Posts Tagged ‘oil sands’

The Oil Big Five: Finding a footing when the crude landscape is shifting

Now that the global crude oil markets are in the middle of a sort of upheaval, it seems increasingly harder to have clear thoughts or emotions about what the future holds. There are so many nuances to the slowly emerging new order that it can be difficult to find underlying issues (something we strive to do every month with this feature) or take a firm stand on how you think things will shake out in the future (see our No. 2 pick).

In the October version of The Oil Big Five, we have some officials trying to establish their region’s role in the future, even as everything is uncertain. We also have price movements and crude movements, and we’re hoping this all moves you to leave us a comment. Leave us your thoughts below. What do you think of these topics, and what did we leave off that’s a big issue to you? Or share your ideas on Twitter with the hashtag #oilbig5. Read what our oil editors and analysts nominated as the top issues for the moment, and we look forward to featuring your comments next week.

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New Frontiers: In Canada, can the farmer and oilman be friends on the rail?

In this week’s Oilgram News column, New Frontiers, Ashok Dutta looks at the battle for space between growing production of oil from Alberta, and from a bountiful grains crop.

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The Oil Big Five: Is anyone surprised that Iraq tops our list?

Welcome to The Oil Big Five for July 2014, where we list the big issues that are keeping our Platts oil experts busy around the globe. You can find our last posting here, which had the problem of not posting comments for a short time when it first went up. We really appreciate everyone who commented on the blog once it was fixed, though, as well as those who sent us feedback on Twitter. The latest round-up of reader comments can be found here, and be sure to comment again for the follow-up to this post.

Here are the biggest oil issues or trends that our editors and experts nominated to be a part of the post this month. Read the rest of this entry »

Petrodollars: The growing oil sands role of the Alberta government

Alberta’s role in developing Canada’s oil sands, and then marketing its output, has been extensive. It’s about to get wider, as Calgary correspondent Ashok Dutta reports in this week’s Platts Oilgram News column, Petrodollars.

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New Frontiers: the growing rift between Alberta and BC over oil shipments

Alberta has oil; British Columbia has a coast. Those two things should mean lots of synergy, but it is also the basis for a growing dispute between the two Canadian provinces. Gary Park discusses the issues in this week’s Oilgram News column, New Frontiers.

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Two different projects both have the same aim: take abundant US/Canadian crude oil and move it elsewhere

Two stories that appeared in Platts Oilgram News in the last week — both are on a document you can read here — were about developments miles apart, but which are highly related.

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Why not put an oil refinery in the middle of nowhere?

The newspaper publisher with a plan, now in baby steps, to put a 400,000 b/d refinery in coastal British Columbia and ship its fuel products to China says the market for Canadian crude is demanding — screaming, even — for someone to get it out of the country to Asian markets.

Skeptics have been poking holes for weeks in David Black’s plan to put a refinery at the port in Kitimat, about 875 miles by car from Vancouver (map here), to process crude from the Alberta oil sands. It’s far from the crowds who line up for whale-watching off British Columbia. In fact, it’s nearly as far north as Smithers, the spot picked to film the Liam Neeson sub-Arctic thriller “The Grey.”

Black said he has no firm commitments for supply but added there is interest so far from China parties including the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China. He originally was lobbying oil sands producers last year to build their own refinery “with a copy of a feasibility study stuck in my back pocket.”

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Canadian Kearl oil production is ready, but prices are not

ExxonMobil has gotten its Kearl Canadian oil sands production off the ground, but you can’t say that yet about the other key component of such a project: the price.

Canadian crude, still pretty much a bottleneck despite all the projects in the pipeline, remains heavily discounted to US benchmark West Texas Intermediate. (That fact was driven home today in the Energy Information Administration’s weekly report, which reported record crude oil stocks of about 395.3 million barrels.)

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CERAWeek Day 2: Canadian minister defends the oil sands; GM lobbies for natural gas vehicles

 Canadian natural resources minister Joe Oliver had some “relevant science and facts” about the Alberta oil sands for IHS CERAWeek attendees Wednesday.

“Unlike some oil-producing regions, Canada is a strong and stable democracy, with a free market that is respected, where the rule of law prevails and where there is a long-demonstrated commitment to environmental responsibility,” Oliver said. “The oil sands may be the most rigorously regulated and monitored industrial sector in the world. Regulations and monitoring are driving innovation. Innovation that has achieved a drop of 26% in greenhouse gas emissions per barrel between 1990 and 2010.”

“Facts and science speak for themselves,” he said, charging opponents of the  proposed Keystone XL, which would bring oil sands crude to the US, of using “misrepresentation and hyperbole” in the public debate.

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PetroDollars: The EU and Canada making peace over oil sands

What seemed like an intractable war over Canadian oil sands between the home country and the EU now seems to be a candidate for some sort of peace treaty. Platts’ Canada correspondent Gary Park writes about it in this week’s PetroDollars column from Platts Oilgram News.

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