Archive | Oil and Gas Sector-Politics and Image

Make up your mind, IEA. Is more oil good or bad? – by Mark Milke (Financial Post – June 18, 2021)

After telling nations to stop investing in oil, the IEA is now pleading with the world’s most regressive regimes to open up their oil taps

What a difference a month makes. In May, the International Energy Agency (IEA) told the world that if the goal of “net zero” greenhouse gas emissions were to be met by 2050, governments needed to abide by 400 IEA “milestones,” including net zero emissions in the electricity sector by 2040, no new sales of vehicles with internal combustion engines by 2035, and building the equivalent of “the world’s current largest solar park roughly every day.”

The 400 utopian recommendations made clear the IEA’s view about the role of oil going forward: as little as possible, as soon as possible. As the IEA put it, these recommendations “include, from today, no investment in new fossil fuel supply projects.” Continue Reading →

Keystone XL pipeline project scrapped in blow to Canada’s energy plan – by JAMES KELLER, JEFFREY JONES AND KELLY CRYDERMAN (Globe and Mail – June 10, 2021)

TC Energy Corp. is terminating the Keystone XL pipeline, ending a project that appeared to have run out of options after Joe Biden pulled its permit as one of his first official acts as U.S. President.

The Calgary-based company’s decision on Wednesday formally ends a 13-year regulatory odyssey that saw the proposed pipeline blocked twice by former president Barack Obama and revived by his successor Donald Trump.

The project’s cancellation is a significant blow to Alberta, whose economy has struggled in the face of constrained pipeline access and whose government bought an ownership stake last year. Continue Reading →

Murky carbon path threatens US$14 trillion in oil and gas projects – by Yadullah Hussain (Financial Post – May 26, 2021)

The latest bombshell report from the International Energy Agency recommending the abrupt halt of all new oil, natural gas and coal projects has shaken up the global energy complex, but few see the pathways as clear as the agency does.

Last week, the IEA advocated shelving new hydrocarbons projects if the world is to meet its net zero targets by 2050. The change of tone for an agency that was set up to ensure oil security in the aftermath of the Arab oil embargo of 1973 underscores the massive upheavals under way in the global energy complex, but it also highlights the difficulty of switching to renewable energies.

Canada was one of the 17 founding members of the IEA that gave the autonomous agency — hosted at the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development in Paris — a broad mandate on energy security and energy policy back in the 1970s. Continue Reading →

Canadian oilpatch ‘confident’ IEA will alter dire warning on oil and gas once emissions tech gains ground – by Gabriel Friedman (Financial Post – May 19, 2021)

Reaching net zero by 2050 while achieving net economic growth is plausible, but would require drastic immediate changes

A new report by the International Energy Agency warns that the energy sector will need to shelve investments in new oil, natural gas and coal projects if the world is to reach net zero carbon emissions target by 2050 — a recommendation that could lead to a path that would have significant consequences for Canada’s fossil fuels industry.

Reaching net zero by 2050 while achieving net economic growth is plausible, according to the IEA report released Tuesday, but would require drastic immediate changes, and will require immediate and massive deployment of all available clean and efficient energy technologies.

“I think it would be an error for oil and gas and the Canadian energy industry to ignore the changes that are coming,” said Tristan Goodman, president of the Explorers and Producers Association of Canada, a lobbying group for oil and gas. Continue Reading →

What we need to know about the pace of decarbonization – by Vaclav Smil (Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy – April 2020)

University of Manitoba professor Vaclav Smil is regarded as an international authority on the history of energy transitions. Science Magazine calls him “the man who has quietly shaped how the world thinks about energy.” In the words of Bill Gates “there is no author whose books I look forward to more than Vaclav Smil.”

Energy transitions have been among the key defining processes of human evolution. The first millennia-long transition was from the reliance on traditional biofuels such as wood, charcoal, crop residues and animate sources of energy derived from human and animal muscles, to increasingly common reliance on inanimate energy converters. They included water wheels, wind mills and better harnessed draft animals for fieldwork and transportation.

Transition to fossil fuels to produce heat, thermal electricity and kinetic energy began in England during the 16th century. It took hold in Europe and North America only after 1800, and in most of Asia only after 1950.

This transition has been accompanied by increasing reliance on primary electricity, dominated by hydroelectricity since the 1880s, with nuclear generation contributing since the late 1950s. The transition from traditional biofuels to fossil fuels has resulted in gradual relative decarbonization, but also in enormous growth in absolute emissions of CO2. Continue Reading →

Peak demand? More like a supply crisis propelling oil to US$100 – by Eric Nuttall (Financial Post – May 12, 2021)

Eric Nuttall: OPEC will soon exhaust its spare capacity and U.S shale lacks the ability to significantly grow in the years ahead

The world stands on the cusp of an oil supply crisis. Years of insufficient investment in offshore mega-projects combined with the end of U.S. shale hyper growth and a recent shift by global supermajors to preferentially invest in alternative energy over traditional hydrocarbons have resulted in an oil industry that lacks the ability to meaningfully grow its production in the years ahead.

Why does this matter when we read headlines every day prophesizing the end of oil due to the imminent mass adoption of alternatives such as hydrogen and electric cars?

This is our energy reality: the world is nowhere near peak oil demand. Global population growth of 1.2 billion people over the next 20 years combined with decades’ long runway for alternatives to reach critical scale mean that oil demand will grow for years to come. Continue Reading →

Opinion: Now do you see the value of pipelines? – by Mark Milke and Lennie Kaplan (Financial Post – May 14, 2021)

As energy transition expert Vaclav Smil has pointed out repeatedly,
attempts to design “hypothetical road maps outlining complete
elimination of fossil carbon from the global energy supply” are
“nothing but an exercise in wishful thinking that ignores
fundamental physical realities.”

There’s nothing like real life as a corrective to Disney-like musings, where fantasies are concocted absent any connection to reality.

The latest example comes from the ransomware attack against Atlanta-based Colonial Pipelines, which ships 100 million gallons of refined fuel daily. Colonial was hacked and extorted by an entity known as DarkSide.

It locked the company out of its own network, which affected its ability to move fuel through its 5,500-mile pipeline network, which stretches from Houston to Linden, New Jersey. As of this writing, Colonial’s four main pipelines were just slowly coming back on line. Continue Reading →

With the Line 5 shutdown order, the U.S. spurns Canada’s energy needs again – by Lawrence Martin (Globe and Mail – May 13, 2021)

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer won’t back off. Rather than show flexibility toward Canada in the confrontation over the vital Line 5 pipeline, she’s treating the good neighbour as badly as Donald Trump did, prompting a showdown.

She’s ordered the shutdown of the Enbridge Inc. line that passes through her state and supplies almost half the fuel needs of Ontario and Quebec. She threatened Tuesday to seize the profits of Enbridge if it doesn’t comply. It says it won’t.

This line has been in operation for 67 years without a leak into the Straits, but that doesn’t cut it with the uncompromising governor, a rising Democratic Party star. She alleges it is in ill-repair and could cause a horrific spill. Continue Reading →

Killing Line 5 will only make people realize how much we need fossil fuels – by Tasha Kheiriddin (National Post – May 12, 2021)

This seems like a bad week to be in the pipeline business. On Friday, a cyberattack shut down the American Colonial Pipeline network, which carries 2.5 million barrels a day of diesel, gasoline and jet fuel to 14 states.

A criminal gang called “DarkSide” is accused of holding data for ransom; it is not clear whether Colonial paid up, but the company expects to “substantially” restore service by the end of this week.

By then, however, another major pipeline could be shut down, not by extortion, but by government fiat. Michigan has ordered the closure of Enbridge’s Line 5, a pipeline carrying nearly half of the light crude oil, light synthetic crude oil and natural gas liquids consumed in Ontario and Quebec. Continue Reading →

Potential for two major fuel pipeline shutdowns this week shows fragility of North America’s energy system – by Geoffrey Morgan (Financial Post – May 11, 2021)

CALGARY — A cyberattack that knocked out the main oil pipeline supplying the U.S. Eastern Seaboard comes days before a state-imposed deadline to shut a major Canadian conduit that could send prices soaring for consumers, highlighting the fragility of North America’s energy infrastructure.

“These recent events completely lift the hood on how vulnerable infrastructure is to attack now,” said Michael Tran, energy strategist at RBC Capital Markets in New York, adding the attack on the Colonial Pipeline Co. “was not just any pipeline” but “the key artery” supplying the most populated parts of the United States.

A ransomware attack Friday on the Colonial Pipeline, which ships gasoline, diesel and jet fuel from U.S. Gulf Coast refineries to consumers in 14 states on the U.S. East Coast, has forced the largest conduit of refined products in the U.S. to go offline. Continue Reading →

Tiny hummingbird stops construction on the Trans Mountain pipeline in B.C. for 4 months – by Amy Judd (Global News – April 26, 2021)

Work on the Trans Mountain’s pipeline construction has now been stopped for four months after the discovery of hummingbird nests during tree cutting.

Members of the Community Nest Finding Network (CNFN) alerted federal wildlife officers in early April over concerns workers on the Trans Mountain pipeline in Burnaby were not complying with the Migratory Birds Convention Act.

According to the CNFN, on April 12, officers saw the felling of a tree with a hummingbird’s nest in it and as a result, Environment and Climate Change Canada issued the stop-work order until Aug. 21. Continue Reading →

Not enough Canadians know how important the oilsands are – by Philip Cross (Financial Post – April 30, 2021)

The boreal footprint of the oilsands is less than 10 per cent of the 11,000
square kilometres Quebec flooded to build its hydro power. Yet Quebec
politicians ritually denounce Alberta’s “dirty oil” while ignoring the environmental damage of their own self-styled “clean hydro.”

The Macdonald-Laurier Institute has just released a paper of mine on the oilsands and Canada’s economy. Many Canadians outside the prairie provinces have trouble understanding — or accepting — that Alberta’s oilsands are still enormously important to our economy.

The $8.3 billion of new investment in the oilsands last year represented 4.5 per cent of all Canada’s business investment in 2020 and was four times the capital spending undertaken by the auto manufacturers whom eastern-Canadian politicians continue to lionize and subsidize.

The oilsands now dominate Canada’s crude oil production, with 70 per cent of total output, and the recent investments mean production will continue to grow. Continue Reading →

China’s energy actions speak louder than its climate pledges – by Patricia Adams (Financial Post – April 28, 2021)

China is hell-bent on increasing CO2 emissions to meet its often-stated strategic objective of world domination

Last week’s climate change summit, though advertised as a meeting designed to get 40 world leaders to make pledges to cut carbon dioxide emissions and save the planet, was more a trade negotiation of sorts, in which the West wants China to make firmer commitments on climate change and China wants to tie any new commitments to weakened trade sanctions and less complaining about its human rights record.

The West may well water down sanctions in exchange for Chinese commitments but all it will get from China in return is lip service. China is hell-bent on increasing CO2 emissions to meet its often-stated strategic objective of world domination. Continue Reading →

How a bout of even mild inflation could knock out the world’s ambitious plans for decarbonization – by Peter Tertzakian (Financial Post – April 28, 2021)

The market battle between EVs and ICE vehicles may well be determined in the mines and oilfields of the world

The global economy is gaining momentum, even before the masks have come off the pandemic.

Unemployment rates are falling faster than expected in key countries, most notably the United States. Global GDP is being revised upwards to 6 per cent this year, according to the International Monetary Fund’s latest World Economic Outlook report.

Put simply, this means that after contracting 3.3 per cent in 2020, the global economy will be larger in 2021 than in the pre-pandemic days of 2019. It seems we are back on a fast-moving train (still diesel-powered), and it’s all happening before governments shell out a couple of trillion dollars on the clean energy transition. Continue Reading →

Guest Commentary | ‘Keep it in the ground’ movement deserves more scrutiny – by Seth Whitehead (News Gazette – March 28, 2021)

The Department of Energy and virtually every other reputable source forecasts
oil and natural gas remaining the country’s dominant source of energy for at
least the next 30 years.

Energy makes the high standard of living most Americans enjoy possible. Affordable, reliable energy is the lifeblood of our economy. And as University of Texas Bureau of Economic Geology director Dr. Scott Tinker recently noted, “All forms of energy come from the earth.”

It is with those fundamental facts in mind that keep-it-in-the-ground groups should be viewed as anti-U.S. energy.

Though it’s obvious that traditional energy sources such as oil, natural gas and coal come from the ground, it is often overlooked that wind, solar and battery technologies would not be possible without massive mining projects. Continue Reading →