Archive for Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Proposed oil pipeline would connect Oklahoma and Illinois, cutting through Kansas

February 1, 2012


— While the political debate rages over the future of the Keystone XL pipeline, a competitor is proposing a line that would cut across Kansas and Missouri and provide an alternative to Keystone for shipping Canadian tar sands oil to the Gulf Coast.

Calgary-based Enbridge Inc. hopes to link its existing Canadian oil pipelines from where they currently end near Chicago with another pipeline that runs from Cushing, Okla., to Houston and Port Arthur, Texas.

To do that, the company wants to build a $1.9 billion pipeline adjacent to an existing Enbridge line that cuts diagonally across northern Missouri before entering southeast Kansas. Together, the two Enbridge pipelines would be able to carry almost 700,000 barrels a day between Illinois and Oklahoma.

"In the energy industry, and oil in particular, there's always been a history of fierce competition," said Paul Blackburn, an environmental attorney and pipeline consultant. "One has to anticipate that if one of the players stumbles, another is going to try to capitalize on that."

Earlier this month, the Obama administration decided to delay consideration of a permit for the controversial $7 billion Keystone XL line until at least 2013. Company officials had anticipated that oil already would be moving down the line by then.

Keystone's fate became a political issue, with some arguing that failure to approve the line will cost thousands of construction jobs and others arguing that it would damage the environment and much of its refined product would be exported.

The Keystone XL pipeline is designed to carry 830,000 barrels a day from Alberta to the Gulf of Mexico by crossing Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas. Another segment of the Keystone system runs from Alberta to Conoco-Phillips' Wood River refinery in Illinois and on to Patoka, Ill. That part of the line, which has a capacity of 590,000 barrels a day, became operational in 2010.

The delay in Keystone XL's construction created an immediate demand for more capacity to move crude from Canada and the upper Midwest that Enbridge is jumping to fill, said John Auers, senior vice president of Turner, Mason & Co., a Dallas-based consultant. Enbridge hopes to get regulatory approval and enough commitments from shippers to begin construction next year and be in service by mid-2014.

"This was a project out there waiting in the wings," Auers said of the Enbridge proposal.

Enbridge's proposed line would generally follow the company's existing right of way but may require some land acquisitions to avoid congested areas and terrain features, a company spokesman said. The line runs southwest from the Flanagan, Ill., area, crosses the Mississippi River north of Hannibal, Mo., and exits Missouri in Bates County.

Unlike Keystone, Enbridge's line would not cross an international boundary, and much of it is already built, meaning it wouldn't cost as much and wouldn't be subject to many of the regulatory hurdles that Keystone has faced, Blackburn said.

"The bottom line is whoever gets those segments completed first gets a pretty significant commercial advantage, and that's what Enbridge is trying to do," Blackburn said.

A spokesman for TransCanada, which owns the Keystone line, played down any competition posed by the Enbridge line. TransCanada already has long-term contracts that will keep the Keystone XL line flowing at near capacity when completed, and there's plenty more Canadian oil for others to carry, said company spokesman Terry Cunha.

"The Gulf Coast refining market can benefit from both pipelines as the area has capacity for both projects," Cunha said.

Auers agreed.

"In the long run, they'll be enough demand for both those pipelines," Auers said.


Flap Doodle 6 years, 4 months ago

Prepare for hysterical shreiking and moaning by the usual suspects.

Clickker 6 years, 4 months ago

New pipes have cathodic protection and are monitored with state of the art remote sensing. Any leak would result in a quick shutoff at the nearest upstream check valve. I bet most people's garage floor has more oil on it than will ever be spilled by this puppy!

mloburgio 6 years, 4 months ago

The Pig in the XL Pipeline Insider reveals concealed “error” in pipeline safety equipment that could blow away the GOP’s XL pipe dream

: The software for the crucial piece of pipeline safety equipment, the “Smart PIG,” has a flaw known to the industry but concealed from regulators.

The flaw allows cracks, leaks and corrosion to go undetected – and that saves the industry billions of dollars in pipe replacements. But there’s a catch. Pipes with cracks and leaks can explode – and kill.

Federal law requires the oil and gas industry to run a PIG, a Pipeline Inspection Gauge, through big oil and gas pipelines. The robot porker, tethered to a GPS, beeps and boops as it rolls through, electronically squealing when it finds dangers.

deec 6 years, 4 months ago

So was this technology used in the keystone pipeline opened last year that has already leaked 12 times that we know of?

verity 6 years, 4 months ago

Citation, please, Clickker.

From what I've been reading, mioburgio is exactly right and as deec comments, it's apparently not working all that well.

oldbaldguy 6 years, 4 months ago

we have a pipline already ii is just west of Baldwin and runs north and south out of the state.

mloburgio 6 years, 4 months ago

 Cosponsored by 42 GOP senators and one Democratic Senator


Washington, D.C. –Forty-four Senators who introduced legislation today backing the controversial Keystone XL pipeline received $22.3 million in campaign contributions from the oil and gas industry since 1989, according to analysis by and Public Campaign Action Fund.

jhawkinsf 6 years, 4 months ago

So which is worse, that our representatives are constantly being bought or the fact that the voters are foolish enough to keep voting for them anyway?

verity 6 years, 4 months ago

Good question. I've often wondered about that myself. All we have to do is not vote for these people who have been bought, but usually the person who spends the most money wins.

verity 6 years, 4 months ago

Oj, autie, promises, promises. Are you being sarcastic or do you really think they will/can clean a spill up?

Richard Heckler 6 years, 4 months ago

Why in the hell is the government promoting the nastiest of Canadian oil or any Canadian oil for that matter?

Has the USA lost its' mind?

What's wrong with our own oil?

Flap Doodle 6 years, 4 months ago

Such language and such a hostile attitude, merrill. BTW, the possessive form of "it" is "its". No apostrophe is required. If you were indicating a contraction of "it is", the apostrophe would be placed where letters were omitted. "it's" would be the proper usage. (from a source)

verity 6 years, 4 months ago

Maybe I've missed something here, but why does Canada want to build this very long and supposedly economically profitable and job producing pipeline through the United States? Why don't they refine the tar sands in their own country and keep the money? Seems more sensible to me. I must be missing something---someone please enlighten me.

ENGWOOD 6 years, 4 months ago

Lets wait until it is exported to China and then we can import it from them.

Mike Ford 6 years, 4 months ago

no regulation the experts on here say....who cares if there's an oil spill.....who needs the movie There Will Be Blood.....

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