Natural gas pipeline carried oil which leaked: owned by a Spectra company

You don’t know when a natural gas pipeline might be carrying oil. You do know pipelines corrode and leak, and this one did. It’s owned by DCP Midstream, but guess who is a director there and which company owns half of it!

Odessa American, 14 April 2015, Crews begin oil spill cleanup in West Odessa,

Crews with DCP Midstream and the Ector County Environmental Office are assessing an oil spill that took place Tuesday afternoon in West Odessa.

Environmental office officials said they were called to Moss Avenue and West Third Street about oil coming from the ground.

The low-pressure pipeline, according to Scott McMeans, supervisor at DCP Midstream, was a natural gas line that leaked due to corrosion causing oil to flow out.

McMeans said that sometimes when oil producers have an upset at their tank batteries they can carry oil through the natural gas line, which was the case with the line that leaked Tuesday afternoon.

“It is unintentional by both parties but it happens from time to time,” McMeans said.

Feel better now? “It is unintentional”.

Nevermind it is intentional when pipeline companies gouge through your land, polluting your water and air.

And look who’s on DCP Midstream’s board of directors! Spectra Energy CEO Gregory L. Ebel:

Gregory L. Ebel, a director of our company, is president and chief executive officer of Spectra Energy Corp. He previously served as Spectra Energy’s chief financial officer. Mr. Ebel has also served as president of Union Gas, Spectra Energy’s major Canadian natural gas utility company. Mr. Ebel served as vice president of investor and shareholder relations of Duke Energy in Charlotte, N.C., from November 2002 until 2005. He joined Duke Energy as managing director of mergers and acquisitions in March 2002 as a result of the company’s acquisition of Westcoast Energy where he served as vice president of strategic development. In 1998, he was advisor to the executive director of the World Bank Group in Washington, D.C. From 1989 to 1993, Mr. Ebel worked for the government of Canada, holding positions as chief of staff to the minister of finance and deputy prime minister of Canada and as senior advisor on privatization. Additionally, he serves as a member of the board of Union Gas Limited and the Spectra Energy Income Fund (TSE: DET.UN). He is also a member of the board and vice-chair of the Canadian Gas Association. Mr. Ebel is a member of the Compensation Committee.

So Spectra CEO Ebel used to be with Duke Energy, which in May 2015 bought into Spectra’s Sabal Trail fracked methane pipeline and which with FPL is one of the purported main customers of that boondoggle.

Ebel got into Duke when it bought Ebel’s Canadian company Westcoast Energy, which is the Canadian National Energy Board noted is “carrying on business as Spectra Energy Transmission” in the NEB fine of $88,000 on 22 January 2015 for numerous incidents of negligence, failing to comply with national and internal safety procedures, and failing “to take reasonable care to ensure safety hazards had been properly identified.” Does that make you feel warm and fuzzy about Spectra’s proposed Albany, Georgia compressor station?

Spectra is also building a double pipeline through British Columbia to an LNG export terminal. Will Spectra pull the same trick with Sabal Trail it did with that one and announce in the environmental assessment that it meant two pipelines on the right of way?

Spectra’s press release about that EA notes:

Spectra Energy also has a 50 percent ownership in DCP Midstream, the largest producer of natural gas liquids and the largest natural gas processor in the United States.

So that’s how Ebel got to be a director of DCP Midstream: Spectra owns half of it.

Ebel apparently left Duke before Duke spun off Spectra Energy in 2007.

And before that he was in the Canadian government, which attempts to regulate his Canadian companies Westcoast Energy and Union Gas.

Talk about your revolving door!

Sabal Trail isn’t just one pipeline and Spectra Energy isn’t just one company. Sabal Trail is a tentacle of the continent-wide pipeline company squid squishing through our lands, water, and air, sometimes carrying fracked methane, sometimes carrying oil. Stop one tentacle and help stop the whole squid.

Remember to comment to FERC about Sabal Trail and that Albany compressor station.

And remember to sign the Petition to Georgia Governor Nathan Deal: Oppose Sabal Trail like you oppose the Palmetto Pipeline.


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