Posts Tagged ‘oil sands’

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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Petrodollars: Canada’s move on Kyoto doesn’t mean clear sailing for oil sands

Canada’s official exit from the Kyoto treaty — an act undertaken by one of the pact’s biggest public supporters — could be seen as a significant win for the oil sands industry. But that sector is facing a host of other issues, including rising costs. Platts correspondent Gary Park, in this week’s Oilgram News column “Petrodollars,” reviews the landscape.

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Counting down Washington’s Keystone XL clock

The law Congress passed just before Christmas to force a quicker decision on the Keystone XL pipeline gives the Obama administration two choices: approve or deny TransCanada’s application by February 21. Or does it?

This project has been looked at from every angle, and yet we still don’t know if those are the only two possible outcomes.

Take the latest comments from the State Department: “That law gives the Secretary of State 60 days from December 23 to either grant a permit for the proposed Keystone XL pipeline or to justify why a permit is not being granted,” spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said during the department’s daily briefing today.

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Keystone XL’s demise wouldn’t be the end of the world, according to this view

The endless creativity of the market may make Keystone XL unnecessary.

That was the unstated yet clear message delivered Tuesday to the New York Energy Forum by Martin Tallett, president of ENSYS, a research firm that worked for both the Department of Energy and the Department of State on TransCanada’s Keystone XL application. A final decision on the project, which needs State Dept. approval to cross the border from Canada to the US, has been deferred to 2013 by the Obama Administration.

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