Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Getting Heavy Oil to Market, Clueless Obama Declares War on Canada Oil Sands

Heavy oil from oil sands in Alberta and Saskatchewan are moving to fill the gap in US supply caused by problems in Venezuelan and Mexican supplies.
* Already the world leaders in bitumen production and an important producer of conventional heavy, Canadians have roughly doubled their non-upgraded bitumen production in less than four years.
* American decision-makers would be delighted to replace politically volatile Venezuelan supply with low-risk Canadian product, and Venezuela’s present leadership would be equally happy to develop markets elsewhere.
* Mexico’s supergiant Cantarell heavy oil field is in steep decline, but Canada has the productive potential to offset the shortfalls.
* The isolation of the Canadian prairies from the world’s sea lanes and from America’s major refining centres means bitumen producers can’t freely compete in world markets. Consequently, they get lower prices.
* As price-takers in North American markets, Canada’s producers have to settle for lower profits, and the province has to settle for diminished royalty revenue. __Seekingalpha
Meanwhile, presidential hopeful and baby senator from Illinois, Barack Obama, has been making ominous noises about the prospects for the tar sands market in the US.
Yesterday, Mr. Obama vowed to break America's addiction to "dirty, dwindling and dangerously expensive" oil if elected U. S. president -- and he said one of his first targets may well be imports from Canada's oil sands. A senior advisor to Obama's campaign said it's an "open question" whether Alberta's oil sands fit with Obama's vision for shifting the U. S. dramatically away from carbon-intensive fuels.

The moves follow the adoption in December by the U. S. federal government of a law that bans federal procurement of alternative fuels that generate more greenhouse gases than "conventional sources," which could include oil from the oil sands. A campaign by the Canadian sector to exclude Canada's oil has yet to bear fruit.

Meanwhile, California has adopted low-carbon fuel standards that disfavour Canada's production. __NP
Each of these moronic moves by various US governments and officials have pushed gasoline and oil prices ever higher on the futures markets. One could easily be forgiven for asking the question: "Whose side are these morons on, anyway?"

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Blogger John Nicklin said...

US politians often take pot shots at Canada during election years and change thier tune later. that said, it is boneheaded on their part to discount sources of oil close to home while at the same time blocking exploration and development of their own resources.

Just a side note, your map shows the oilsands being at Hardisty rather than Ft. McMurray. I think Hardisty is an upgrader, could be wrong though.

Good articles, keep up the good work.

11:34 AM  
Blogger al fin said...

Thanks, John.

I believe the pipeline will originate at a terminal in Hardisty.

The bitumen would likely be trucked or shipped by rail to the terminal, then piped on to refineries from there.

9:31 AM  

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