State Department approves Enbridge's Alberta Clipper oil pipeline

The US Department of State issued a permit on Aug. 20 for Enbridge Energy Limited Partnership to build a cross-border pipeline from Alberta’s oil sands deposits to US refineries. Four environmental organizations said they would legally challenge the decision.

Noting that the White House delegated presidential authority to review applications for facilities including pipelines at US borders to it, the department said that it issued a presidential permit for the Enbridge Inc. division’s Alberta Clipper project from Hardesty, Alberta, to Superior, Wis.

The department said in a statement that it found that the addition of crude oil pipeline capacity between Canada and the United States will advance a number of US strategic interests. “These included increasing the diversity of available supplies among the United States’ worldwide crude oil sources in a time of considerable political tension in other major oil producing countries and regions, shortening the transportation pathway for crude oil supplies, and increasing crude oil supplies from a major non-Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries producer,” it said.

The statement called Canada “a stable and reliable ally and trading partner of the United States, with which we have free trade agreements which augment the security of this energy supply.”

The 1,000-mile pipeline would resolve capacity constraints created by growing US demand for crude oil from Canadian oil sands, according to information at Enbridge’s corporate website. Initial capacity would be 450,000 bbl a day, with capacity up to 800,000 b/d available, it said.

Sees broken promise

But Earthjustice, the Sierra Club, the Indigenous Environmental Network, and the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy jointly said that the decision contradicts US President Barack H. Obama’s promise to cut global warming pollution, reduce US addiction to imported oil, and invest in a clean energy future.

“The State Department has rubber-stamped a project that will mean more air, water, and global warming pollution, particularly in the communities near refineries that will process this dirty oil,” said Sarah Burt, an Earthjustice attorney. “The project’s environmental review fails to show how construction of the Alberta Clipper is in the national interest. We will go to court to make sure that all the impacts of this pipeline are considered.”

The environmental organizations said that groups also have appealed to the US Forest Service to not let the pipeline cross parts of the Chippewa National Forest in Minnesota, and that a group of tribal members have apparently gathered enough signatures on a petition for a referendum on the Leech Lake Tribal Council’s agreement to allow the project to cross tribal land.

In its announcement, the State Department said that it consulted all relevant agencies and parties “with extensive public and stakeholder participation and outreach” before making its decision.

Other groups applauded the decision. “We were very happy to see that the project received the permit. We were also pleased with the analysis of the issues,” Thomas J. Corcoran, director of the Center for North American Energy Security, told OGJ on Aug. 21. “This administration has a very high priority for green issues and environmental protection, but it achieved a nice balance here and came out with the right result.”

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com

Related Articles

West Cornwall Township hears from Sunoco Logistics

12/12/2014

Sunoco Logistics Partners outlined its safety systems during a West Cornwall Township meeting in Pennsylvania on Nov. 10.

ETP eyes larger capacity for planned Bakken pipe

12/12/2014 Energy Transfer Partners LP has launched a binding expansion open season to boost capacity on a planned pipeline system that would move oil from th...

Kinder Morgan to deliver natural gas to Corpus Christi Liquefaction

12/11/2014 Kinder Morgan Inc. (KMI) companies Kinder Morgan Texas Pipeline, Kinder Morgan Tejas Pipeline, and Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. (TGP) have entered in...

Rosneft, Essar sign terms of oil supply agreement

12/11/2014 OAO Rosneft and Essar Energy PLC have signed key terms of an oil supply agreement in New Delhi. Rosneft said shipments to India may begin in 2015.

Barton introduces bill to remove US crude export limits

12/11/2014

US Rep. Joe Barton (R-Tex.) introduced legislation that would remove US crude oil export limits that have been in place for nearly 40 years.

BG agrees to sale of Australian gas pipeline to APA Group

12/10/2014

BG Group PLC agreed to sell its wholly owned subsidiary Queensland Curtis LNG Pipeline Pty. Ltd. (QCLNG) to APA Group for about $5 billion.

More West Texas gathering, processing to come onstream

12/09/2014 EagleClaw Midstream Services LLC, Midland, Tex., has bought natural gas gathering and processing in Reeves County, Tex. The company declined to ide...

Methane controls just part of complete climate strategy, speakers say

12/08/2014 Reducing oil and gas operations’ methane emissions is an essential, but far from the only, part of a comprehensive climate strategy, speakers at a ...

Rail tank car rule could cost economy billions, report says

12/08/2014 The US Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration's (PHMSA) proposed rail tank car rule could cost the US economy as much as $60 billio...

White Papers

AVEVA NET Accesses and Manages the Digital Asset

Global demand for new process plants, power plants and infrastructure is increasing steadily with the ...
Sponsored by

AVEVA’s Approach for the Digital Asset

To meet the requirements for leaner project execution and more efficient operations while transferring...
Sponsored by

Diversification - the technology aspects

In tough times, businesses seek to diversify into adjacent markets or to apply their skills and resour...
Sponsored by

Engineering & Design for Lean Construction

Modern marketing rhetoric claims that, in order to cut out expensive costs and reduce risks during the...
Sponsored by

Object Lessons - Why control of engineering design at the object level is essential for efficient project execution

Whatever the task, there is usually only one way to do it right and many more to do it wrong. In the c...
Sponsored by

Plant Design for Lean Construction - at your fingertips

One area which can provide improvements to the adoption of Lean principles is the application of mobil...
Sponsored by

How to Keep Your Mud System Vibrator Hose from Getting Hammered to Death

To prevent the vibrating hoses on your oilfield mud circulation systems from failing, you must examine...
Sponsored by

Duty of Care

Good corporate social responsibility means implementing effective workplace health and safety measures...
Sponsored by

Available Webcasts


On Demand

Optimizing your asset management practices to mitigate the effects of a down market

Thu, Dec 11, 2014

The oil and gas market is in constant flux, and as the price of BOE (Barrel of Oil Equivalent) goes down it is increasingly important to optimize your asset management strategy to stay afloat.  Attend this webinar to learn how developing a solid asset management plan can help your company mitigate costs in any market.

register:WEBCAST


Parylene Conformal Coatings for the Oil & Gas Industry

Thu, Nov 20, 2014

In this concise 30-minute webinar, participants have an opportunity to learn more about how Parylene coatings are applied, their features, and the value they add to devices and components.

register:WEBCAST


Utilizing Predictive Analytics to Optimize Productivity in Oil & Gas Operations

Tue, Nov 18, 2014

Join IBM on Tuesday, November 18 @ 1pm CST to explore how Predictive Analytics can help your organization maximize productivity, operational performance & associated processes to drive enterprise wide productivity and profitability.

register:WEBCAST


US HYDROCARBON EXPORTS Part 3 — LNG

Fri, Nov 14, 2014

US LNG Exports, the third in a trilogy of webcasts focusing on the broad topic of US Hydrocarbon Exports.

A discussion of the problems and potential for the export of US-produced liquefied natural gas.

These and other topics will be discussed, with the latest thoughts on U.S. LNG export policy.

register:WEBCAST


Careers at TOTAL

Careers at TOTAL - Videos

More than 600 job openings are now online, watch videos and learn more!

 

Click Here to Watch

Other Oil & Gas Industry Jobs

Search More Job Listings >>
Stay Connected