Pipeline Postponement Pads Pall over Petrol

July 6, 2020

And gas..

The Covid Crisis has become a critical moment for the oil and gas industry, as many observers, including moi, feel like we may have accelerated peak oil consumption, and created significant new barriers for the natural gas industry.

Bismark Tribune:

A federal judge has ordered the shutdown of the Dakota Access Pipeline while a lengthy environmental review is conducted of the project opposed by environmentalists and the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.

The move was requested earlier this year by Standing Rock and three other Sioux tribes in the Dakotas who fear environmental harm from the oil pipeline and sued over the project four years ago. North Dakota officials have said such a move would have “significant disruptive consequences” for the state, whose oil patch has been hit hard in recent months by falling demand for crude amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Standing Rock Chairman Mike Faith said the tribe is trying to prevent a potential environmental disaster should the line leak.

“For the tribe’s sake, it is good news,” he said of Monday’s ruling. “I think for downstream users, it’s good news also.”

The $3.8 billion pipeline built by developer Energy Transfer has been moving Bakken oil to a shipping point in Illinois for three years. But U.S. District Judge James Boasberg, who is overseeing the lawsuit, in March ordered the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to complete a full Environmental Impact Statement. The question of whether the pipeline would be shut down in the meantime had lingered since.

As big, maybe bigger news:

New York Times:

Two of the nation’s largest utility companies announced on Sunday that they had canceled the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, which would have carried natural gas across the Appalachian Trail, as delays and rising costs threatened the viability of the project.

Duke Energy and Dominion Energy said that lawsuits, mainly from environmentalists aimed at blocking the project, had increased costs to as much as $8 billion from about $4.5 billion to $5 billion when it was first announced in 2014. The utilities said they had begun developing the project “in response to a lack of energy supply and delivery diversification for millions of families, businesses, schools and national defense installations across North Carolina and Virginia.”

The two energy companies won a victory just last month in the Supreme Court over a permit from the U.S. Forest Service, but said that “recent developments have created an unacceptable layer of uncertainty and anticipated delays” for the pipeline. They cited the potential for further legal challenges.

Dominion also said on Sunday that it was selling all of its gas transmission and storage assets to an affiliate of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway in a deal valued at $9.7 billion.

Environmental groups have long criticized Dominion and Duke for their continued development of fossil fuel projects. The two companies have argued that they have increasingly added renewable energy sources to produce electricity that include wind, solar and hydro power, but they also contend that they need natural gas for the times when those clean energy resources are not available.

“For almost six years we have worked diligently and invested billions of dollars to complete the project and deliver the much-needed infrastructure to our customers and communities,” executives for Dominion and Duke said in a prepared statement. “This announcement reflects the increasing legal uncertainty that overhangs large-scale energy and industrial infrastructure development in the United States.”


4 Responses to “Pipeline Postponement Pads Pall over Petrol”

  1. dumboldguy Says:

    The cancellation of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline is big news. As hard as Dominion and Duke have fought for years for this pipeline,and as powerful as they are in NC and VA, this is some really big handwriting on the wall for the entire industry/

  2. […] posted yesterday about a cancelled gas pipeline on the East Coast – that developers attributed to increasing […]

  3. disdaniel8 Says:

    Duke & Dominion are betting that Republicans will lose the Senate (and the White House) in November–“recent developments”–and have decided to start to move to a more neutral carbon portfolio now? Or am I giving them too much credit…?

  4. rhymeswithgoalie Says:

    The $3.8 billion pipeline built by developer Energy Transfer has been moving Bakken oil to a shipping point in Illinois for three years.

    Hey Michigander, has there ever been a shipping spill of oil on the Great Lakes?

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