Keystone XL Pipeline closer to approval
The Keystone XL pipeline proposal has received a nod from the U.S. State Department and, following its likely approval from President Barack Obama before the end of 2014, the project will provide the U.S. with a steady and environmentally friendly oil supply source by 2018, says an analyst with research and consulting firm GlobalData.
Recently, the U.S. State Department released a review determining that the 830,000 barrel per day (bd) pipeline would have no major impact on the environment and climate change, making it much safer to transport crude oil through the pipeline instead of rail cars and tank trucks.
According to Carmine Rositano, GlobalData's managing analyst covering Downstream Oil & Gas, the Keystone XL pipeline could accelerate the timing for the North American Energy Independence goal. Crude oil imports into the U.S. averaged 5.2 million bd in 2013, excluding 2.5 million bd from Canada, and sourcing another 830,000 bd from Canada could displace around 16 percent of crude oil imports into the U.S. from other regions.
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“Canadian Oil Sands heavy crude oil is easily processed on the refining upgrade capacity in the U.S. Gulf Coast and could displace heavy sour crude imports from South America, mainly Venezuela, and from the Middle East,” Rositano says.
“Additionally, crude oil from Canada has also been less expensive than imports, allowing America’s lower competitive feedstock cost to intensify the current advantage that Gulf Coast refiners and manufacturers have over international companies.”
With a high level of support from the Republican Party and unions, key fractions within the Democratic Party are now lining up to back the construction of the pipeline, despite opposition from environmentalist groups.
“The Keystone XL pipeline provides the U.S. with a steady supply source, therefore reducing reliance on oil imports from hostile governments and volatile crude supply areas around the world. This infrastructure project will only bring benefits to the regions involved,” Rositano says.
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.