Blog Archives

Trudeau cabinet approves Trans Mountain, Line 3 pipelines, rejects Northern Gateway

Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline

Projects will pump nearly a million more barrels of oil a day from Alberta’s oilsands to global markets

By John Paul Tasker, CBC News, November 29, 2016

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his cabinet colleagues signed off on two major pipelines today, projects that will pump nearly a million more barrels of oil a day from Alberta’s oilsands to global markets, if they are constructed. Read the rest of this entry

Fort McKay First Nation to put $350M into Suncor oilsands tank farm

suncor-office$1B storage facility part of $13.5B project that is expected to begin producing first oil in late 2017

The Canadian Press, September 6, 2016

Suncor Energy is bringing in a northern Alberta aboriginal band as partner in a $1-billion storage facility being built to serve its Fort Hills oilsands project.

The Calgary-based company says the Fort McKay First Nation will pay about $350 million when its new tank farm becomes operational next spring in return for a 34 per cent interest. Read the rest of this entry

Fort McMurray fires shut down even more oilsands facilities, knock one million barrels offline

APTOPIX Canada Wildfire

A wildfire moves towards the town of Anzac from Fort McMurray, Alberta., on Wednesday May 4, 2016 (Jason Franson/The Canadian Press via AP).

Claudia Cattaneo and Geoffrey Morgan, Financial Post, May 5, 2016

CALGARY — More oilsands companies have been forced to reduce or shut down production as the raging wildfire that started near Fort McMurray spreads south to new producing areas.

Meanwhile, oil companies poured their resources into the firefighting effort — from sheltering evacuees to helping with medical emergencies.

Suncor Energy Inc., Imperial Oil Ltd. and Athabasca Oil Corp. all announced production reductions or shut-downs late in the day Thursday in response to the growing fire, which is now estimated to have pushed more than 1 million barrels — close to 40 per cent — of oilsands production offline. Read the rest of this entry

Major oil sands producers scale back output as Fort McMurray wildfire rages

Fort McMurray fire: 1,600 properties destroyed, flareups expected

Tar Sands Ft McMurray fire sale

What is left of the community of Beacon Hill, Alta., is seen after wildfires devastated the area on Wednesday, May 4, 2016. (Chad Kruger / CTV News)

CTV News, May 4, 2016

More than 1,600 homes and buildings have been destroyed by raging wildfires in Fort McMurray, Alta., and officials say they expect the fires to flare up again later this afternoon.

Temperatures in the northern Alberta town are expected to hit an unseasonably hot 30 degrees Celsius Wednesday afternoon, with no precipitation in the forecast.

When the winds pick up this afternoon, Chad Morrison, a senior manager with Alberta Wildfire Prevention & Enforcement says the fire will likely become unpredictable and difficult to control.

Read the rest of this entry

Oilsands work camps fill with fire evacuees

Tar Sands Ft McMurray fire houses

Fire and smoke loom over a Fort McMurray neighborhood on May 3, 2016. Mindy Francis/Facebook.

Canadian Press, May 3, 2016

FORT MCMURRAY, Alta. – Oilsands work camps were being pressed into service Tuesday to house evacuees as a raging wildfire emptied the city of Fort McMurray.

“We’ve made our work camp available to staff and their families who have been evacuated and need a place to stay,” said Cameron Yost of Shell Canada.

“We are looking at getting non-essential people out by aircraft,” said Yost, who added Shell’s camp could accommodate hundreds of evacuees.

Read the rest of this entry

Keystone XL may be dead. The oilsands probably aren’t

oil-sands-tar-sands-albertaLow petroleum prices mean new projects are on pause, but existing production won’t disappear

By Tracy Johnson, CBC News, Nov 11, 2015

There is some soul searching going on in the oilpatch this week in the aftermath of the U.S. rejection of Keystone XL. Would a carbon tax have changed things? A gentler hand with the politics? How much of the U.S. decision was connected to increases in their own domestic production?

What they aren’t asking is how to get oilsands product to market. Because it’s getting there, in ways both obvious and unexpected. The oilsands have lots of problems, like low prices and high costs. But right now, market access is pretty far down the list. Read the rest of this entry

The Oilsands: First Nations struggle to save traditions while profiting from boom

Tar Sands in northern Alberta.

Tar Sands in northern Alberta.

By Marty Klinkenberg, Edmonton Journal, December 15, 2013

FORT CHIPEWYAN — On a hill overlooking Lake Athabasca, the big water that sustained their forefathers for 9,000 years, a dozen residents of Fort Chipewyan gather in a teepee with the legs and shoulders of a freshly killed caribou before them. Read the rest of this entry