Author Archives: prosperitysaskatchewan
Husky: We have more than 400 people on the ground cleaning up the Saskatchewan pipeline spill
July 27, 2016, 1:47 p.m.
Husky Energy says that in addition to employees it now has more than 400 people on the ground in Saskatchewan following the pipeline incident last week that spilled up to 250 cubic meters of oil into the North Saskatchewan River.
Water intakes in the cities of North Battleford, Prince Albert and Melfort have been shut down and measures to conserve drinking water have been put in place.
Husky chief operating officer said Wednesday mid-day that the company now has experts involved in cleanup operations on the ground.
“We realize this has impacted people, businesses and communities, and have established a toll-free line for claims. A team is standing by to help people through the process,” he said.
The Husky statement added that, “We continue to work closely with all levels of government and are actively engaging with First Nations and downstream communities.”
Here’s info from the latest update:
- Nine booms have been installed on the river to help contain the oil in place so it can be recovered. This is part of a larger strategy of containment and recovery that will take place in the days ahead.
- Water-based hydrovacs and boats are collecting oil trapped by booms.
- Surveillance by air, land and on the water continues, as well as water monitoring and sampling.
- Deterrent devices, including flagging, are being used to keep wildlife away from the shoreline.
- Husky says it continues to support the Wildlife Rehabilitation Society of Saskatchewan and its partners.
- Anyone encountering an impacted animal or bird should call Husky’s 24-hour emergency line at: 1-877-262-2111.
- A full and thorough investigation is now underway, in active cooperation with the relevant authorities. Husky says it is committed to working openly and transparently through the process.
Drinking water priority in Saskatchewan after oil spill into river: premier
The Canadian Press
July 27, 2016 – 11:25am
Wall says the debate about whether pipelines in general are safe can wait until another day.
“We need to make sure that drinking water is available, that potable water is available to communities affected by this. That’s the first challenge,” he said Wednesday at the legislature in Regina.
“We’ll get into the debate on pipelines versus rail or how we move oil across this country at a later date, but for now I think we should just set it aside.”
A leak from a Husky Energy (TSE:HSE) oil pipeline last Thursday released between 200,000 and 250,000 litres of oil, which has been making its way down the North Saskatchewan River.
It has already hit the cities of North Battleford, Prince Albert and Melfort, where water intakes have been shut down and measures to conserve drinking water have been put in place.
An incident report Husky released on Tuesday indicates the company knew something might be wrong with one of its oil pipelines about 14 hours before it told the Saskatchewan government of the leak.
Wall noted that Husky has said it will review what happened and why there was a delay, but he added that the company’s response to the spill itself appears to have followed protocol.
He also said he expects Husky to live up to its promise to cover the costs of cleanup — and more.
“Husky has said that they will be responsible for the financial costs of all of this and I expect that to be the case,” he said.
“We think of the big costs and the responsibility for those are on the company … but we also should be concerned … that there’s been business interruption costs for a lot of small businesses and that will need to be a part of the cost to Husky as well.”
Car washes and laundromats, for example, have had to shut down as communities conserve water, said Wall, who plans to visit the affected area on Thursday.
There could be long-term costs as well. The Water Security Agency doesn’t have enough information yet to estimate how long areas affected by the spill may have to keep interim water measures in place, the premier said.
The ecological impact on the river will also have to be assessed and addressed.
“We’ve got to have complete restoration and rehabilitation of habitat and the ecology along the North Saskatchewan.”
The Canadian Press
©2016 The Canadian Press
The news item can be seen here
July 26 – 3:15 PM
We would like to provide further detail and clarification regarding our initial report (IRIS) filed with the Saskatchewan government this morning and the sequence of events.
The following is the currently understood sequence of events leading up to the identification of the release.
- On Wednesday, July 20 at approximately 8 p.m. the pipeline monitoring system indicated pressure anomalies as several segments of the pipeline system were being returned to service. This is common during startup operations.
- As per our normal procedures when we note such anomalies, we immediately began reviewing data and operating characteristics.
- As a precaution, crews were dispatched along the gathering system and did not identify a leak.
- As a further precaution, aerial surveillance was also organized overnight to fly the length of the pipeline at the first available daytime opportunity.
- As our analysis continued through the night, we decided as a further precaution to start safe shutdown procedures at about 6 a.m. The valves on either side of the river shut in automatically as a part of the shutdown procedures.
- Subsequently, on Thursday morning we received reports regarding a sheen on the river.
- Also on Thursday morning we initiated our emergency response plan and dispatched crews to site.
- Based on the industry-standard SCADA system which we use to monitor the pipeline, we confirmed the released volume was between 200-250 cubic metres.
Husky is committed to completing a full and thorough investigation, in active cooperation with the relevant authorities.
Saskatchewan Geological Survey lays the groundwork for De Beers’ investment
July 25, 2016
Why did the world’s leading diamond company De Beers have the confidence to announce in May an investment of up to $20.4 million to research a potential diamond play in northern Saskatchewan? Because of the quality of the Government of Saskatchewan’s geological information. The Saskatchewan Geological Survey (SGS) team, operating out of the Ministry of the Economy, conducts surveys and packages the data, which provides insight into the province’s geology that mining exploration companies need to make decisions about where to explore.
In 2010, the SGS, in partnership with the Geological Survey of Canada, commissioned an airborne geophysical survey over the northwest part of the Athabasca Basin in northern Saskatchewan. Using specialized geophysical equipment, the airborne survey measured the local rock properties, resulting in data anomalies that indicated the possible presence of kimberlite – the volcanic rock that brings diamonds to the surface. These data anomalies were used by exploration company CanAlaska Uranium Ltd. (CanAlaska) to determine the presence of 75 potential kimberlite targets.
In 2016, De Beers found the potential kimberlite targets promising enough to option the claims staked by CanAlaska. De Beers will work with CanAlaska to conduct follow-up research in stages over the next few years. The work will include more detailed airborne surveys, diamond indicator sampling, and drill testing of prioritized targets.
“We are very pleased to have joined forces with the world’s premier diamond explorer to evaluate this 17,400 hectare (43,000 acre) claim package,” says CanAlaska president Peter Dasler.
This is only one example where research undertaken by the SGS has resulted in significant investments in mineral exploration. Again this summer, the SGS team has set up a number of field camps across northern Saskatchewan.. At these camps, SGS geologists, working with summer students who are studying geology at university, are investigating the local rocks in an effort to unravel the geologic history of the province. This information, which is publically released, is a necessary prerequisite to encourage and focus new mineral exploration.
ICL Inks Potash Deal With China in Sign Market Is Stabilizing
July 26, 2016 — 7:32 AM CST
Israel Chemicals Ltd. signed long-awaited contracts to supply potash to customers in China, the world’s largest consumer of the fertilizer, an indication that the free-fall in prices for the commodity could be ending.
ICL, owned by billionaire Idan Ofer, will sell 700,000 metric tons this year at prices “in line” with recent transactions in China, according to a Tel Aviv Stock Exchange filing Tuesday. Belarusian Potash Co. agreed two weeks ago to sell potash at $219 per metric ton, the first contract China signed this year.
“It’s a sign of relief,” said Gilad Alper, a senior analyst at Excellence Nessuah Brokerage Ltd. in Petach Tikva. “It puts a floor on prices, which at one point looked like they could have been a lot worse. There were whispers that prices could have fallen below $200, which would have been a disaster for the industry.” Alper has a neutral rating on ICL’s stock.
The string of contracts with Chinese customers could ease the global glut of unsold potash that has sparked a prolonged slump for mining companies. Chinese demand remains weak and prices are far off their 2008 highs of $950.
The prices agreed upon by ICL are “still about 40 percent less than they were last year,” Alper said. “Obviously they will still have issues in terms of profitability, but the volumes are decent and that should stabilize share prices.”
ICL did not immediately respond to telephone and e-mail requests for comment.
ICL shares rose 2 percent, the most in 12 days on a closing basis, to 16.05 shekels at 4:01 p.m. in Tel Aviv.
Saskatchewan Pipeline Incident Updates
A toll-free line has been set up for claims, and a team is standing by to assist with questions and to help people through the process. The number is 1-844-461-7991. People can also email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Anyone encountering an impacted animal or bird should call Husky’s 24-hour emergency line at: 1-877-262-2111.
For regular updates, follow us on Twitter: @HuskyEnergyInc
As we move forward with our response, we have taken action to help the people, businesses and communities that have been affected by the incident.
A toll-free line has been set up for claims, and a team is standing by to assist with questions and to help people through the process.
The number is 1-844-461-7991. People can also email: email@example.com.
We continue to work closely and coordinate efforts with all levels of government, First Nations and with downstream communities and our neighbours.
We can provide the following progress update:
- Our clean-up efforts are continuing on the 20 kilometres of river immediately downstream of the release.
- Booms have also been installed in the area. This is part of a larger strategy of containment and recovery that will take place in the days and weeks ahead.
- Deterrent devices, including flagging, are being used to keep wildlife away from the shoreline.
- Surveillance by air, land and on water continues, as does water monitoring and sampling.
At some point in the near future, people will need to choose how the oil will move – tankers, pipelines, rail cars, or a combination or . . . . .
Environmental groups concerned pipeline project will increase tanker traffic
FREDERICTON — The Canadian Press
Published Tuesday, Jul. 26, 2016 10:21AM EDT
Last updated Tuesday, Jul. 26, 2016 10:22AM EDT
A new report says the proposed Energy East pipeline would drive a huge increase in crude tanker traffic, jeopardizing the environment and marine life between New Brunswick and the U.S. Gulf Coast.
The report, prepared by the U.S.-based Natural Resources Defence Council in partnership with groups such as Greenpeace and the Conservation Council of New Brunswick, says the pipeline would result in a 300 to 500 per cent increase in tankers delivering western crude to refineries in the southern United States.
The proposed $15.7-billion pipeline would move 1.1 million barrels of oil a day from Alberta and Saskatchewan through Quebec and into New Brunswick to supply Eastern Canada refineries and for overseas shipping.
Anthony Swift, a spokesman for the report, says the large number of crude tankers creates extraordinary threats to the U.S. East Coast and marine life in the Bay of Fundy.
The group has launched a petition calling for a moratorium on tankers carrying tar sands bitumen in U.S. waters.
Premiers Strike an Agreement in Principle on Internal Trade
WHITEHORSE, July 22, 2016 – Premiers are committed to maintaining a modern and competitive Canadian market. They recognize the role that more open internal trade can play in helping businesses be more productive, create jobs, and grow the economy.
Premiers reached an agreement in principle on a new Canadian Free Trade Agreement (CFTA).
The CFTA is a ground-breaking agreement that will support their vision for promoting trade, investment and labour mobility across provincial and territorial boundaries, as part of a broader economic vision for Canada.
Its achievements include broad coverage of the Canadian economy, reduced regulatory burden and enhanced procurement opportunities. Unlike the previous AIT, this agreement will be based on a “negative list” approach, where all government measures will be covered unless specifically excluded.
Premiers directed their trade ministers to finalize remaining technical issues around the agreement, working with the federal government, and submit it for consideration by First Ministers.
Premiers noted the agreement includes the establishment of a working group on alcoholic beverages, which will explore opportunities to improve trade in beer, wine and spirits across Canada.
This agreement will replace the Agreement on Internal Trade and enhance trade between provinces and territories.
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Media enquiries may be directed to:
Communications, Executive Council Office
Government of Yukon
Cell: (867) 335-0686
KEY ELEMENTS OF THE NEW CANADIAN FREE TRADE AGREEMENT
Broad Coverage of the Canadian Economy
The proposed agreement would update and replace the existing Agreement on Internal Trade (AIT). The previous agreement only covered specific sectors, while the new agreement will apply to virtually the entire Canadian economy, with any exceptions explicitly identified. This will bring unprecedented transparency to how provinces, territories and the federal government regulate the movement of goods, services, investment and labour across the country.
Key highlights include:
- Support for Innovation – The new agreement ensures open access to new products and services that will benefit Canadians. Since the initial internal trade agreement was signed more than 20 years ago, technology has advanced and commercial innovations have multiplied. Trade in new goods and services will be supported by the rules of the new agreement, promoting long-term economic development.
- Increased Consumer Choice – The agreement’s rules will apply to the entire Canadian economy. As a result, consumers can expect to access a wider range of goods and services that are produced in other provinces and territories. This will benefit consumers by providing them with more choice in Canadian produced goods and services.
- Improved Access for the Services Industry Across Canada – The agreement will result in better and more transparent access to services (e.g., real estate, telecommunications, and engineering).For instance, residency requirements in a number of provinces and territories will be improved to provide greater access, making it easier for service suppliers to expand their operations.
Reduced Regulatory Burden
Provinces and territories have agreed to reduce unnecessary differences in regulations identified as barriers to trade which can raise operating costs for companies. The agreement will establish a new mechanism to address these barriers, which will help eliminate burdens in a range of areas. These could include the hours truckers can operate their vehicles in other provinces, the shipping of equipment across Canada, and the freer flow of gasoline across the country. The agreement contains a robust process to address these barriers. It has rules to promote regulatory cooperation that will enable common approaches to new regulatory areas, such as emerging technologies.
Improved Procurement Opportunities
Overall, provinces and territories have agreed to substantially expand access to their individual government procurement. This will provide a more level playing field for Canadian suppliers by expanding access to contracts tendered by all levels of government and will open up procurement markets to competitive bidding by Canadian businesses, increasing choice and value for taxpayers. Provinces and territories have also agreed to a more transparent and effective dispute resolution process for procurement for provincial, territorial and federal government purchases.
Keystone’s death means record oil revival for Canadian railways
ROBERT TUTTLE AND JEREMY VAN LOON
Published Tuesday, Jul. 26, 2016 7:15AM EDT
Last updated Tuesday, Jul. 26, 2016 7:19AM EDT
Keystone was the great hope for opening U.S. markets further to Canadian crude. Now that it’s dead, the railways are going to make not just a comeback, but transport more oil than ever before.
The Keystone XL pipeline was set to carry heavy Canadian crude south from Hardisty, Alberta’s oil hub, before being blocked by President Barack Obama last November, largely on environmental grounds. In a sign of what’s coming, exports by train rose 23 per cent in April, the biggest year-on-year jump since September 2014, according to Canada’s National Energy Board.
That’s just the beginning. Next year, with about a half dozen new projects and expansions in the oil sands, rail exports could double by the third quarter to a record, said Eric Peterson, research chief at Denver-based ARB Midstream LLC, an oil transport investor. That’s good news for USD Group LLC, Imperial Energy Corp. and Cenovus Energy Inc., all of which invested in new rail terminals or plan on expanding older ones this year.
“That production has to find an alternative source of take-away and that’s where rail comes in,” said Brad Sanders, chief commercial officer of USD Group, which plans to double capacity at its Hardisty terminal within 12 months to four trains a day, each of which could carry 65,000 barrels. “We expect from this point on that activity to grow.”
The capacity of existing pipelines is 4 million barrels a day, opening an opportunity for rail carriers. Crude output is expected to rise about 5 per cent to more than 4 million barrels a day in 2017, according to the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers. Keystone XL would have augmented pipeline capacity by 830,000 barrels a day, an addition of more than 20 per cent.
“We are going to have to see some pretty significant volumes move by rail,” Peterson of ARB Midstream said by phone. “Every new incremental barrel of production that comes out of Canada will have to go by rail” once the pipelines are full, he said.
After two years of declines, rail transport rose to 109,000 barrels a day in April, a number that Peterson says will double by next year and could reach 450,000 by 2018.
Opposition to shipping crude by rail has grown since accidents like the Lac Megantic disaster in Quebec where an unattended freight train carrying Bakken oil derailed and exploded in July 2013, killing 47 and destroying half of the town’s center. Recent incidents include a train crash and fire in Mosier, Oregon, on June 3 and a derailment in Watertown, Wisconsin, in November.
“It’s amazing that we got away so lucky,” said Sarah Zarling, a 34-year-old stay-at-home mom, referring to the 500 gallons of oil spilled and no fatalities on Nov. 8 in Watertown. “I’ve seen more and more oil cars coming through town. We’re supposed to be moving away from fossil fuels, not using more.”
Canadian oil production will fall to an average of 3.82 million barrels a day this year from 3.85 million in 2015, according to a report last month from the producers association. The drop is due in part to the wildfires that shut in more than a million barrels a day of oil-sands output in May and declining production of conventional oil from wells.
Next year will be different. New oil-sands expansions that began prior to crude’s slide in 2014 are being completed with no new pipelines planned until at least 2019, when Enbridge Inc. is scheduled to boost the capacity of a line running between Edmonton, Alberta, and Superior, Wisconsin.
Rising demand for rail shipments would benefit companies that invested in loading facilities. In 2015, Imperial Energy started a 210,000-barrel-a-day terminal which is 50 per cent owned by Kinder Morgan Inc. Cenovus bought a central Alberta rail terminal from Canexus Corp. for $75-million ($58-million U.S.) last year.
The terminal “gives us additional flexibility to get our crude to niche markets and to have that flexibility in times of pipeline constraint,” Brett Harris, a Cenovus spokesman, said in an interview. “We got it for an exceptional good price.”
A single train of about 100 cars can carry crude to the refining center of the U.S. Gulf Coast from Canada for as little as $14 a barrel, down from more than $18 a barrel two years ago, Peterson said. Transporting heavy crude from Edmonton to Texas on Enbridge’s pipelines costs between $6.99 and $9.12 a barrel depending on volumes and whether the shipper has a long-term commitment to use the lines, according to the company.
“Once the production exceeds the ability for local refineries and pipelines to take it, you are going to have a very physical need for crude by rail,” Peterson said. “Once that happens, the differential should or will be to the point where it justifies crude by rail.”