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by Stockwatch Business Reporter
West Texas Intermediate crude for August delivery lost 23 cents to $38.49 on the New York Merc, while Brent for August lost three cents to $41.02 (all figures in this para U.S.). Western Canadian Select traded at a discount of $9.50 to WTI, unchanged. Natural gas for July added two cents to $1.50. The TSX energy index lost 1.94 points to close at 74.47.
It was a "one step forward, two steps back" kind of day for pipelines. All the steps were taken by Enbridge, whose Line 5 pipeline has been brought to a standstill, but whose Line 3 is inching forward. A Michigan judge ordered Enbridge late yesterday to shut down Line 5 in the wake of an incident that occurred last week. Last Thursday, an anchor support on the east leg of Line 5, a dual-leg pipeline that crosses the Great Lakes, was found to have shifted deep beneath the surface in the Straits of Mackinac. Enbridge immediately closed both legs, but then reopened the west one after consultation with the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration. This was not good enough for the Michigan state attorney-general and other state officials who have long been trying to close Line 5 permanently. Using the east leg's problems as a pretext, they demanded a shutdown of the entire line, saying Enbridge has not provided enough proof that the west leg is still safe. A judge has now agreed and issued a preliminary injunction pending a hearing next Tuesday.
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