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Originally Posted: Wed, May 6th 2020 at 7:52 AM #1095
A first-of-a-kind installation of a 3D-printed thimble plugging device has been performed at Exelon's Byron unit 1 during the plant's scheduled spring refuelling outage, Westinghouse has announced.
 
Additive manufacturing - or 3D printing - simplifies the manufacturing process by building a three-dimensional object from a computer-aided design model, usually by successively adding material layer by layer. Westinghouse Chief Technology Officer Ken Canavan says this enables the company to offer its customers enhanced component designs that improve performance and reduce costs, as well as to provide access to components that may not be available using traditional manufacturing methods.
 
Ken Petersen, Exelon Generation's vice president of nuclear fuels, described additive manufacturing is an exciting new solution for the nuclear industry. "The simplified approach helps meet the industry's need for a wide variety of low-volume, highly critical plant components," he said.
 
Westinghouse has been pursuing the use of powder bed fusion - an additive manufacturing technique that uses either a laser or electron beam to melt and fuse material powder together, layer by layer - "for applications including complex and next-generation components required for performance gains; obsolete and difficult-to-procure components; and unique components such as prototypes, mockups and tooling".
 
Article via World Nuclear News.
Originally Posted: Tue, Apr 28th 2020 at 12:30 PM #1092
Floods have forced mandatory evacuations in parts of Fort McMurray, the hub for Canada’s oil sands industry, even as the province of Alberta tries to stem the spread of the coronavirus. The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, which includes Fort McMurray, ordered mandatory evacuations of some residents that began on Sunday and were expanded on Monday. Ice jams caused the Athabasca River to spill its banks.
 
Canada’s Deputy Prime Minister, Chrystia Freeland, said the federal government was looking “very urgently” at ways to help the area.
“The fact that flooding season and in due course, forest fire season, is coinciding with coronavirus in Canada is posing some special challenges,” Freeland said Monday in Ottawa.
 
The area, like most of Canada, is subject to restrictions on movement and most businesses are closed.
 
Wood Buffalo Mayor Don Scott described the situation as a “crisis” on social media, and he has asked for military help.
 
Alberta expected some crossover of the pandemic with floods and fires, and it and will ensure that evacuation centers reflect heightened standards for physical distancing and sanitation, said the province’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw.
 
Wood Buffalo’s food bank flooded and was forced to close, it said on Twitter. Many food banks have seen a spike in demand during the pandemic.
 
Coronavirus infections in Alberta have risen in recent days, due mainly to outbreaks further south. Alberta Health Services’ north zone, including Wood Buffalo, had 196 confirmed cases and 14 deaths as of Monday, according to the provincial ministry.
 
Karim Zariffa, executive director of the Oil Sands Community Alliance, whose members include oil-producing companies, said he was not aware of any flooding on their sites.
 
Some oil sands companies have deployed emergency personnel to help pump water out of flooded areas, he said.
 
Oil sands sites are running with fewer workers due to the pandemic, and many are reducing production amid low prices.
 
The region was forced to shut some sites in 2016 due to wildfires.
 
Article via EnergyNow.
Originally Posted: Mon, Apr 27th 2020 at 8:18 AM #1090
Oilfield services companies in Alberta will be able to apply through an online portal starting May 1 for $1 billion in grants under the oilfield rehabilitation program announced by the federal government last week.
 
Alberta Energy Minister Sonya Savage says the grant money will be doled out by her department in $100-million increments with an initial focus on service companies that have been most impacted by the current economic downturn.
 
She says the grants will cover between 25 and 100 per cent of project costs depending on the ability of the oil and gas company responsible for the site to help pay for cleanup, and will be paid directly to the oilfield service company completing the work.
 
Savage says about 5,300 jobs are expected to be created in Alberta, adding the government expects some of those jobs will begin during May.
The first $100 million is to be available for eligible work anywhere in the province with a cap of up to $30,000 per application. A second increment will focus on sites where the government is covering lease payments to landowners because the oil and gas company can’t or won’t meet its obligations.
The federal government announced a total of $1.7 billion to clean up wells in Alberta, Saskatchewan and British Columbia, as well as $750 million in loans to help cut methane emissions.
 
Originally Posted: Thu, Apr 16th 2020 at 8:11 AM #1089
The world-wide coronavirus pandemic that’s caused oil demand to plummet has turned the Canadian oil patch’s biggest problem on its head. Rather than having too few oil pipelines, the province now has too many.The collapse in oil demand caused by people staying home has reduced U.S. demand for Canadian crude, leaving pipelines struggling to stay full. After more than a year of rationing space, Enbridge Inc. announced it had additional space on its Mainline pipeline system for both heavy and light crude in April. TC Energy Corp. also issued a call for crude on its Keystone pipeline running from Alberta to the U.S. Midwest.

At the same time, the lack of a price difference for crude from Canada makes it unprofitable to ship the country’s crude down pipelines to the U.S. Midwest and Gulf Coast. Heavy Western Canadian Select oil is trading at a $14.75 discount to West Texas Intermediate crude in Hardisty, Alberta. That’s compared with about $14.90 a barrel in Cushing, Oklahoma, as of Monday ,according to NE2 Group data.

The situation is a significant change from just a month or two ago when Canadian producers were struggling to get their oil to U.S. refineries as new pipelines, including the Trans Mountain expansion to the Pacific and Enbridge Line 3, met repeated delays. The situation grew so severe in late 2018 that the Alberta government imposed production curtailments that remain in place.


Article via EnergyNow.

Originally Posted: Wed, Apr 1st 2020 at 8:01 AM #1087

With the ongoing COVID-19 situation, the NRCan NDTCB is working to ensure the health and safety of the public and our team members in accordance with all public safety guidelines. We are closely monitoring the situation and will adjust our business practices and client services rapidly as required. We remain at the ready to assist you as best as we can throughout this situation. We will keep you updated on any developments.

At this time, certification processing and services are likely to be disrupted, delayed, and/or postponed.

Temporary accommodations and extensions relating to initial certifications and renewals/recertifications will be provided for select candidates. Currently, the accommodations are:

  • A 6-month extension for NDT renewal and recertification candidates who have certifications that expire from April 15, 2020 to September 15, 2020. This 6-month extension is applied to the current expiry date listed on your certification ID card, and the Directory of Certified Personnel.
  • A 6 month extension for NDT initial certification candidates who have examinations in process that expire(d) after March 15, 2020. This 6-month extension is applied to the current expiry date(s) listed on your most recent examination results letter.
  • A 6-month extension for XRF renewal and recertification candidates who have certifications that expire from March 16, 2020 to September 15, 2020. This 6-month extension is applied to the current expiry date listed on your certification ID card, and the Directory of Certified Personnel.
  • A 6-month extension for EDO photo ID cards that expire from March 16, 2020 to September 15, 2020. This 6-month extension is applied to the current expiry date listed on your EDO

The appropriate extension accommodations will be applied automatically (no need for candidate to submit a request) without re-issuance of the corresponding paperwork or documents. As conditions evolve, we will adjust services accordingly—temporary accommodations and extensions may be amended or applied as required. Please check our website regularly for further updates on this rapidly evolving situation. For more details, please contact our office.

Contacting and communicating with the NDTCB:

At this time, we strongly advise that clients and certificate holders refrain from mailing, shipping or faxing certification-related documents and communications; we will be maintaining communication services via email and telephone. We will also not be providing in-person client services at our local office at this time. We encourage clients to provide the NRCan NDTCB with your most up-to-date personal email address and telephone number to avoid interruptions in communication.

For all telephone inquiries, please call our main telephone line: 1-866-858-0473
(Note: other NDTCB telephone lines may not be monitored at this time.)

For email inquiries, send your emails to our main inboxes listed below:
NRCan NDTCB main inbox: ndt@nrcan.gc.ca
NRCan renewal and recertification: nrcan.ndtrecert@canada.ca
EDO written examination: nrcan.cedo-oaea.rncan@canada.ca
(Note: other NDTCB email inboxes may not be monitored at this time.)

The health and safety for the public is a priority for the NDTCB—we appreciate your understanding and support.
 
Originally Posted: Thu, Mar 19th 2020 at 9:00 AM #1080
With the ongoing COVID-19 situation, the NRCan NDTCB is working to ensure the health and safety of the public and our team members in accordance with all public safety guidelines. We are closely monitoring the situation and will adjust our business practices and client services rapidly as required. We remain at the ready to assist you as best as we can throughout this situation. We will keep you updated on any developments.
 
At this time, certification processing and services are likely to be disrupted, delayed, and/or postponed. Temporary accommodations and extensions relating to initial certifications and renewals/recertifications may be provided as required. Please check our website regularly for further updates on this rapidly evolving situation.
 
Contacting and communicating with the NDTCB:
At this time, we strongly advise that clients and certificate holders refrain from mailing, shipping or faxing certification-related documents and communications; we will be maintaining communication services via email and telephone. We will also not be providing in-person client services at our local office at this time.
 
For all telephone inquiries, please call our main telephone line: 1-866-858-0473 (Note: other NDTCB telephone lines may not be monitored at this time.)
 
For email inquiries, send your emails to our main inboxes listed below:
 
NRCan NDTCB main inbox: ndt@nrcan.gc.ca
 
NRCan renewal and recertification: nrcan.ndtrecert@canada.ca
 
EDO written examination: nrcan.cedo-oaea.rncan@canada.ca (Note: other NDTCB email inboxes may not be monitored at this time.)
 
The health and safety for the public is a priority for the NDTCB—we appreciate your understanding and support. Please let us know if you have any questions.
Originally Posted: Mon, Mar 9th 2020 at 1:08 PM #1075
Eddyfi/NDT, through a strategic partnership with Novacap and Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec ("CDPQ"), announced today the acquisition of NDT Global. Headquartered in Dublin, Ireland, and with main operations in Stutensee, Germany, NDT Global is a premium ultrasonic pipeline inline inspection ("ILI") and data analysis supplier for onshore and offshore pipelines worldwide. It delivers a full range of services including geometry and deformation inspection, metal loss and crack inspection, defect assessment and fitness for purpose investigations around the world.   

The combination of Eddyfi Technologies and NDT Global is an innovative and private Test & Measurement ("T&M") technology group focused on Non-Destructive Testing ("NDT"). Eddyfi/NDT will now have 1,000+ employees working in 20 global offices and serving customers in 110 countries. It is composed of high-end technology business units operating in two different segments: NDT Equipment and Application-Specific Integrated Inspections. The global headquarters are located in the advanced NDT hub of Québec city.

Martin Theriault, CEO of Eddyfi/NDT, says: "We have spent the past 10 years developing, acquiring and perfecting the most advanced NDT modalities in the world. At every level of technology, pushing the limits of NDT to new heights has allowed us to solve critical problems and deliver superior, information-rich data for the benefits of our clients. However, selling inspection instrumentation & technology alone in certain very niche and specialized sub-verticals, such as ILI inspection, simply does not work. We are therefore excited to join forces with NDT Global and work with them and their clients to take ILI NDT to the next level."

This merger successfully joins two leaders in their respective markets: Eddyfi Technologies as a provider of the highest performance NDT inspection technologies and NDT Global as an advanced ultrasonic ILI and integrity services provider. Global pipeline operators have come to rely on NDT Global for the most accurate assessment of the condition of their pipeline assets. Coupled with the additional expertise in non-destructive testing techniques and technology of Eddyfi Technologies, NDT Global will deliver increased accuracy and enhanced information to assure the safe operation of pipelines.     

Richard Matthews, President and CEO of NDT Global, comments, "Joining with Eddyfi/NDT offers a tremendous opportunity to leverage our respective technologies to develop even better solutions. At NDT Global we want to continue our trend of being a technology disruptor whilst delivering new and never seen before solutions to our customers through out of the box thinking, creativity and collaboration – we believe Eddyfi/NDT will help us materialize this vision."

Furthermore, to complete this acquisition, Eddyfi/NDT confirmed a new round of equity financing with Montreal-based Novacap, making its first investment in the company with CA$ 163 million, and CDPQ, making an additional investment of CA$ 107 million. The new equity investment is combined with new debt financing provided by a banking syndicate led by National Bank of Canada and additional debt from Investissement Quebec ("IQ"). Over CA$ 600 million was raised to complete the NDT Global acquisition as well as pursue other strategic opportunities.

CDPQ made its initial investment in Eddyfi in March 2017. Since then, it has helped the company complete four additional acquisitions in Europe and North America, as well as diversify across technologies and geographies. In addition, CDPQ has supported the development of a new strategic plan to deliver substantial growth while also building an industrial technology business at the forefront of its sector. "Québec SME expansion and globalization is a key aspect of our strategy, and our support for Eddyfi over the years reflects that. Since our first investment, the company has experienced tremendous and sustained growth, becoming one of the largest private companies in the Greater Québec City area today," said Charles Émond, President and Chief Executive Officer of CDPQ.

Novacap played a critical role in this transformative and complex acquisition. "The merger is highly strategic and represents a unique, complementary combination of a service provider and equipment manufacturer at the technological forefront of the non-destructive testing market. Asset aging, coupled with heightened public concern about environmental protection, has given rise to increasingly stringent pipeline integrity management programs. Operators understand the complexities of asset aging as well as the importance of public opinion, and they rely on NDT Global to continuously set new standards in pipeline inspection to address these issues. We are highly confident that NDT Global, under the Eddyfi/NDT group, will deliver superior inspection technology and value-added services to operators globally," said David Lewin, Senior Partner at Novacap (TMT). 

Finally, Pascal Tremblay, Novacap's President & CEO, added: "I would like to thank our new business partners, Martin Theriault, Louis-Georges Gauvin (CFO), and their teams for being the driving force behind this acquisition. I would also like to thank CDPQ who played a critical role in the execution of this complex transaction, as well as our highly supportive limited partners who co-invested with us to make this deal possible. I am very happy to say that Eddyfi/NDT is the largest platform investment in Novacap's history. We are proud to be a partner of the Eddyfi/NDT team, a Quebec-based leader in a global industry of this scale."

Baird acted as an exclusive financial advisor to Eddyfi/NDT in the transaction. McCarthy Tétrault acted as lead legal advisor to Eddyfi/NDT.

Via PRNewswire

Originally Posted: Mon, Mar 9th 2020 at 12:53 PM #1074

As of early Monday, Suncor had lost more than 25 per cent of its value and Cenovus was down by almost half.

Oil prices dropped dramatically on Monday with North American stock markets briefly halted shortly after opening — and Canadian energy companies were sold off, hard. As of early Monday, Suncor had lost more than 25 per cent of its value and Cenovus was down by almost half. North American stock markets were halted shortly after opening on Monday morning as circuit breakers designed to slow down panic selling kicked in within minutes. The NYSE, Nasdaq and TSX all hit what's known as a level 1 trading halt within minutes of opening. Such a halt automatically suspends all trading on the market for 15 minutes when there's been a decline of more than seven per cent. A level 2 halt automatically kicks in after a decline of 13 per cent, for another 15 minutes. If the decline hits 20 per cent, a level 3 halt shuts down trading for the rest of the day. The TSX lost more than 1,400 points, or eight per cent, within minutes of opening, so the Canadian index's circuit breaker was triggered. That's the worst day for the TSX since the financial crisis. The trading halts were lifted 15 minutes after being implemented and the selling continued both in the U.S. and Canada — although not by enough to implement a level 2 halt, so far.

Crude price dropped more than 25%

The panic started on Sunday evening after Saudi Arabia kicked off an all-out price war in the oil market, announcing it would be removing any production caps. That move sent the price of crude tumbling more than 25 per cent, and came on top of existing fears over the coronavirus currently spreading around the world. West Texas Intermediate crude fell $11.80 US to $29.48 and international benchmark Brent fell $12 to $33.20.
By Monday morning, Western Canadian Select had plummeted to $22.33 US per barrel.  It was the largest single-day drop since the beginning of the Gulf War in 1991. Prices are falling as Saudi Arabia, Russia and other oil-producing countries argue about how much to cut production in order to prop up prices. Demand for energy is falling as people cut back on travel around the world. The worry is that the coronavirus outbreak will slow economies sharply, meaning even less demand. OPEC and key ally Russia failed to agree Friday on a cut to oil production that would have contained the plunge, and on Saturday, Saudi Arabia's state oil giant Aramco slashed export prices.

"We're seeing the outcome of a one-two punch in terms of a demand shock from the coronavirus … and on top of that this weekend's news of a price war started after the breakdown of OPEC plus Russia arrangements," said Blake Shaffer, an assistant professor of economics and public policy at University of Calgary.

Shaffer said the demand-side drop was expected but the more recent development of a price war is a supply-side issue that's hammering the market.

A 'nuclear-sized event' for Alberta

The oil market has seen arguments like this before. In 2014, OPEC held off production cuts in order to hold onto market share in the face of a resurgent U.S. oil industry. That led oil to tumble from over $100 US a barrel to below $40 by 2015.

But experts say this drop is much more dramatic. "This is a really big move. I was an energy trader for 15 years. I don't have all the daily moves in my head, but this would definitely be one of the biggest ones I've seen," Shaffer said. Martin Pelletier, a portfolio manager with Trivest Wealth Council in Calgary, said this is a "nuclear-sized event" for an already-hurting Alberta, and if not contained, the economic malaise could spread to the rest of the country. "This could be the knock-out punch for Alberta, unfortunately," Pelletier said, adding that some companies might not survive the hit. "We're going to really need to see some leadership coming out of Ottawa, and I mean both the Bank of Canada and [Prime Minister Justin] Trudeau and the government … This is a crisis; this is a very serious event."

Pelletier said he'd like to see both a large fiscal spending program tailored to impacted provinces and an emergency rate cut.

The Alberta government's recent spring budget forecasts WTI will average $58 US a barrel in the coming year, and Shaffer said this is bad news both for the economy as a whole and for the province's royalty revenues. "Roughly every dollar [per barrel] is about $350 million to the government … We're talking about a $7 billion decline in revenue expectations," he said, adding that about $2 billion is made up from the improved differential and the Canadian dollar, so the net hit would be about $5 billion. Some experts are predicting even lower numbers could be on the way. Ali Khedery, a former Exxon adviser and now CEO of strategy firm Dragoman Ventures, tweeted "$20 oil in 2020 is coming" after news broke of Saudi Arabia's plans to hike production. Shaffer said seeing such a wide difference in price forecasts after the province's budget dropped just weeks ago makes a strong case for the government to change how royalty revenues are budgeted and push for further economic diversification. "If this is prolonged, you'll see continued job layoffs and effects on families. One of the really important things I'll stress is having an economy that isn't dependent on the outcome of a price war between the Saudis and the Russians … I hope it's yet another wake-up call in terms of the efforts to diversify our economy," he said.

 

Article via CBC.

Originally Posted: Fri, Feb 14th 2020 at 8:32 AM #1073
Prize: One free Full Registration for the 20th World Conference on Non-Destructive Testing
 
Deadline: March 31, 2020
 
The winner will be announced by the end of April, 2020, and awarded during the WCNDT 2020 with a certificate of commendation.
 
To enter the competition, please fill in all forms and send it with your entry photograph to the secretariat of ICNDT WG4 (icndt@jsndi.or.jp). You can download the forms here.
 
Originally Posted: Fri, Jan 31st 2020 at 11:26 AM #1072
The inspection technologies business of Baker Hughes Digital Solutions introduced a new name, logo and website on January 28, 2020. The former GE Inspection Technologies (GEIT) is now called Waygate Technologies, a Baker Hughes business.  
As the world leader in non-destructive testing (NDT), Waygate Technologies offers the broadest portfolio of industrial inspection solutions – including radiography and computed tomography (CT), remote visual inspection, ultrasound and eddy current technologies – that ensure quality, safety and productivity for the customer.
 
Founded in 2004, GEIT joined Baker Hughes in 2017 when GE merged its Oil & Gas business with Baker Hughes Inc. GEIT’S rebrand to Waygate Technologies comes as part of Baker Hughes’ planned separation from GE, following GE’s divestment of its majority ownership in the company in 2019. With a new brand, Waygate Technologies will continue to be a leader in industrial inspection and remain a part of Baker Hughes in the Digital Solutions segment.
 
Waygate Technologies brings in together more than 125 years of experience and the rich expertise and heritage of its strong legacy names such as Krautkrämer, phoenix|x-ray, Seifert, Everest and Agfa NDT technologies, as well as the unrivalled precision and quality of German engineering.
 
The new brand name signifies two things. The term “Way” refers to a new direction for manufacturing and quality control. The term “Gate” describes the role Waygate Technologies plays in meeting the quality standards as an inspection checkpoint.
 
The new logo shows advanced 3D inspection in an abstract way. It implies both the scanning of a 3D cube as well as the three key technologies used for NDT inspection – radiography, computed tomography and ultrasound.
 
Originally Posted: Fri, Jan 31st 2020 at 7:59 AM #1071
Boeing’s latest airliner, the 777X, which is the largest twin-engined jet ever developed, made its maiden flight this weekend, signalling that aircraft is entering the next phase of its test program.
Test aircraft WH001 took off from Paine Field in Everett, Washington, at 10:09am local time on January 25 for a three hour, 51 minute flight over Washington state before landing at Seattle’s Boeing Field. The flight was postponed twice on January 23 and January 24 because of high winds.
 
WH001 is the first of four 777-9 flight test airplanes and will now undergo checks before resuming testing in the coming days. Ground testing of all the test aircraft began in Everett last year and will continue alongside flight testing over the coming months, said Boeing.
 
The 777X is Boeing’s first commercial jet to feature folding wingtips, which extend its wingspan from 212 ft (64.8 m) to 235 ft (71.8 m) while taking-off and in the air. The smaller wingspan of the 777X while on the ground enables the aircraft to fit in at airport gates and hangars that Boeing’s successful 777 widebody airliner currently uses, while enabling it to be larger than its predecessor.
Captain Van Chaney, 777/777X chief pilot for Boeing Test & Evaluation said, “The 777X flew beautifully, and today’s testing was very productive. Thank you to all the teams who made today possible. I can’t wait to go fly your airplane again.”
 
During the flight Chaney and Boeing chief pilot Craig Bomben worked through a test plan for the airplane’s systems and structures while a team in Seattle monitored the data in real time.
Stan Deal, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes said, “Today’s safe first flight of the 777X is a tribute to the years of hard work and dedication from our teammates, our suppliers and our community partners in Washington state and across the globe.”
 
According to Boeing, the 777X twin-engined widebody commercial passenger jet will deliver 10% lower fuel use and emissions and 10% lower operating costs than comparable aircraft on the market thanks to improved aerodynamics, a carbon-fiber composite wing and the use of the GE Aviation’s GE9X, the world’s largest commercial jet engine. The 777X will compete with Airbus’ A350-1000.
The 777X includes the 777-8 and the 777-9, seating 384 and 426 passengers with ranges of 8,730 nautical miles (16,170 km) and 7,285 nautical miles (13,500 km) respectively. Airlines have ordered 340 777Xs and Boeing plans to deliver the first in 2021.
 
The successful first flight is an important milestone for Boeing at a time when the company is suffering badly from the continuing fallout from the 787 Max crashes in 2018 and 2019, which have grounded the existing fleet of aircraft and stopped production. The 777X program has also been delayed because of problems with the GE9X engine.
 
Development of the 777X started in 2013 and static testing of the aircraft started in September 2018. Article via Aerospace Testing International.
Originally Posted: Fri, Jan 31st 2020 at 7:43 AM #1070
OPEC members are considering holding an emergency meeting next month, as oil prices sink on concern the coronavirus outbreak will hit demand.
Algerian Energy Minister Mohamed Arkab said the producer group’s meeting scheduled for March is likely to be moved to February, the Algerie Presse Service reported. A decision may be taken “in the coming days,” he said. He currently holds the rotating post of OPEC President, giving him the authority to convene emergency meetings in consultation with the Secretary-General and other members.
 
One delegate from an OPEC member said privately it could happen as soon as next week, and another floated mid-February as a date. Still, several delegates said they were unaware of discussions to bring the March 5-6 meeting forward.
 
There’s good reason to be skeptical about the prospective change of dates. If the group convenes an emergency meeting without announcing new measures, the disappointment among traders could push prices even lower. It already unveiled deeper production cuts just over a month ago, and as these are put into effect, Saudi Arabia -- which has borne the greatest burden in reducing supply - has slashed output to the lowest since 2014.
 
Any meeting would probably include non-members such as Russia, as the latest production targets have been set in concert with those allies. One delegate said the availability of Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak would be a factor in deciding whether an early meeting could be called. Novak’s schedule has been an obstacle to meetings in the past, and he is due to participate in a Russian Investment Forum from Feb. 12 to 14 in the coastal resort of Sochi.
 
The March 5-6 meeting is for OPEC+, and they’re due to discuss the future of oil-production cuts that expire at the end of March.
 
The outbreak of the pneumonia-like coronavirus has left 7,800 people infected and 170 dead since the first case was reported on Dec. 30 in Wuhan, the capital of China’s Hubei province. As airlines across the globe suspend flights to China, oil prices have slumped, adding to the pressure on OPEC to extend or deepen the group’s oil-production cuts.
 
Brent crude has dropped more than 10% this month even after the U.S. killed a key Iranian general and Libya’s oil production was cut to near zero following a blockade of the nation’s ports that virtually halted exports. Saudi Arabia has said it’s “closely monitoring” the effect of the virus on the oil market.
 
Article via World Oil
Originally Posted: Fri, Jan 31st 2020 at 7:36 AM #1069
The Canadian government has the power to delay a decision on whether to approve a massive new oilsands project, a key cabinet minister said on Tuesday, a sign Ottawa could push back what will be a contentious decision.
 
Ottawa must decide by end-February if Teck Resources Ltd can build the $20.6 billion (US$15.7 billion) Frontier mine in northern Alberta, capable of eventually producing 260,000 barrels of crude oil per day.
 
If the minority Liberal government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says yes, it would call into question his promise to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050. But saying no could infuriate Alberta, already angry over what local politicians claim is Ottawa’s bias against the energy industry.
 
“I’m not going to opine on what that decision is going to be,” said Wilkinson, who must formally decide whether to approve the project or refer the matter to cabinet.
 
Officials say the final say will rest with cabinet, noting ministers have the power to ask for more information about the project. This would mean extending the end-February deadline. “Obviously this government has made commitments with respect to addressing greenhouse gas emissions and we would have to ensure that they fit within that context,” said Wilkinson.
 
Alberta premier Jason Kenney said on Tuesday that Frontier had been through years of rigorous environmental scrutiny and added “It’s time this $20 billion project got approved.”
 
Trudeau has repeatedly said Canada will need to rely on crude oil for years to come as it moves to build a cleaner economy. The project has also split the country’s Indigenous people, whose living standards Trudeau vows to improve.
 
“The Trudeau government needs to show us how they will support the workers and communities currently dependent on oil as we meet the 2050 deadline for a fossil fuel-free economy, not approve a massive new oilsands mine to operate until 2067,” said Greenpeace Canada campaigner Keith Stewart.
Article via Finaicial Post
Originally Posted: Wed, Dec 18th 2019 at 9:29 AM #1067
FITCHBURG, Wis., Dec. 12, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Phoenix, LLC., a nuclear technology company founded in Madison, Wisconsin in 2005, has announced that it has now demonstrated the capability to take ASTM Category I neutron radiographs at its new accelerator-based industrial radiography facility, the Phoenix Neutron Imaging Center (PNIC), which opened in October of this year. ASTM Category I images are the highest image quality level specified by ASTM E545, the gold standard for defining the quality of neutron radiographs.
Neutron imaging, also known as N-ray, is a form of radiographic inspection similar to X-ray imaging that provides unique information and valuable insight into an object's internal structure that other non-destructive testing (NDT) techniques cannot. Neutron imaging is a vital inspection technique for high-reliability products such as the turbine blades found in aircraft jet engines, energetic devices such as aircraft ejection mechanisms, spacecraft payload fairing separation mechanisms, and munitions.
 
Since the discovery of neutron imaging as an industrial NDT technique in the 1950s, only nuclear reactors could provide the magnitude of neutron radiation to create high-quality images in reasonable time periods. However, after decades of increasing regulation and costs, scores of these reactors have closed. There are now only a few nuclear reactors available for commercial imaging, drastically limiting the availability of neutron inspection in the NDT community.
 
The high neutron output of the PNIC system allows Phoenix to exceed the annual throughput of reactor facilities with an equivalent level of image quality. This technical achievement represents the culmination of years of work by Phoenix's engineers to mitigate industry concerns on the availability of neutron radiography.
 
"The ability to generate ultra-high-quality neutron images with a small, relatively low-cost, accelerator-based neutron imaging system is truly an industry game-changer," said Dr. Evan Sengbusch, president of Phoenix. "This achievement is analogous to the early use of compact x-ray generators in medical diagnostics over a century ago. It is a first step in making neutron imaging as ubiquitous as x-ray imaging is today."
 
Of the handful of reactors that remain, continued unplanned outages and no line of sight to the specialty fuel needed to refuel the reactors will likely cause further shutdowns in the near future which drives significant concern for users reliant on those facilities. Phoenix is now positioned to take on neutron imaging work put at risk by an aging nuclear reactor fleet and maintain the high quality and reliability levels required for a broad range of aerospace and defense components supplied to the government and commercial sectors.
 
Unlike a nuclear reactor, the Phoenix system can also be built anywhere, making it possible for high-volume users of neutron imaging to have dedicated neutron imaging capabilities in-house. Phoenix's goal is to not just shore up this fragile supply chain with a network of n-ray capable facilities but to make neutron radiography, a powerful yet underutilized tool for industrial nondestructive testing, more accessible and available to a broader user base.
 
The 10,000 square foot neutron imaging services facility that will provide neutron activation analysis, radiation effects testing, neutron (n-ray), and x-ray imaging. The company's 50,000 square foot corporate headquarters, which broke ground in November of this year, will also be located on the same site and will allow Phoenix to meet the increasing demand for accelerator systems and employ an estimated additional 50 full time, highly paid professionals over the next several years.
 
About Phoenix
Phoenix's proprietary neutron generators, one of which recently broke a world record for the most neutrons produced in a sustained fusion reaction during a demonstration with sister company SHINE Medical Technologies, do not rely on the fission of fissile materials. Phoenix began developing its first neutron radiography system in 2012 under a Small Business Innovation and Research contract with the US Army. The Phoenix neutron radiography systems are designed to be installed at industrial facilities and incorporated directly into the quality control processes used to inspect products for defects which could not be detected with more widely-utilized NDT techniques. Other clients of Phoenix include major aircraft turbine blade casting houses and manufacturers of energetic devices. PNIC, which is set to begin taking on new clients in Q1 2020, represents a paradigm shift in the availability of neutron imaging by providing all of the benefits of reactor-driven neutron imaging facilities with fewer drawbacks, while also providing other services for NDT professionals such as industrial X-ray imaging and CT (computed tomography).
 
Originally Posted: Fri, Dec 6th 2019 at 11:10 AM #1066
The first segments of pipe for the Coastal GasLink Project begin to arrive at storage sites this week in anticipation of construction ramp up later next year, TC Energy reported on Tuesday.
The $6.6-billion pipeline, which will provide the natural gas feed for the $40-billion LNG Canada project, will stretch 670 kilometres from the Dawson Creek area in Northeast B.C. to the coast at Kitimat.
 
TC Energy said that starting in December 2019, pipe will be transported by rail and truck and stored at sites across the project route until it’s needed for assembly and installation. That phase of construction is expected to start next summer and continue through to 2022.
 
Initial deliveries are planned for the Chetwynd and Kitimat area. Deliveries to other areas across the route will continue through April 2021, the company said.
“With construction progressing on the Coastal GasLink Project, we are committed to delivering economic benefits across the province. With more than $1 billion in employment and contracting opportunities for Indigenous and local communities, significant benefits are already being realized across the project right-of-way,” TC Energy said.
“In fact, nearly 1,000 women and men are currently working on the project to make sure we are ready for mainline construction in 2020.”
 
Originally Posted: Mon, Nov 4th 2019 at 7:58 AM #1063
Tommy Thomson, 1956 - 2019

It is with broken hearts we announce the passing of Tommy on Thursday, October 24th, 2019. Tommy died peacefully at home surrounded by his family after a 2 year hard fought battle with cancer. He was the beloved husband and best friend of Pauline, loving and supportive father of Ryan (Nita) and Megan, much loved son of Mary and Tommy (deceased) and loving brother of Liz. Tommy was dearly loved by his mother-in-law Helen and father-in-law Daniel (deceased). He will be lovingly remembered by his sister-in-law Anne, brother-in-law’s Jeff, Kevin and Raymond and his nieces Maria, Cherl, Francesca, Lauren and Rebecca. Lovingly remembered by his many cousins.

Tommy was born in Greenock, Scotland, and immigrated with Pauline and his children in 1988. He was a well-established, respected and successful business man in the N.D.T. industry. He was a mentor to many and always made time for others. Tommy was always the life and soul of the party and had the gift of making everyone around him laugh. He loved time with his family, good friends - too many to mention, soccer, sailing and travelling.

Thank you to all our friends and neighbours for prayers, support, gifts of food, garden work, and Fr. Larry Parent for spiritual support. We also would like to thank Dr. Hubay and her team at GRCC and the palliative team including Dr. Tan and especially nurses, Allison and Diane for their compassionate care and support.

At Tommy’s request, cremation has taken place. Friends are invited to share happy memories with his family at Henry Walser Funeral Home, 507 Frederick Street, Kitchener, 519-749-8467. Visitation was held 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm on Wednesday, October 30th, 2019. Visitation continued from 10:00 am - 10:45 am, with a Memorial Service that followed at 11:00 am in the chapel on Thursday, October 31st, 2019. At the request of the family, in lieu of flowers donations can be made to Prostate Cancer Canada - Research or Grand River Hospital Foundation - Cancer Centre.

Visit www.henrywalser.com for Thomas' memorial.
Originally Posted: Mon, Nov 4th 2019 at 7:53 AM #1062
With sadness, we report the passing of  Roger Lyon, a very active NDT community member.
 
Roger Lyon spent 12 years in the Royal Navy between 1960 and 1972 before embarking on an NDT career for 40 years.  He was the sitting president of EFNDT, elected in Gothenberg, Sweden.  Roger had been active in the British Institute of NDT, starting off in the PCN Technical Committee and then as Chairman of the Certification Advisory Board, Chairman of the Certification Management Committee, Chairman of the SANDT Advisory Committee, Member of Council, Vice President, President Elect, President, Member of the Industry Committee, MQ&E, ECWG, Executive COmmittee, EFNDT and BINDT/ICorr Policy Group.
 
Roger passed away suddenly on September 30th, 2019.
Originally Posted: Wed, Oct 16th 2019 at 2:01 PM #1061

Since 1986 INTECH NDE, a privately held company with offices in Edmonton, Alberta and Richmond, British Columbia, has built a reputation for meeting our customer's needs by developing successful alliances with the world's top quality-conscious manufacturers of inspection and NDE products.

INTECH NDE is pleased to announce that we have opened a new location in Oakville, Ontario to better serve our customers in Eastern Canada. Our office is located at 1200 Speers Road, Unit 48, Oakville. This new office encompasses the same ideals that have contributed to our success in our other locations. It has been a pleasure to work with our existing customers directly in their territory. Since opening in July we have rapidly built up our customer base by meeting with new customers, discussing their requirements and helping them overcome the inspection challenges they face.

Our mission remains the same -  to position ourselves as the "first choice" partner for any company implementing or expanding an inspection program or service. Our goal is to contribute to our Industry through our collective skills and knowledge and to commit to the success of our customers while, at the same time enhancing our company, our employees and our community. Our promise is to provide our customers with dependable products, exceptional service and technical expertise.

Originally Posted: Mon, Sep 30th 2019 at 2:30 PM #1060
Phoenix, LLC., a nuclear technology company based in Monona, Wisconsin, is set to open its new neutron radiography facility in Fitchburg, Wisconsin before the end of this year.  This state-of-the-art facility, which will offer thermal and fast neutron imaging along with two-dimensional and CT X-ray imaging, will be a one-stop radiography services vendor for NDT professionals that mitigates the risk and complications of using nuclear reactor facilities.
 
  • Powerful and unique nondestructive testing method which was first developed soon after the discovery of the neutron in the 1930s. As a viable tool for industrial NDT, N-ray has existed since at least the 1950s; however, until now, only fission reactors could provide a high enough neutron flux to produce radiographic images in a timely manner, restricting its use to a small community of NDT professionals.
  • Neutron imaging works similarly to X-ray imaging. By firing a beam of neutron radiation at an object, NDT professionals can create an image of its internal structure. Neutrons interact differently with most materials compared to X-rays, though; unlike X-rays, which easily pass through light materials without penetrating denser materials, neutrons can easily pass through dense materials without penetrating lighter materials.
  • Neutron imaging is ideal for the aerospace and defense industries, since there are many components that cannot be easily imaged with X-ray alone.
  • The Phoenix Neutron Imaging Facility (PNIC) will be the first and as-yet only facility to offer both X-ray and neutron radiography services to NDT specialists without the need for a fission reactor
 
Construction on PNIC began in October, 2018. PNIC will open in fall 2019 and begin accepting work from new clients in early 2020. In addition to this new facility, the company is set to break ground on its new corporate headquarters on the same site.
 
About Phoenix:
Transforming nuclear technology to better our world since 2005, Phoenix designs the world’s strongest fusion neutron generators. Convenient, reliable, and safe, Phoenix’s cutting-edge technology has been used in the aerospace, defense, medical, and energy sectors to improve manufacturing efficiency and quality.
 
Contact:
Katie Rittenhouse
Sales and Marketing Director
(608) 210-3060
Originally Posted: Thu, Sep 26th 2019 at 9:50 AM #1059
Zetec Inc, a global leader in NDT solutions, has announced the hiring of Paul Hillman as its UK-based Sales Manager.
 
Paul will manage sales and business development for Zetec’s ultrasonic and eddy current technology solutions in Northern Europe, Africa and the Middle East. He has more than eight years of global product sales, key account and channel partner experience in industrial NDT markets and completed an FdSc in NDT, including eddy current and ultrasonics. Paul also holds a Level 2 in phased array.
Paul’s experience fits perfectly with the company’s continued growth in aerospace, oil & gas, military, manufacturing and other industries in the Europe, Middle East, Africa and India (EMEAI) region, while supporting its leadership in NDT for power-generation markets. “We are excited to have Paul joining the Zetec team. His expertise will help to bring our innovative solutions to the territories’ key NDT leaders,” said Laurent Enenkel, Vice President of Zetec in the EMEAI region.
 
“Zetec has a long track record of developing innovative and technology-leading equipment for the NDT industry. I am delighted to be a part of its growing success in solving the most demanding of applications,” said Paul.
 
Paul is based in the UK and will be working with Zetec’s customers and channel partners throughout the EMEA region.

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