Author: Brian Zinchuk

Teck was going to spend $20 billion in the oil sands, now it’s totally out. Blame the feds

Teck, one of Canada’s largest mining companies, has been around for over 100 years. But even with all that experience, they couldn’t handle the federal government’s Impact Assessment. They were going to spend $20 billion on their Frontier Oil Sands Project. The initial application was in 2012, but eight years later, they didn’t have an answer, so they pulled it. On Thursday, they sold off their last oil sands interests and are out of the oil sands entirely. Wonder why?

Carbon capture, utilization and storage coming to the fore

Three stories on carbon capture and storage (CCUS): On Wednesday, the feds announced an intake for projects related to CCUS.

And the Petroleum Technology Research Centre announced recently they were including a CCUS summit in this spring’s Williston Basin Petroleum Conference.

And then there’s the oilsands efforts in CCUS. Bonus points for the Canadian Press story including the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.

Two days in a row, wind power was negative in Sask

Southwest Power Pool generation at 15 minutes after midnight, last night.

The fog and calm winds have not gone away. Four days in a row, wind power in Saskatchewan was either negligible or negative. Two of those days were negative.

And remember that SaskPower is beefing up its interconnect to North Dakota and the Southwest Power Pool, from 150 to 650 megawatts? Well, as of 12:15 a.m., SPP’s power was 45% coal. So we will give up coal power here, and have option to buy coal power from the US. Because that’s what they rely on when the wind decides not to blow there, either.

Wind power production in Saskatchewan went into negative territory

Turns out there’s a new development out of the story that took place on Monday.

Justin Trudeau on Monday didn’t think much of Saskatchewan’s clean energy projects.

On that very day, characterized by fog throughout much of southern Saskatchewan (where the wind turbines are located), SaskPower’s total wind power generation fell to “-1 megawatt,” as in negative one megawatt, according to the Crown corporation’s Where Does Your Power Come From web page. This is the lowest number Pipeline Online has seen since the page went online in September, 2022. It’s also an average throughout the entire day, not just at a particular moment.

According to SaskPower, “The turbines were iced up and unable to produce. The -1 megawatt was load to service the facilities.”

Saskatchewan has 617 megawatts of installed grid-scale wind power generation.

Also, SaskPower is now paying people extra just to stay in Coronach instead of walking away early from the doomed coal plant.


Just as the world cries out for Canadian LNG, “No business case” Trudeau has totally failed us

First Germany comes to Canada, looking for LNG (liquefied natural gas). Then Japan. And we have nothing to give them. Why?

Justin Trudeau. That’s why. And his merry band of anti-energy protestors and ministers.

While the US has moved fast and hard to get LNG export facilities in place over the last decade, Canada has dragged its feet and stubbed its toe. We let protestors (Coastal GasLink), provincial governments (Quebec) and the federal government (Energie Saguenay) get in the way. Now, while the world is crying for LNG from Canada, we have nothing – NOTHING – to give them.

What else would you expect from a government who killed the Northern Gateway and Energy East pipelines? That scared off Teck from its $20 billion Frontier oil sands project? That hardly whimpered when Biden killed Keystone XL?

The only way this will change is if we have a change in government in Ottawa, and a change in attitude in this nation. We can’t be Can’tada any longer. The world needs us.

What more can Saskatchewan do to keep the lights on?

Saskatchewan power production on Jan. 15. SaskPower

Premier Scott Moe said on Monday that federal electricity regulations will soon mean that even with carbon capture, neither coal (in 2030) or natural gas (in 2035) will be allowed.

On Sunday, 42% of our power came from natural gas, and 41% came from coal. Another 12% came from hydro.

1% came from wind

Ottawa, we have a problem.

The “Energy Trilemma” – a super wicked problem

Recently retired SaskEnergy CEO Ken From writes in Pipeline Online about the “Energy Trilemma” – energy security, affordability, and transition; Germany’s folly and practical realities.

There’s a whole lot of cold water splashed on the faces of true believers in the energy transition.

The cultish obsession with renewables – a mixture of managing by pixie-dust and mass delusion – has stymied discussions on real emissions reductions. A recent workshop in Stavanger Norway explored the role of fossil fuels as part of the solution – i.e., how do we maintain energy affordability and energy security within the context of reducing emissions. The participants called this the Energy Trilemma.

Wind in Sask produced an average of 1.3% of its capacity on Wednesday

Construction of wind turbines at Assiniboia in January, 2021. Photo by Brian Zinchuk

It turns out that the same day Alberta’s wind power flatlined, so did Saskatchewan’s. SaskPower delays its data reporting two days, which is why it took until Friday to find this out. Note that the 1.3 per cent output was the average for the entire day, meaning that it was even lower for part of the day.