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TransCanada proposes an Energy East oil terminal in Saskatchewan


Calgary-based TransCanada intends to build a 1.05 million barrel receipt and delivery terminal (tank farm) in Moosomin as part of its Energy East pipeline project. Moosomin is a town in southern Saskatchewan about 225 kilometres east of Regina and 20 kilometres west of the Manitoba border.

The Canadian Press reports the pipeline would “move crude oil from collection points at Hardisty and Moosomin, Sask.” and that four “new storage tank terminals [would be built], one each in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Quebec and New Brunswick.” Alberta Oil Magazine has noted, “Energy East is designed to take Albertan crude oil from Hardisty, Alberta and Bakken crude from a yet-to-be-built terminal station in southeast Saskatchewan to refineries and export terminals in Montreal, Quebec City and Saint John, New Brunswick.”

The Daily Oil Bulletin adds that Saskatchewan produced about 473,6000 barrels per day of oil in 2012. “The Bakken formation in the southeast part of the province is the focus of light oil activity but there are other pools in the south in addition to the heavy oil in the Lloydminster/Kindersley area near the Alberta border.”

CBC has explained, “[Denver-based geologist Leigh] Price estimated in 1999 that the Bakken contained between 271 and 503 billion barrels of petroleum, with 413 billion barrels the most likely amount. …About a quarter of the Bakken Formation lies in Saskatchewan, and a much smaller portion juts into Manitoba.” That means about 67 to 125 billion barrels in Saskatchewan. “That compares with 125 billion barrels at the massive Ghawar field in Saudi Arabia, 7.8 billion at Alberta’s Pembina Cardium and 21.4 billion for the entire U.S. reserves, not including the Bakken.”

TransCanada’s tank farm project manager Cody Knorr has said, “The [Moosomin] facility will consist of three 350,000 barrel tanks. …One of these tanks is 200 feet in diameter and 60 feet high. …There will be operational staff—the number of people I would guess to be five to six people during business hours. …We will have some maintenance staff on hand, who will check on the monitors to make sure everything looks good, will walk the facility and will conduct routine maintenance on wearing parts such as pumps and valves.”

In March 2014, Council of Canadians energy and climate justice campaigner Andrea Harden-Donahue wrote, “These tanks will store large amounts of oil and pose increased spill risks to these communities. Storage tanks like these have become a key issue for opponents of increased tar sands infrastructure in Portland.” The Portland Pipe Line Corp. owns 23 oil storage tanks (3.8 million barrels in capacity) in that city. Natalie West has highlighted in the Press Herald that, “Portland Pipe Line’s oil storage tanks are already the eighth largest source of similar volatile organic compound emissions in Maine. The company has a state permit to discharge 220 tons of pollutants from its tanks. That’s nearly triple its current emissions.”

The Council of Canadians opposes the Energy East pipeline project and fracking. We will continue to look into the implications of TransCanada’s proposed oil terminal in Moosomin and work with area residents concerned about this project.