An­cient Pipe­lines

Alberta Oil - - THE ASK -

THE U.S. STATE DEPART­MENT LOOKS set to ap­prove a change of use for two pipe­lines tak­ing hy­dro­car­bons into Canada un­der the St. Clair River south of Lake Huron. At first sight, th­ese eight-inch pipe­lines look un­re­mark­able among the many cross-bor­der pipe­lines that the U.S. govern­ment has pre­vi­ously ap­proved. But the de­ci­sion would al­ter their use from car­ry­ing rel­a­tively easy-to-clean NGLs to crude oil. The pipe­lines, it’s worth men­tion­ing, were built dur­ing the First World War. Pigs can­not travel along th­ese an­cient pipe­lines and be­ing un­der the river makes in­spect­ing them al­most im­pos­si­ble.

The U.S. State Depart­ment, which has ju­ris­dic­tion over cross-bor­der pipe­lines, pushed the per­mit con­sid­er­a­tion through the Fed­eral Reg­is­ter, by­pass­ing pub­lic hear­ings and en­vi­ron­men­tal as­sess­ments. Hous­ton-based Plains LPG Ser­vices is con­fi­dent it will get the green light on the pro­ject, but green groups are out­raged by what an oil pipe­line spill might do to the Great Lakes.

In 2014, the govern­ment gave Plains LPG per­mis­sion to op­er­ate the two pipe­lines— as well as four oth­ers un­der the St. Clair River and one un­der the Detroit River—fol­low­ing their ac­qui­si­tion from Dome Pe­tro­leum. The govern­ment ap­proved Plains’s re­quest to trans­port light liq­uid hy­dro­car­bons, but the firm then ap­plied for the two pipe­lines, built in 1918, to carry crude in­stead.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.