News   Aug 10, 2020
 60     0 
News   Aug 07, 2020
 3.2K     6 
News   Aug 07, 2020
 767     0 

How to get Canada's oil to export markets?

Admiral Beez

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Apr 28, 2007
Messages
8,632
Reaction score
2,498
Admiral, your point on Alberta hypocrisy is I believe one of the primary not discussed issues in the media. I actually believe in getting Alberta oil to tidewater and to have some kind of national energy infrastructure. In other words I believe in oil and gas as a national resource even if the vast majority of benefit only goes to oil producing regions. However, Alberta wants it both ways. They want all the benefits of their oil and they want a national strategy catering to their benefit, and yet they are one of the most obstructionist elements in the Federation when it comes to interprovincial relations and Federal government initiatives and powers. The legacy of that obstructionism is the source of the current predicament. The fact that Trudeau is getting all the flack is so absurd as to be borderline delusional. Trudeau is playing politics and causing his own mess but the entirety of the current "crisis" is a result of decisions made by previous Provincial politicians in Alberta and previous Federal governments. Give him time and Trudeau can join the pantheon of leaders failing but he hasn't even been in power long enough to have made a difference given the timeframe required to construct a pipeline or other outlet
Well said. Of course Trudeau’s had enough time to buy a pipeline, one that he can’t build. It’s akin to me buying the rights to build a house, but not first securing the permits and property rights.
 

kEiThZ

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Jul 31, 2008
Messages
9,337
Reaction score
2,550
One thing that strikes me is the hypocrisy of Alberta. In the 1970s Ottawa tried to include Alberta's oil in a National Energy Plan, making getting Alberta's oil to market a national strategic interest. Well, we know how that went, with Alberta telling Ottawa to mind its own business and leave oil management to Alberta. But now that the easy oil is already drained, and the going with the harsher bitumen is harder going, Alberta wants Ottawa to see the former's oil as a national strategic interest, with Alberta demanding that Ottawa do something to get Alberta's oil to market. You can't have it both ways, if this is Canada's oil, Canada can fix it, but the "let them freeze" mentality has to go.
It's even worse than that. Remember the mocking when it was suggested that Ontario's manufacturing sector was catching Dutch Disease? They are quite alright with us suffering for their benefit. But only complain when they suffer.

They want that pipeline? The burden to convince the other provinces and First Nations stakeholders should be on them.
 

jje1000

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
May 19, 2007
Messages
4,779
Reaction score
2,176
If it's not going by pipeline, it's going by rail. I mentioned this a while ago, interesting seeing how an university concept from a few years ago is becoming commercialized:

CN pushes ahead with puck-sized bitumen for rail transport
Amid an oil glut and pipeline shortage to U.S. refiners, Canadian National Railway Co. hopes to be sending pellets of solidified oil sands bitumen to overseas markets within three years.

Montreal-based CN says its plan to package oil sands bitumen in soap-bar-sized pellets could help alleviate some of the transportation bottleneck in Alberta and move the oil to more lucrative markets in Asia.

CN said it has signed a memorandum of understanding with an Asian partner to build a full-scale production facility converting 50,000 barrels a day into pellets, which are formed by mixing and sealing bitumen balls with polymer, a plastic made from recycled grocery bags. The pellets are robust enough to be handled like pieces of coal, put through a conveyor system and dumped into the hold of a bulk carrier. They are designed to float, alleviating concerns of a tanker spill. The polymer is extracted and recycled at the destination through a shredding and heating process.

James Cairns, vice-president of petroleum and chemicals at CN, said the railway plans to have a smaller pilot project converting 10,000 barrels a day to pellets in 2019, either in Edmonton or at an oil sands production site near Fort McMurray, Alta.

Mr. Cairns said a CN delegation recently travelled to China and South Korea, where they found a lot of interest in the idea. He said CN is working with some Canadian producers who are interested in tapping overseas markets to avoid the deep discount they face in the United States.

CN declined to name the Canadian or Asian companies with which it is working.

“We have tested it out in the lab. We have proven the chemistry. We know it works. And the next stage is to go right to a pilot plan," Mr. Cairns said from Calgary. “After the pilot, it’s really up to the industry to see how well this gets adopted. We’re not a midstream company. We don’t own crude. We’re not going to buy or sell crude oil. We just facilitate the transportation. Our job is to put buyers and sellers together to see if this makes sense. Certainly it makes sense economically."

Benoit Poirier, an analyst at Desjardins Securities, said the pellets present a long-term, viable way for Canadian oil producers to reach overseas markets, as well as an attractive growth opportunity for CN.

Western Canada’s pipeline constraints have persisted – and worsened – since 2014 as production has risen even as pipelines have been cancelled or delayed. The resulting glut of Alberta oil has sent the price of Western Canadian Select plunging compared with U.S. oil. Alberta’s government has taken the remarkable steps of imposing production cuts and announcing plans to buy oil tank cars and locomotives to move oil to markets, calling on Ottawa to help fund its purchase.

“When you have one real customer – the U.S. – and you have multiple producers and an oversupply, that just leads to the terrible differential that we have,” Mr. Cairns said.

Amber Froese, a spokeswoman for Cenovus Energy, said in an e-mail that the Calgary-based oil producer is “looking at various opportunities in the area of solid bitumen on rail, but it’s very, very early days."

Edward Kallio of Eau Claire Energy Advisory said the innovation could reduce the demands on pipelines without posing a spill hazard, but needs a business case to be successful. “It’s a great idea to follow up and research," Mr. Kallio said by phone. "It’ll all come down to cost. Cost on one side and risk on the other. The environmental risk is very low so what’s the cost going to be?”

One bitumen barrel makes 600 pellets. An open-top rail car can carry about 615 barrels worth of heavy crude as pellets, once the polymer is extracted. This compares with the 390 barrels of heavy crude in a tank car, not including the dilutive chemicals.

CN says that based on current oil prices, the move to Asia is a money maker. That’s because the discount on Canadian oil at U.S. markets does not apply there. CN pointed to a study released earlier in 2018 that said it would cost about US$23 to ship a barrel of bitumen as CanaPux to Asia from Alberta, including packaging, rail and vessel charges. This is just less than the US$24 it costs to transport a barrel of diluted bitumen by train to the U.S. Gulf Coast.

One possible hurdle to CN’s plan to ship the pellets to Asia via the West Coast is the tanker ban on shipping oil, upgraded bitumen and other petroleum products from the tip of Vancouver Island to Alaska, an area that includes CN’s port operations in Prince Rupert, B.C. Julie Leroux, a Transport Canada spokeswoman, said it is too soon to say if the oil tanker ban on B.C.'s northern coast applies to the shipment of the pellets.

CN says the pellets are designed to be shipped in the bulk commodity stream used for coal, which provides several different routes to overseas markets.
https://www.theglobeandmail.com/bus...d-with-puck-sized-bitumen-for-rail-transport/

IMO literally single-use packaging for oil, but better than having a few tankcars spill their contents over a small town or two, I suppose.
 

Admiral Beez

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Apr 28, 2007
Messages
8,632
Reaction score
2,498
If it's not going by pipeline, it's going by rail. I mentioned this a while ago, interesting seeing how an university concept from a few years ago is becoming commercialized:




https://www.theglobeandmail.com/bus...d-with-puck-sized-bitumen-for-rail-transport/

IMO literally single-use packaging for oil, but better than having a few tankcars spill their contents over a small town or two, I suppose.
That might be something the people and port of Churchill, MB might support and offer to participate. They're against oil vessels due to possible environmental risks, but petro pucks should be easier to clean up.
 

Admiral Beez

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Apr 28, 2007
Messages
8,632
Reaction score
2,498
I'd say Alberta's new Con government is going to make getting oil to tidewater their top priority. If Scheer wins this coming federal election we can expect a lot of pressure on BC and indigenous people to make way for the pipelines.
 

Northern Light

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
May 20, 2007
Messages
6,903
Reaction score
7,685
Location
Toronto/EY

SunriseChampion

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Mar 5, 2009
Messages
5,959
Reaction score
2,177
Location
Parkdale
^Really? hahahaa.....it's ok, I'm going back to work tomorrow so I can keep chipping in to these idiotic schemes with my tax contributions.
Now I get to pay in towards both the pipeline AND the lawyers at court. 2-for-1 deal.

Super stoked. I didn't have enough of paying the provincial lawyers arguing against my best interests in court, gotta spread the love.
 

Admiral Beez

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Apr 28, 2007
Messages
8,632
Reaction score
2,498
Its already headed back to court before the proverbial ink dries...............
That's fine, better to iron out the legalities before putting shovels in the ground.

Though at the end of the day, Parliament and the PM are supreme and can force through anything, especially if it's deemed strategic. Otherwise, we'd never have been the Trans-Canada railway, the existing pipelines from Alberta to BC's coast, the nation's natural gas pipelines, etc.

If Trudeau is willing to bet the upcoming election on the pipeline, he can get it, whatever the courts say. However, my guess is just to kneecap Scheer and preempt any promises he's thinking for Alberta. Once the election is won, Trudeau will do little to advance pipelines. He's had four years already and done nothing.
 

jje1000

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
May 19, 2007
Messages
4,779
Reaction score
2,176
Weren't there rumors that quite a few of the activist groups in Canada got funding from progressive NGOs in the US, of which some were linked to US oil interests?
 

Admiral Beez

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Apr 28, 2007
Messages
8,632
Reaction score
2,498
Weren't there rumors that quite a few of the activist groups in Canada got funding from progressive NGOs in the US, of which some were linked to US oil interests?
IDK, but putting the indigenous nations in charge will quickly sort out the legitimate concerns over progressive flag waving.
 

jje1000

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
May 19, 2007
Messages
4,779
Reaction score
2,176
More of this "consulting". How much consultation do you need before it becomes a dressed-up delay tactic? It's like the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls inquiry- little actual tangible results, lots of emotion-based politicking.

I'm also perpetually wary of native "spiritualism"- as much as society tries to separate religion and state, there's some strange push by quite a few progressives to inject native religions into both policy-making and education.

Indigenous chiefs blast Ottawa's Trans Mountain consultation efforts ahead of key regulatory decision
Jesse Snyder June 25, 2019

Three First Nations are claiming Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi and other federal officials failed to properly consult with Indigenous communities on the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, possibly adding fresh complications to an already prolonged regulatory and legal process.

“I felt like I wasn’t even being respected or even listened to,” said Coldwater Indian Band chief Lee Spahan, describing his interactions with the federal government in recent months.

“In the eyes of my council and myself, it was pretty much a waste of time,” he said.
The head of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation also told the National Post that discussions with federal officials did not amount to a “consent-based” process, while the leader of the Squamish Nation cast doubts on the meaningfulness of the consultations.

All three communities were parties to the federal court challenge that stalled the Trans Mountain project in August 2018. In the final court ruling, a lack of access to cabinet ministers and other high-level officials was cited as a main reason why the government failed to meet its “duty to consult.”

Their criticism brings into sharper focus a fear by supporters of the expansion project that some Indigenous communities will oppose the pipeline regardless of any appeasement efforts by Ottawa, and will use any legal and regulatory means to delay the pipeline.
Newman also said the government’s lengthy Crown Consultation and Accommodation Report (CCAR) released last week — which details the findings from the government’s consultations with Indigenous communities — could potentially strengthen Ottawa’s legal position with Indigenous groups.

The report includes a raft of concerns from First Nations with the project, including negative effects on “social, cultural, spiritual and experiential aspects of hunting, trapping and plant gathering activities.” Some communities warned of “spiritual and cultural alienation” if the project advances.

The CCAR concluded, however, that much of the negative environmental effects from Trans Mountain itself would be narrowly focused.

“For all the valued components assessed by the NEB related to hunting, trapping and plant gathering, adverse effects were found to be limited to directly disturbed areas in the Project footprint,” the report said. It also found that cumulative effects from past industrial activity have “severely impacted their ability to exercise their Aboriginal and Treaty Rights to hunt, trap and gather plants.”
 
Last edited:

jje1000

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
May 19, 2007
Messages
4,779
Reaction score
2,176
Yet another nail in the national consensus. When does consultation become an excuse for endless litigation and rent-seeking?


Federal Court allows six of 12 Trans Mountain pipeline project appeals

VANCOUVER — The Federal Court of Appeal has allowed six challenges of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion focusing on Indigenous consultation to proceed, while dismissing several claims centred on environmental concerns.

The decision calls for narrowly focused, expedited court proceedings that will only examine the quality of the federal government’s consultation with Indigenous communities between August 2018 and June 2019.

“Many of the Indigenous and First Nation applicants now allege that the poor quality and hurried nature of this further consultation rendered it inadequate,” says Justice David Stratas in a decision released Wednesday.
 

Top