

When teaching my classes in engineering and public health, I encourage my students to follow the data when they are developing an opinion on a particular issue. I read with interest the Oct. 20 Maine Voices column by Olin Jenner and Beverly Roxby (“Maine does not need a natural gas pipeline from Quebec”). Every winter, some Mainers must choose between groceries and their heating bills. Worldwide, millions of energy-poor people die every year because they lack a clean fuel such as natural gas for cooking and heating and the energy necessary to make clean water. The authors are correct that natural gas is a clean fuel that has a much lower impact on the environment than other fossil fuels. We do need a bridge to a future where solar and wind may play a bigger role. For now, that fuel is abundant: natural gas. - Press Herald  

Syria says it will join Paris accord, leaving U.S. as lone outlier — Lisa Friedman

Syria announced during United Nations climate talks on Tuesday that it would sign the Paris agreement on climate change. The move, which comes on the heels of Nicaragua signing the accord last month, will leave the United States as the only country that has rejected the global pact. According to several people who were in a plenary session at the climate talks in Bonn, Germany, a Syrian delegate announced that the country was poised to send its ratification of the Paris agreement to the United Nations. - New York Times   



West-east pipeline proposal 'lunacy', Credit Suisse declares — Angela MacDonald Smith

Credit Suisse's respected energy equities research team has ridiculed the government's proposal for a west-east gas pipeline, describing it as "seeming lunacy" and estimating it would waste up to $400 million a year compared to importing LNG. "Quite how time, effort and political airtime can be wasted on this concept against the option of a 'virtual pipeline' from imports is beyond us," the research team led by Mark Samter told clients bluntly in a note, describing it as "staggering" the idea is even being discussed. The federal government last week launched a pre-feasibility study into the potential for a pipeline that would link WA's abundant gas resources with the east coast market. - Australian Financial Review