R-Squared Energy Blog

Pure Energy

Two Dead in Pipeline Explosion

This is one case in which I was a bit slow to process the information. I heard about this pipeline explosion not too long after it happened, but the seriousness was not immediately apparent to me:

Explosion At A US-Canadian Pipeline Sends Oil Prices To $95.17 A Barrel

It’s amazing to me how all the stories seem to treat the two deaths as an afterthought:

New York, NY (AHN) – Oil prices soared up on Thursday by $4 following an explosion at a pipeline interrupting the supply of the crude oil to the U.S. Midwest from Canada.

The fire that broke out late Wednesday cut Canadian oil supplies through the pipelines. Canada provides the U.S. with at least 15 percent of imported crude.

Oh yeah, and two people died. Let’s briefly mention that, and get back to the supply issue:

The explosion killed two workers fixing the Enbridge Energy Inc. pipeline in northern Minnesota. “It is a major incident with major supply issues in an important area,” Paul Horsnell, head of commodities research at Barclays Capital in London, told Bloomberg. “It will put pressure on prompt demand in the Midwest.”

Due to the incident, four pipelines supplying 1.5 million barrels a day were closed till further notice, although the fire was extinguished.

Maybe I am hypersensitive about that point, but it annoys me how we just so casually mention the deaths.

The government is offering to tap the SPR:

U.S. says oil reserve ready to offset pipeline blast

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Energy Department said on Thursday it was prepared to make oil supplies from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve available to refineries to help offset the disruption in Canadian oil imports caused by an explosion at the Enbridge pipeline.

“Crude oil from the nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve is available to alleviate a severe supply disruption and remains available if necessary,” a department spokeswoman told Reuters. She said the department is “reaching out” to Midwest refineries to assess their supply situation and see if they need oil from the emergency stockpile.

She pointed out that the explosion occurred at one of the four Enbridge pipelines that was undergoing maintenance, and a second pipeline has shut as precautionary measure.

However, the other two pipelines are currently moving more than 650,000 barrels of Canadian crude oil a day to the U.S. market, down from the four pipelines’ normal combined rate of 1.1 million barrels a day, the spokeswoman said.

Did I mention that two people died?

November 29, 2007 Posted by | accident, fatalities, oil inventories | 22 Comments

Tragedy in the Gulf

In case you haven’t heard, at least 18 people tragically lost their lives in an accident in the Gulf of Mexico:

Gulf of Mexico accident kills 18

(CNN) — At least 18 oil workers were killed and seven more were missing after a portable drilling rig crashed into an oil platform during stormy seas in the Gulf of Mexico, the country’s state-owned oil company said Wednesday.

According to a statement from Petroleos Mexicanos, or Pemex, 61 workers were rescued from the Gulf after Tuesday’s accident, which also created a gas and oil leak at the site that was not expected to be capped for three to five days.

The drill rig was knocked into the platform during a storm in the southwestern Gulf of Mexico, with 80 mph (130 km/h) winds and waves reaching 26 feet (8 meters).

The rig had been set up next to the oil platform to begin drilling a new well, when the wind and waves pushed it into the platform.

Just a reminder of the constant dangers faced by offshore workers. My thoughts are with the families.

October 25, 2007 Posted by | accident, Gulf of Mexico, oil rigs | Comments Off on Tragedy in the Gulf

Tragedy in the Gulf

In case you haven’t heard, at least 18 people tragically lost their lives in an accident in the Gulf of Mexico:

Gulf of Mexico accident kills 18

(CNN) — At least 18 oil workers were killed and seven more were missing after a portable drilling rig crashed into an oil platform during stormy seas in the Gulf of Mexico, the country’s state-owned oil company said Wednesday.

According to a statement from Petroleos Mexicanos, or Pemex, 61 workers were rescued from the Gulf after Tuesday’s accident, which also created a gas and oil leak at the site that was not expected to be capped for three to five days.

The drill rig was knocked into the platform during a storm in the southwestern Gulf of Mexico, with 80 mph (130 km/h) winds and waves reaching 26 feet (8 meters).

The rig had been set up next to the oil platform to begin drilling a new well, when the wind and waves pushed it into the platform.

Just a reminder of the constant dangers faced by offshore workers. My thoughts are with the families.

October 25, 2007 Posted by | accident, Gulf of Mexico, oil rigs | Comments Off on Tragedy in the Gulf