Why isn’t the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador speaking out on the Energy East Pipeline? Premier Notley, of Alberta, states that those opposed to this particular pipeline are “naïve”, “ill informed”, and “tone deaf.”
So, taking Premier Notley’s comments seriously, I have extracted from the CAPP Glossary (Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers) a few definitions to help inform the Newfoundland and Labrador public about the terms being used in the oil industry
Conventional Oil — Conventional crude oil is oil that flows naturally or can be pumped to the surface without being heated or diluted. This includes light, medium and heavy forms of oil. Conventional deposits are found between layers of salt water and raw natural gas. The layers of raw natural gas put pressure on crude oil reservoirs, causing it to flow out when a well is initially drilled.
Unconventional Oil — Crude oil that does not flow or cannot be pumped without being heated or diluted is called unconventional crude oil. Unconventional oils deposits include bitumen and extra heavy oil that is thick, viscous and more difficult to produce than conventional oil. Canada’s oilsands are an example of unconventional oil.
Offshore Oil — Atlantic Canada is currently the only region producing oil offshore. However, there is significant resource potential in Canada’s Arctic and several companies currently hold exploration licenses in the region. Atlantic Canada’s offshore exploration, development and production industry is thriving with five producing projects, one development project and major exploration programs planned for the coming years.
From Wikipedia: Energy East Pipeline —“The Energy East project is a 4,600 km pipeline with approximately 70 per cent being existing pipeline (3,000 km) that would be converted from natural gas to crude oil. Once completed, the pipeline would provide feedstock to refineries in Montreal, Quebec City as well as Saint John. The project would have a capacity of 1.1 million barrels of crude oil per day.”
The main purpose of the pipeline is to get it to Saint John for transshipment by super tanker. The original proposal was to include oil from North Dakota.
This application may only be a first step and if they get approval, they would probably be back in a couple of years looking for permission to carry North Dakota oil productions. Seems like Churchill Falls all over again by interference in our renewable resources’ optimization by risking spillage in our waters affecting the fisheries.
These union proponents who are supporting this pipeline should take into account the jobs in building the pipeline are short term. The jobs in any new refinery would be long term but the new refineries can be built without extensive leaky pipelines by using Atlantic Grade A conventional oil resources as compared to a lesser grade unconventional oil such as Alberta Crude.
The refineries in Montreal, Quebec City, and Saint John are required to spend extra millions of dollars to enable them to refine the Alberta crude into gasoline. This means that said costs will have to be passed on to the consumer through the price per liter for gasoline.
Fishery jobs tend to be seasonal but present life time opportunities for the foreseeable future provided we protect our renewable resources.
During the exciting times when N.L. was deciding on confederation, I began my teen years. My Grandfather had retired from the paper mill in Corner Brook and had opened a “Mom and Pop” store on Lower Humber Road. On occasion my mother would direct me to take my sleigh and grocery list to his store to pick up the groceries.
I remember Grandfather Will securing the grocery box to the sleigh and telling me how important it was to protect food as it was now my responsibility. In fact he told me it was only back in the thirties that the people of N.L. had sent food to Western Canada because they were in dire straits. Now when I think about the oilsands product coming our way, representing a risk to our food source, the fisheries, I wonder what Grandfather Will would have said.
“Earth is our home. Protect it!”