The Keystone XL pipeline extension, proposed by TransCanada Pipeline to increase capacity of oil from Canada to refining centers on the Gulf Coast, has become a political football over the last several years, a victim of hyperbole and demagoguing, is coming up for a vote on Capitol Hill maybe as early as today.  The reason? A runoff election for the US Senate between Democrat Mary Landrieu and Republican challenger US Representative Bill Cassidy, who is so far leading in the polls.  Landrieu, an oil industry friendly Democrat, has been fighting for her political life during this midterm election season where Republicans have recently swept both the House and Senate, as well as many state houses and governor’s mansions.   Read the rest of this entry

Loren Steffy, formerly with the Houston Chronicle, is now writing for Forbes.  He’s just published an article laying out the case for building the Keystone pipeline, with which I agree.  The key points are:

  • Oil from the pipeline will not be exported, which is actually illegal under federal law.
  • Refined products, like gasoline, are being exported, but for economic reasons, due to sagging demand in the US.  It’s either export, or lay off workers.  I’ll take export, which has the side benefit of reducing our trade deficit.
  • The pipeline is essentially insurance against OPEC.  I would rather have the US control more supply, not less.

Great article by Loren.

Statoil may halt plans to drill in the Chukchi Sea off of northwest Alaska citing the risks and costs.  In an interview at CERAWeek yesterday, EVP Tim Dodson said,

“Ultimately, you need more of a collaborative effort,” Dodson said in an interview. “I think we all agree that generically, this is not really the place to go it alone. This is the place where you need to be learning from each other (and) where you need to be sharing both experiences and sharing facilities and common costs.”

Statoil has decided to watch what happens with the Shell Arctic wells before they make a final decision about letting their leases go.

Fuel Fix » Statoil may abandon US Arctic drilling leases.

Of Ice, Whales, and Lack of Leadership.

Exactly one week ago, Shell triumphantly announced the resumption of drilling in the offshore Arctic after a 20 year hiatus.  The drillship Noble Discoverer spud (began drilling) the first new Burger prospect well in the Chukchi Sea; less than 24 hours later, they had to shut down and move 30 miles away to allow for a huge ice floe to move through the area.  They’ve been there ever since, monitoring ice. Read the rest of this entry

Huge ice floe continues to shut down drilling on Shell’s Burger prospect.

Ice still delaying Shell Arctic offshore drilling – CBS News.