ExxonMobil Oil Spill in Yellowstone River
As Americans gathered to barbeque and watch fireworks this weekend, nature lovers in Montana got a “crude” awakening to the realities of aging American oil pipeline infrastructure. An ExxonMobil oil pipeline ruptured Independence Day weekend, spilling 42,000 gallons of crude oil into the Yellowstone River.
Reports are claiming the oil has traveled 150 miles downriver at a speed of 5 to 7 miles per hour. ExxonMobil has 150 people actively working to clean up the spill along the banks of the Yellowstone River. The company has deployed 48,000 feet of absorbent boom and 2,200 feet of containment boom.
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The pipeline itself is buried eight feet below the river and extends for 70 miles, supplying crude to ExxonMobil’s refinery in Billings, Montana.
Nearby residents had trouble contacting the appropriate authorities to report the incident considering the holiday weekend.
While this oil spill is nowhere near the scale of 2010’s BP disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, the implications are similar. Essentially, cracks in the oil supply chain can lead to disaster. We know this, yet it continues to happen. ExxonMobil is acting responsibly and cleaning up its mess, but more messes will most likely follow, especially as pipeline infrastructure continues to age and degrade. Yes, it’s unfortunate for the birds and turtles that call the river their home, and the landowners who have to deal with contamination. However, while the incident will undoubtedly create an environmentalist call to arms in the media, it is relatively isolated. Nonetheless, it is just another wake-up call to the energy sector that, although oil is cheap, there are some very serious risks associated that must be addressed.
Hydrostor receives $4m funding for A-CAES facility in Canada
Hydrostor has received $4m funding to develop a 300-500MW Advanced Compressed Air Energy Storage (A-CAES) facility in Canada.
The funding will be used to complete essential engineering and planning, and enable Hydrostor to plan construction.
The project will be modeled on Hydrostor’s commercially operating Goderich storage facility, providing up to 12 hours of energy storage.
Hydrostor’s A-CAES system supports Canada’s green economic transition by designing, building, and operating emissions-free energy storage facilities, and employing people, suppliers, and technologies from the oil and gas sector.
The Honorable Seamus O’Regan, Jr. Minister of Natural Resources, said: “Investing in clean technology will lower emissions and increase our competitiveness. This is how we get to net zero by 2050.”
A-CAES has the potential to lower greenhouse gas emissions by enabling the transition to a cleaner and more flexible electricity grid. Specifically, the low-impact and cost-effective technology will reduce the use of fossil fuels and will provide reliable and bankable energy storage solutions for utilities and regulators, while integrating renewable energy for sustainable growth.
Curtis VanWalleghem, Hydrostor’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are grateful for the federal government’s support of our long duration energy storage solution that is critical to enabling the clean energy transition. This made-in-Canada solution, with the support of NRCan and Sustainable Development Technology Canada, is ready to be widely deployed within Canada and globally to lower electricity rates and decarbonize the electricity sector."
The Rosamond A-CAES 500MW Project is under advanced development and targeting a 2024 launch. It is designed to turn California’s growing solar and wind resources into on-demand peak capacity while allowing for closure of fossil fuel generating stations.
Hydrostor closed US$37 million (C$49 million) in growth financing in September 2019.