Monday, May 14, 2012

CBC article explores exporting Alberta oil through east coast

The CBC has published a story investigating the possibility of shipping Alberta's oil sands oil east, rather than west or south as conventional wisdom generally holds. It specifically discusses TransCanada Pipeline's idea of converting one of its natural gas pipelines to bitumen. The article suggests that considering the difficulties companies have faced building or expanding pipelines to the west coast (Northern Gateway, Trans Mountain) or the US (Keystone XL) it may be faster and of relatively similar cost to transport the oil for refining and export in the east.

Canadian heavy crude exports are trading for significantly less than WTI, partly because it is "bottled up" with limited pipeline access to the US gulf coast and other refineries, and virtually no pipeline access to other markets. This differential costs Canadian exporters billions of dollars a year and is given as a major reason for Canada's drive for market diversification.

Incidentally, the CBC does not disappoint with an array of staggeringly ignorant reader comments.

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