Canada Eases Open Its Northern Gateway

June 18, 2014 by  
Filed under Solar Energy Tips

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The race to export North American crude oil has begun.

The Canadian government fired the starting pistol by approving construction of the Northern Gateway pipeline, a $7.3 billion project to take half-a-million barrels of Alberta oil each day to the Pacific Coast.

Naturally, there are some caveats and provisos attached to this approval, as The Wall Street Journal’s Paul Vieira and Chester Dawson explain. Operator Enbridge Inc. must satisfy the 209 conditions set out by Canada’s main energy regulator when it approved the project in December.

This means placating the myriad groups that oppose the pipeline. The BBC takes a trip from Kitimat to Edmonton via Fort St. James to find the communities at the heart of this dispute.

A majority of Canadian crude exports flow south to the U.S. But so much oil is being pumped in the lower 48 that it isn’t needed so much any more. The oil industry hopes Northern Gateway can be waved through without the delay attached to Keystone XL, the ambitious project to send Alberta oil to U.S. Gulf Coast refineries and beyond.

Those who don’t want the pipeline will look to the anti-Keystone campaign for pointers. The main difference being that Canada’s government is all in favor of Northern Gateway, and it doesn’t have the cross-border issue that has so held up Keystone.


The latest news from Iraq doesn’t make for pleasant reading. Syria’s war is shifting wholesale across the border; Iraq’s largest oil refinery is in flames; and the country’s prime minister has laid the blame for everything at the door of Saudi Arabia.

Those on the outside looking in are assessing the fallout. Oil prices are up, as you’d expect, but the expected near-term shock hasn’t yet emerged.

The Journal’s Liam Denning takes a longer view and sees a dystopian future. The Middle East’s periodic conflagrations, he says, so often lighting a fire under oil markets, eventually will burn them down.


In the world of renewables, one company has made a move that may enable a breakthrough in the cost of solar power.

SolarCity Corp. has agreed to buy Silevo, a maker of high-efficiency solar modules, and now wants to ramp up its business, slap on a Made in America sticker and compete head-to-head with Chinese manufacturers.


Oil traded close to nine-month highs Wednesday, as ongoing violence in Iraq continued to support prices. You can read the Journal’s latest oil-markets report here.


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