Tuesday, August 10, 2010

TransCanada drops plea to operate Keystone XL at higher pressure

CALGARY, Alta. – TransCanada, the Canadian company that wants to build the Keystone XL oil pipeline to transport tar sands bitumen from Canada to the U.S. Gulf of Mexico refinery complex, has dropped its request to run the pipeline at a higher pressure level, and has agreed to follow U.S. safety standards for the project.
"TransCanada has listened to the concerns of the public and various political leaders, and we made a decision to withdraw the special permit application," said Robert Jones, vice president of TransCanada's Keystone pipelines.
In a statement released on Aug. 5, TransCanada officials said, “The company recognizes it needs to take more steps to assure the public and stakeholders that the parameters of the special permit would result in a safer pipeline.”
The U.S. State Department is currently reviewing TransCanada's proposal for the Keystone XL pipeline. Serious questions about Keystone XL have been raised in the wake of the BP Macondo well blowout in the U.S. Gulf, a Chevron pipeline accident in Salt Lake City and a massive Enbridge Energy Partners pipeline spill in Michigan.
In July, the State Department added 90 days to the review process to allow other federal agencies more time to comment – and to delay approval past the November elections.
TransCanada officials withdrew the company's application to the Pipelines and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) for a special permit on Aug. 5, and said they would operate the Keystone XL pipeline at normal pressure levels as prescribed in U.S. regulations.
The special permit would have allowed TransCanada to operate the pipeline at a pressure of 1,440 pounds per square inch, which Jones said is in line with what Canadian regulators allow. TransCanada will now plan to follow the existing U.S. standard for oil pipeline pressure, which is 1,308 pounds per square inch.

1 comment:

  1. There's also the issue of recent new batches of steel pipe having yield/expansion issues, more expansion than should have been seen at a given pressure for that grade of pipe. Several new pipelines have been hit by this problem.