U.S. President Donald Trump approved a permit for TC Energy Corp. this past Wednesday to expand the capacity of the Keystone pipeline by 170,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 760,000 bpd from Alberta to the U.S. Gulf Coast.
“The new permit will allow us to respond to market demand and fully utilize the Keystone pipeline system to safely deliver additional crude oil from Canada to refining centres in the U.S. Midwest and the Gulf Coast,”said CEO Russ Girling, president of TC Energy during a conference call yesterday.
TC Energy will be able to increase its transportation of oil by 50,000 bpd next year, doing so without making any substantial capital investments in the pipeline. Instead, the company will add drag reducing agents to the oil which will make the flow of the liquid smoother, according to Bevin Wirzba, the senior vice-president for liquids pipelines during the call.
“This is excellent news for Canada’s energy sector, and hard-working people and families on both sides of the border who benefit from continued North American energy security and interdependence,” said Alberta Energy Minister Sonya Savage in response to the permit announcement on Wednesday. That was reported by The Canadian Press.
Exxon Mobil Corp. revealed a loss of US$1.1 billion in its second quarter, this being the most hard-hitting loss the company has experienced. Increased safety measures and social lockdowns due to COVID-19 resulted in a drop in demand for many products including including jet fuel and plastic wrap, which impacted both the refining and chemical units of Exxon. That story’s from Bloomberg.
Meanwhile, Dominion Energy, a U.S. energy company, took a hit of $2.8 billion to cancel its Atlantic Coast natural gas pipeline this month. The pipeline, which was intended to run from West Virginia to North Carolina, was cancelled by Dominion and its partner Duke Energy Corp, because of regulatory uncertainties causing years of delays, according to Reuters.
On Friday morning at 9:00 a.m., West Texas Intermediate was trading at US$40.19 and Brent Crude was going for US$43.24.
A report published by the Transportation Safety Board of Canada shows that the derailment of a freight-train that happened in northwestern Ontario this past winter was caused by “ice jacking.” Rails are at risk of “gauge spreading” from a buildup of snow and ice underneath the tracks, which, combined with the weight of the train, will cause rails to loosen.
According to the report “the area had recently experienced several freeze-thaw cycles…(which) can contribute to ice buildup along the base of the rail.”
The 33 car derailing saw six cars badly damaged and resulted in the spill of close to 320,000 litres of oil. The Canadian Press has more.
In other news, the expansion plan for Alberta-based Vista coal mine is going to be revisited by the federal government due to concern about the increase in its size and production. Federal Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson said the “significant” environmental effects of the project would be considered federal jurisdiction and that another assessment is needed, according to The Globe and Mail.
Canadian Crude Index had fallen by 4.09 per cent or US$1.21 and was going for US$28.40, while Western Canadian Select dropped by 4.06 per cent or US$1.35 and was going for US$31.92 this morning at 9:03 a.m.