By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, May 9 -- Rapidly rising oil prices have stimulated a momentous increase in Canadian oil pipeline applications, reported Canada's National Energy Board (NEB) in its annual report to Parliament.
Last year the agency evaluated applications for more than 140,700 cu m/day (885,000 b/d) of new oil pipeline capacity, it said, up from 6,360 cu m/day (40,000 b/d) in 2006.
"Without a doubt, the [NEB] shifted into high gear throughout 2007," said NEB Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Gaetan Caron. In August NEB introduced an online system designed to streamline the application process for lower-risk projects, although it continues to give extra attention to issues of higher risk.
"It is becoming clear that not only is the Canadian oil and gas industry changing in terms of supply and demand, so too is Canada's regulatory regime," said Caron. He said NEB capitalized on several opportunities to respond to these changes last year.
It launched the Land Matters Consultation Initiative in October. "This initiative will provide a forum for interested parties and the NEB to discuss the responsible development of the energy sector, while respecting the rights of those affected," he said. "Discussions will focus on landowner consultation programs, improving accessibility to NEB processes, and pipeline abandonment issues.
In November NEB also released Canada's Energy Future report, published every 4 years, which examined three possible energy futures that may unfold for Canadians through 2030.
Caron was appointed to his position in 2007 as was Vice-Chair Sheila Leggett and Chief Operating Officer Pradeep Khare.
NEB regulates pipelines, energy development, and trade in Canada's energy industry.