COMMENTARY · 25th February 2012
Terrace Daily News
Update - New deceptive video graphic of pipeline route and Douglas Channel used by media attached below (after all the pictures attached below the text of this writing).
Yes, it is true. The Terrace Daily has searched across the globe via google and other mapping mediums in an attempt to find any oil port on the globe comparable to the one proposed by Enbridge at Kitimat, BC. We cannot find any port comparable, with the variety of obstacles and narrow, lengthy channels to navigate the largest crude oil tankers plying the oceans today, VLCC’s.
The first person to produce a detailed map that presents a VLCC shipping terminal with conditions more challenging than the one at Kitimat proposed by Enbridge; engaging in the same volume of VLCC traffic, will be presented with a free flight for two return, Terrace Vancouver.
The recent report released by Transport Canada states the following in regards to the tanker route;Termol Transport Canada Report HERE
One of the proponent’s key submissions is the Marine Shipping Quantitative Risk Analysis,3 which estimates the risk associated with the oil tankers that will be used for the Northern Gateway Project. Risk Analysis
One of the foundations of the risk analysis is the Casualty Data Survey4 using vessel incident data, extracted from many sources, including Lloyd’s Register Fairplay casualty database. It shows steady improvements in worldwide oil tanker operations. The data also show that oil tankers have one of the best safety records in shipping. Recognizing the importance of understanding how the risk of oil spills is quantitatively determined, the proponent held a roundtable of stakeholders and First Nations groups to identify issues of concern.
Participants contributed to the scoping, terms of reference and selection of the consultant that completed the Marine Shipping Quantitative Risk Analysis. Det Norske Veritas (DNV)
, a marine classification society that specializes in marine risk assessment, was selected by the round table participants to analyze the marine terminal and oil tanker operations along the proposed shipping routes.
The Det Norske Veritas
identifies the risks of operating very large oil tankers to and from Kitimat; demonstrates that the unmitigated risk for Northern Gateway oil tankers would be the same as, or less than the world averages for similar oil tanker and terminal operation in similar waters and conditions (6);
identifies and evaluates several risk mitigation measures implemented by oil tanker and terminal operations around the world. (7) The Det Norske Veritas evaluation describes how these mitigation measures could enhance the safety of marine transportation operations.6
states the following;
Det Norske Veritas Marine Shipping Quantitative Risk Analysis subsection 7.8
The unmitigated risks calculated in this chapter are comparable to marine terminal and tanker operations located in parts of the world with navigable waters comparable to the west coast of British Columbia.
Locating this document in the NEB Enbridge Northern Gateway Documents submitted by Enbridge is found HERE
The unmitigated risks calculated in this chapter are comparable to marine terminal and tanker operations located in parts of the world with navigable waters comparable to the west coast of British Columbia.In our Conclusion
We have found no comparable location to Douglas Channel as is suggested by the “Round Table” accepted organization; Det Norske Veritas.
The Transportation Safety Board has accepted their empty analysis, one without examples of comparable locations.
If anyone is interested in a free flight to Vancouver, return for two, lets see if it can be found anywhere on the globe.
Oil ports in Australia, at various locations. Brsibane, Sydney, Perth, Melborne and Adelaide
Oil ports in Argentina, two images, one close up and the other for context. Panama Canal added to show Atlantic and Pacific entrances w lake
Oil port in Belguim, two images, one close up and the other for context
Valdez Alaska terminal and transit to open waters. Two images, one close up and the other for context Also the Strait of Magellan at Paso Tortuoso, the narrowest section without the 90 degree turns
Panama Canal and Lake
Comment by Terrace Daily News on 1st March 2012
We have learned much about the Panama Canal. Although we concede the lake presents many obsticles it is not tidal and suffers none of the serious hazards. It is a large man made lake and the levels are controlled by the locks.
Rip tides and unforseen conditions do not enter the equation in a man made lake. We have added two more pictures above to demonstrate why we will not consider this as an acceptable comparison to the proposed Enbridge routes out Douglas Channel.
Although the google map link and image provided earlier suggests sharper turns the image provided above suggests the turns are not as sharp. In the end, it is a lake, not tidal waters with extreme weather and conditions.
More To The Point From the Canal site:
The lock chambers: They are 33.5 meters wide,320.0 meters long, usable length of 304.8 metres. These dimensions determine the maximum size of ships which can use the canal; this size is known as Panamax.
The Panamax vessel dimensions are as follows:
Length: 294.1 meters
Beam: 32.3 meters (width)
Draft: 12 meters
Air draft: 58 meters.
Displacement: 65000 MT approx.
Other Tankers Beam/Width
Coastal Tanker - 29 m
Aframax - 34 m
Suezmax - 45 m
VLCC - 55 m
ULCC – 63 m
Which means none of the ships planned for Douglas Channel could even use the Panama Canal.
Comment by Pat#1 on 1st March 2012
Will Enbridge try to pull off this stunt as well?
Comment by alexander pietralla on 28th February 2012
Sorry, but by googling in onto the Panama Canal, which for the most part is not a canal but a connected stretch of natural waterways, I see 3 90 degree turns and 1 70 degree turn. There is no Oil Tank Farm, but that is not the point of the article , the point is the shipping of oil through a comparable stretch of water - I think the Panama does hold up against it.
Might you be referring to the Rio Chagres River, not the Panama Canal?
No , I am talking about the Canal that starts at Colon on the Atlantic Ocean, passes Gatun into Lago Gatun, where vessels have to do their first 90 degree turn, then 2 more in Lago Gatun passing several Isands before entering into Canal near Gamboa, there a 70 degree turn into the narrows towards the locks at Pedro Miguel, then into the locks of Clayton, towards the Port of Balboa before they exit Panama into the Pacific Ocean. Width in the narrows app. 220 meters, total length of passage app. 80 km.
New maps posted above with the maps of the Oil Port in Argentina. We fail see the similarities. Could you email a more detailed map you might have that shows how this is more severe than negotiating Douglas Channel at Gill Island?
Comment by Pat#1 on 27th February 2012
okay..at this point,it is not about the tickets..just have to KEEP ENBRIDGE OUT!
Comment by Thomas More on 27th February 2012
How about the Houston Ship Channel? Its a real cluster for ships to navigate and I think it goes without saying that they handle their fair share of tankers. Also remember, what looks like a big open body of water on a map doesn't always equate to open navigation. At most ports ships are confined to artificially deepened channels within the watercourse.
Comment by Pat#1 on 27th February 2012
Ed Note: You have come close, but like Paul Stanway, no reward at this point. We have added three pictures at the end of the article of the narrowest and most difficult section of Magellan Strait. It is the same width at Paso Tortuoso as the narrowest portion of Douglas Channel, just under a mile wide (.9). However this region also does not include the three 90 degree turns required by tankers in the Douglas Channel. We search for, but could not find, the frequency of VLCC's transiting this pass though we did find they were always provided the "right of way". It would appear only one is allowed at a time through this narrow section. The termpol report suggests two can pass in this narrow passage in Douglas Channel.
here's a thought..
Comment by Pat#1 on 26th February 2012
perhaps this would do it.
Comment by Paul Repstock on 26th February 2012
Northern Gateway: The proposal which was meant to fail!
More and more it becomes obvious that the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline is too dangerous to warrant the risks in comparison to the small rewards to Canada and the people along the right of way.
This "Project", was never intended to happen. The Keystone XL or some similar pipeline will carry the Tar Sands oil to American markets and nothing will change. Canada will continue to suffer from a lack of access to international markets.
Here is an article detailing the kind of revenue Canada should be realizing from the Alberta oil instead of being hamstrung by NAFTA. http://www.mining.com/2012/02/16/cenovus-wont-wait-for-gateway-pipeline-ships-first-crude-to-china/
Millions of dollars per day are lost because the US is our only oil customer.
Portland Canal and the Port at Stewart
Comment by Terrace Daily News on 26th February 2012
Yes, the Portland Canal is almost the same length as Douglas Channel up to Portland Inlet, however there are no manuvers similar to the over of 90 degree turns required at Wright Sound to Lewis Pass around Turtle Point on Gill Island.
Portland Canal is narrower but again there is no crude oil VLCC's traversing these waters either.
We are looking for any existing terminal on the globe that presents the same conditions as Enbridge is proposing and that the Det Norske Veritas analysis might have referred to when they claimed "similar oil tank and terminal operation in similar waters and conditions."
We have also emailed Det Norske Veritas asking for them to provide us with the examples they considered.
Port of Stewart
Comment by Shawn ksisiiaks on 26th February 2012
....any port comparable, with the variety of obstacles and narrow, lengthy channels
Portland Canal is almost as long, longer of
you exclude the Hecate section of Douglas, requires similar maneuvers to navigate and is as narrow. The difference being Portland is this narrow for its length.
It is definitely comparable.
Right Karen, Locks!
Comment by Gerry Hummel on 26th February 2012
Yes a series of Locks to control the Douglas Channel .... by jove I think you've got it Karen! Do you think Harper will give us taxpayers the 15 Trillion dollars needed to build the LOCKS? I think he will!
Comment by Karen on 26th February 2012
I think other cargo ships would be quite pleased if they didn't have to compete with their much larger counterparts. Not too many companies in the shipping business would make the mistake of comparing their cargo with oil and their ship sizes with VLCCs. There are already tankers traversing the Douglas Channel, just not oil, and they are not being discouraged.
Comment by Karen on 26th February 2012
If this pipeline is forced through we could be wishing desperately for a series of locks along the route to open water, like the Panama Canal has, to contain any iminent spills.
It is also easy.
Comment by Helmut Giesbrecht on 26th February 2012
The Douglas Channel is not like a man-made canal. The only similarity is that they both have water.
Warning!! Heavy Danger Intersection!!
Comment by blocky bear on 26th February 2012
It so happens I have first hand knowledge of the Wright Sound area. The Marine Highway or Inside Passage lays north and south. The tankers would arrive from the west and depart from the east. At times the inside passage is busy to the point that the average vessel with a navigation speed of less than 10 knots needs to exercise great care to approach from the west in particular. There is the impact point just by Black Fly Pt. Gil Island. You know...just by the final resting place of the Queen of the North. By the way does anyone know what efforts have been made to pump the fuel tanks?d.b.
but what if the world is watching.......
Comment by bill braam on 26th February 2012
and kitimat still wants to sell itself as an acceptable port for other safer cargos. We are trying our best to prevent the inevitable oil spill from some of the largest oil tankers and at the same time we are disuading potential world class cargo carriers from using Kitimat as a usable port. We can hope that the difference can be seen.
Comment by connie on 25th February 2012
There is no other country on the planet that would have total disregard for thier own enviorment.And I Think there is no other country that is that stupit....
oil transit chokepoints
Comment by alexander pietralla on 25th February 2012
Douglas Channel is not the only challenging waterway that will or might deal with VLCC. I am not a marine expert, a pilot or a coastguard, but just by comparing the Panama Canal satellite images with the ones you have posted, I see some similarities in terms of channel width, turns and ease of access. Keep your tickets if you think the same way ;)
Comment by Gerry Hummel on 25th February 2012
At Douglas Channel Watch we have raised this issue time and time again, yet the government and Enbridge seem hell bent on going through with it! Maybe because when the spill happens and it will happen .... Enbridge is not held liable, the carrier is, only for a small amount as the insurance will then pay for some! They also are limited in what cash award they are liable for! In the end it is the tax payers who will pay for the cleanup, which if we look to VALDEZ ALASKA , we see will never and can never be cleaned up! Transport Canada even says Enbridge doesn't have to provide 2 tugs for each TANKER so how long will they use two tugs if they DON'T have to? THIS IS ALL ABOUT MONEY IN BIG OILS POCKETS and British Columbians taking all the risk!
Ust-Luga -- Russian Federation
Comment by I don't want the trip on 25th February 2012
The final point of the projected Second Baltic oil Pipeline bypassing Belarus.
I have to walk away...
Comment by MaggieJo Johnson on 25th February 2012
I was about to comment in length about this article...but in a sudden physical switch, I became so sick to my stomach reading this article... that I simply have to walk away right now.
This makes me utterly sick! I'm heading out for a walk and fresh air to try to re-compose.
3 words :-)
Comment by Steve on 25th February 2012
Straits of Hormuz
maybe be less winding, but there's guys shooting at you, using real ammo!
Pass the tickets over
(it's sarcasm by the way)