In this week's news update, a derailment causes a crude spill and evacuation of a small Wisconsin town, and TransCanada's request to build a pipeline from Canada to the Gulf Coast is denied.
President Obama announced Nov. 6 that he had rejected the request from a Canadian company to build the Keystone XL pipeline, ending a seven-year review.
The denial of the proposed 1,179-mile pipeline, which would have carried 800,000 barrels of petroleum per day from the Canadian oilsands to the Gulf Coast, comes as he seeks to build an ambitious legacy on climate change.
Republicans and the oil industry had asked that the president approve the pipeline, which they said would create jobs and stimulate economic growth. Many Democrats, including those in oil-producing states, also supported the project.
Environmentalists sought to block construction of the pipeline, saying it would have provided a conduit for petroleum extracted from the oilsands and that the process of extracting that oil produces 17 percent more planet-warming greenhouse gases than the process of extracting conventional oil.
TransCanada says it is reviewing the decision, but offered no indication if it planned to submit a new application.
Rig Count Declines By Four
The number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. declined by four to 771 last week, according to Baker Hughes on Nov. 6.
The Houston-based oilfield services company says 572 rigs were seeking oil and 199 explored for natural gas. A year ago 1,925 rigs were active.
New Mexico lost five rigs last week, while California and Wyoming each lost two and Louisiana and Oklahoma each lost one. Colorado gained three rigs as Kansas, North Dakota and Texas each increased by one. Utah, Alaska, Arkansas, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia were all unchanged.
Train Derails, Spills Crude Oil in Wisconsin
A Canadian Pacific Railway train derailed Sunday in southeastern Wisconsin, spilling less than 1,000 gallons of crude oil and prompting evacuations in the small town of Watertown.
Thirteen cars of an eastbound CP train went off the tracks about 2 p.m. on Nov. 8, the railroad said. One tank car was punctured and leaked oil. The leak was sealed by that night and the spilled product was contained and had been siphoned off. The company says no product reached a waterway.
No fires or injuries were reported.
It was the second train derailment in the state in two days. On Nov. 7, a train derailed near the western Wisconsin town of Alma, spilling an estimated 18,000 gallons of ethanol. No injuries were reported in that incident.