zoom Teekay Tankers Ltd. has agreed to acquire four coated Aframax tankers and one uncoated Aframax tanker for an aggregate purchase price of approximately USD 230 million.The five vessels, which are expected to be delivered in the first quarter of 2015, were constructed in 2008, 2010 and 2011 at shipyards in Japan and China. Upon delivery, the vessels will trade in the Teekay-managed Taurus LR2 Pool and Aframax RSA.“Combined with our existing fleet and in-chartered portfolio, these new vessels will increase our fleet size to 43 vessels. In addition, the transaction provides optionality to trade the four coated Aframaxes in the crude or product tanker markets and, with an average age of only 3.8 years for the five vessels, enhances the age profile of our fleet,” said Kevin Mackay, Chief Executive Officer of Teekay Tankers. “Spot tanker rates for crude and large product tankers for the fourth quarter of 2014 are averaging higher than the previous quarter.”Mackay identified increased seasonal oil demand, winter weather delays and lower global oil prices, which are encouraging stockpiling of crude oil and resulting in lower bunker fuel costs, as some of the key factors that are driving spot tanker rates higher.
The interests of Nova Scotia’s firefighters are in good hands thanks to the work of organizations such as the Fire Service Association of Nova Scotia and the Nova Scotia Firefighters School. The fire service association recently presented a plan to create a provincial fire service training program to Minister of Environment and Labour Mark Parent. Under the proposal, 90 per cent of Nova Scotia’s fire service members could attain training within 90 minutes of their communities. Mr. Parent thanked the fire service association for its effort. “I would like to acknowledge the work of the association in developing a multi-year plan for improved training across the province,” he said. “In conjunction with other interested departments, Environment and Labour will review the proposed Provincial Fire Service Training Program plan.” Tom Bremner, president of the fire service association, said fire service training needs to be modernized. “Our association looks forward to working with the Department of Environment and Labour towards safer communities, and the safety of all firefighters.”
CALGARY — The National Energy Board has slapped pipeline builder Enbridge Inc. with $264,000 in penalties, with most of that sum stemming from safety and environmental hazards related to maintenance work on an oil pipeline in Manitoba last summer.An inspection in July revealed numerous problems along a stretch of Line 3 around Cromer, Man. Landowners in the area complained to the NEB about open excavations, improper handling of topsoil and several other concerns.Line 3 carries crude from Alberta to Wisconsin and has been in operation for nearly a half century. Enbridge announced plans last year to replace Line 3 in its entirety — a $7.5-billion project.The penalties deal with maintenance work on the existing line, not the larger replacement project, which has yet to receive NEB approval.Work on the pipeline was ordered halted for more than a month last summer before the federal energy watchdog was satisfied it could continue safely.The NEB imposed two fines earlier this month each worth $100,000 connected to Line 3. Separately, the regulator also fined the company $64,000 related to design changes made to a storage tank in Regina that were not approved.Enbridge spokesman Graham White said the company was reviewing the penalties to determine its next steps.Enbridge Inc finishes year in the black, boosted by new pipelines to key U.S. marketsOil prices are in the dumps, but Enbridge is still feeling the pipeline squeezeOne of the Line 3 penalties was for “failure to ensure that the construction activities do not create a hazard to the public or the environment” and the other for “failure to comply with a term or condition of any certificate, licence, permit, leave or exemption granted under the NEB Act.”On the first, board spokesman Darin Barter said it was mainly an issue of how erosion was dealt with during a period of heavy rains.“There was flooding at the time and because of the open trench lines, we saw a real hazard in the area,” he said.The second fine was imposed because Enbridge did not follow through on environmental protection commitments it had made, said Barter.According to details of the penalties provided by the NEB, when work on Line 3 dragged further into 2014 than Enbridge had initially planned, the board asked for an update to the company’s environmental protection plan. But Enbridge’s response in March “provided inconsistent status statements to what inspectors would later observe on site in July,” the board said.What resulted were “numerous non-compliances observed both on and off the construction (right-of-way) causing environmental damage to wetlands and property damage to a substantial amount of agricultural land.”Barter says the “administrative monetary penalties” are a relatively new measure for the NEB, having started up less than two years ago. The amounts Enbridge has racked up are the highest so far.“When the NEB grants an approval, we take it seriously and we want to make sure that the company is following all aspects of that approval,” said Barter.“What we’re seeing in several of these monetary penalties is the companies making design changes or not following through on their commitments and we take that very seriously and we continue to enforce against that.”