Blog Archives

Northern Gateway will not appeal Federal Appeal Court decision blocking pipeline


The Federal Court of Appeal has overturned approval of Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipeline project because Ottawa failed to consult adequately with First Nations. (Alex Panetta/Canadian Press)

Court ruled Ottawa had not adequately consulted Indigenous peoples along project’s route

By Chris Hall, John Paul Tasker, CBC News, September 20, 2016

Northern Gateway will not appeal a recent Federal Court of Appeal decision that overturned Ottawa’s approval of the controversial pipeline project.

The court ruled in June that the federal government had not adequately consulted with Indigenous peoples who will be affected by the project, which is backed by the energy company Enbridge, and which would stretch from outside Edmonton to a marine terminal in Kitimat, B.C. 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

Northern Gateway pipeline approval overturned

Enbridge comox protest 2012

Protest in Comox, BC, against Enbridge pipeline, 2012.

Federal Court of Appeal finds Canada failed to consult with First Nations on pipeline project

By Jason Proctor, CBC News, June 30, 2016

The Federal Court of Appeal has overturned approval of Enbridge’s controversial Northern Gateway project after finding Ottawa failed to properly consult the First Nations affected by the pipeline.

“We find that Canada offered only a brief, hurried and inadequate opportunity … to exchange and discuss information and to dialogue,” the ruling says.

“It would have taken Canada little time and little organizational effort to engage in meaningful dialogue on these and other subjects of prime importance to Aboriginal peoples. But this did not happen.” Read the rest of this entry

After wildfires, Fort McMurray hit with wasp swarms and floooding

Tar Sands Fort McMurray flood 1

Flooding in Fort McMurray. A local state of emergency and a boil water order have been declared in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, including the city of Fort McMurray. (Twitter, @MAviation) | Twitter, MAviation

Fort McMurray, still recovering from wildfire, dealing with flooding

Province of Alberta warns residents of falling trees due to heavy rain

By Mack Lamoureux, Wallis Snowdon, CBC News, June 9, 2016

A downpour flooded streets in several neighbourhoods across Fort McMurray, the northern Alberta community where residents have only recently begun returning to their homes weeks after being forced out by wildfire.  Read the rest of this entry

Fort McMurray fire destroys oilsands camp, forces evacuation of thousands of workers as blaze continues to grow

Tar Sands Fort McMurray fire black-sands

This photo of Blacksand Executive Lodge was taken by a CBC News contact around 6 a.m. Tuesday morning. (Name withheld by request)

by Geoffrey Morgan, Financial Post, May 17, 2016

CALGARY – The out-of-control wildfires in northern Alberta have forced a new wave of evacuations, by ground and by air, and delayed plans to restart oilsands productions at some projects, dealing another setback to the already hard-hit sector.

Suncor Energy Inc. spokesperson Sneh Seetal confirmed the company had begun airlifting employees to safety Tuesday after the fire had changed course Monday night, moved northward and forced the evacuation of its facilities and surrounding camps. Read the rest of this entry

Fires costing oilsands sector $70 million a day in lost revenue

Tar Sands Ft McMurray fire signGeoffrey Morgan, Financial Post, May 8, 2016

CALGARY —  As oilsands companies scramble to determine when they can start producing oil again in fire-ravaged northern Alberta, the industry is estimated to be losing $70 million every day that production is off line.

“There are a lot of fixed costs that don’t go away by just shutting in your production,” ARC Financial vice-president of energy research Jackie Forrest  said, pointing to employee salaries, and in some cases pre-paid diluent costs and fixed pipeline costs. 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