US law could interrupt flow from Canada’s oil sands: Ottawa

OTTAWA (AFP) — Canada is warning that new US legislation could prohibit its southern neighbor from buying fuel from its oilsands with “unintended consequences for both countries,” officials said Monday.

“The government of Canada has concerns about how section 526 of the December 2007 US Energy Independence and Security Act could be interpreted to include Canadian oil sands,” Eugenie Cormier-Lassonde, a spokeswoman for Canada’s foreign affairs department, told AFP.

Section 526 of the law prohibits the US government from procuring alternative fuels with higher lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions than conventional petroleum sources.

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Environmental groups hail oilsands judgment

EDMONTON – The joint panel that recommended the Imperial Oil Kearl oilsands project go-ahead must explain how intensity-based targets will control greenhouse gas emissions, a federal court judge has ordered.

The Kearl oilsands mine, to be located about 70 kilometres north of Fort McMurray, could produce up to 345,000 barrels of bitumen a day. The mine is expected to operate until 2060.

A coalition of environmental groups challenged the project in federal court in Edmonton earlier this year, saying the environmental assessment was inadequate on several fronts, including on the issue of greenhouse gas emissions.

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High oil spurs record drilling in Western Canada

Drilling for oil has hit an all-time high in Western Canada this year as companies scramble to take advantage of soaring crude prices before the muskeg thaws.

There are about 55 more rigs working this year than there were in 2007, a previous high point.

Oil prices have been strong in recent weeks, closing Wednesday at yet another record, $104.52 US, after U.S. stockpiles fell and OPEC suggested it would not boost production.

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