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View Diary: Canadians Import Texas Oil Instead of Building a Pipeline East, Fear Spills (61 comments)

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  •  Exxon Mobil and Suncor own PMPL (5+ / 0-)

    and have major tar sands holdings, so yeah, the plan as I understand it is to pump the oil east, reverse the flow of Enbridge Line 9 from Sarnia to Montreal, and subsequently reverse the flow of the Portland-Montreal line to export dilbit from the east coast.

    Northern Gateway is still a couple of years away from approval, although I suspect it will be bogged down in the courts due to unresolved First Nations land claims in Northern B.C.  Kinder Morgan's Transmountain pipeline expansion is underway to export an additional 500,000 bbd through Vancouver along an existing right-of-way.  There is also a $13 billion proposal to build a refinery in Kitimat, B.C. to avoid shipping crude oil off the northern B.C. coast.

    Tar sands operators companies are counting on Keystone XL, Transmountain, and reversing the flows of existing pipeline infrastructure to lower the current price spread between Western Canadian Select and WTI until additional pipeline capacity comes on line.  The Achilles heal of the tar sands is that the oil is landlocked, so the economics of extracting, upgrading, and transporting the oil puts the tar sands producers at a significant disadvantage to other players in the market.

    Legalized corruption is destroying our democracy.

    by geodemographics on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 06:26:16 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  I'm not so sure they will export dilbit from (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tofumagoo, Creosote

      the Atlantic coast of the US, EU refineries like light sweet, dont like sulfur and nitrogen. Portland Maine to the W. EU via supertanker is way shorter than shipping by supertanker from the Mid East to W. EU.

      Unless there is a dilbit customer outside the W. EU that makes sense, that I'm not seeing.

      The Achilles heal of the tar sands is that the oil is landlocked, so the economics of extracting, upgrading, and transporting the oil puts the tar sands producers at a significant disadvantage to other players in the market.
      Well said, this is vital to understand, if the tar sands partners want to produce 5mbpd, they need 5.1mbpd of pipeline capacity. Seawaymax tankers are the largest that can get from the Great Lakes to the Atlantic, not viable compared to supertankers. Rail is a temp solution.

      ...... Social Security blogathon March 25th thru March 29th. #HandsOffmySS FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

      by Roger Fox on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 06:39:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Re: dilbit refineries (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Creosote

        I don't have a definitive answer to that question but suspect that upgrades to existing heavy oil Gulf Coast refineries (financed through long-term offtake agreements with tar sands producers) would make the numbers work.

        Venezuela would also get poked in the eye.

        Legalized corruption is destroying our democracy.

        by geodemographics on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 09:16:25 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Gulf coast refineries can generally process (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          geodemographics

          synthetic heavy sour crude from tar sands without making any process modification from what is and was required from a process and environmental management standpoint to process heavy sour crude from Mexico, Venezuela and Saudi Arabia.   The upgrades have already been completed for heavy sour crude processing at most larger refineries.

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