crude oil

Crude Oil Politics

The Obama administration has been punting a decision on the Keystone XL pipeline for five years now, and there’s no sign the president’s kicking leg is getting tired.

New Brunswick derailment highlights rail vs pipeline tradeoffs

Yet another train derailment involving petroleum products has re-invigorated the debate over how we transport oil in Canada. In this case, 17 cars on a train near Plaster Rock, New Brunswick, derailed; nine of which carried dangerous goods including crude oil and liquefied petroleum gas. According to recent reports, the cause of the derailment seems to involve a brake failure of some kind.

Oil pipeline infrastructure bottlenecks costing Canadian economy billions of dollars

CALGARY, AB—Canada’s economy loses tens of millions of dollars daily because pipeline bottlenecks choke access to more lucrative markets for Western Canadian conventional heavy crude oil and oil sands bitumen, concludes a new study published today by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank.

Why investors aren't biting on a BC oil refinery

Economic considerations suggest that oil sands producers will avoid investing in refineries on Canada’s coasts.

Not a superpower but Canada on the brink of becoming energy superproducer

In a speech to the Canada-UK Chamber of Commerce in London on July 14, 2006, Prime Minister Stephen Harper referred to Canada as the emerging “energy superpower” that his government “intends to build.”  The prime minister and Joe Oliver, minister of natural resources, have repeated this claim on various occasions since.

While the term “energy superpower” sounds exciting and important, that likely isn’t where the country is heading (and likely not what we want to be). Rather, Canada is on track to become an energy “superproducer” if the right policy framework is in place.

Keeping Iran on the Strait and Narrow

Iran is making lots of noise about closing the Strait of Hormuz, the vital international waterway that carries 17 million barrels of oil every day—35 percent of the crude oil transported by sea. The control of the Persian Gulf region is in Iran’s hands, Iranian naval chief Habibollah Sayyari ominously warns. This follows news that the Iranian parliament is mulling legislation to block tanker traffic through the strait, which comes on the heels of Sayyari’s boast late last year that closing the strait would be easier than drinking a glass of water.

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This report provides a comprehensive overview of the outlook for Alberta crude oil and bitumen production and an assessment of the economic attractiveness and feasibility of exporting oil to countries in the Asia-Pacific region instead of solely to markets in the United States. It also describes the extent of the new oil pipeline infrastructure that would be needed to allow oil exports to Asia-Pacific region under two scenarios: 1. no increase in oil sands bitumen production capacity from a base-case forecast; and 2. bitumen production capacity increased from that in the base case to supply Asian markets after 2026. The likely gross employment and overall economic (GDP) benefits from construction and operation of the required facilities are also discussed.

The report also examines unnecessary regulatory and other barriers that are inhibiting the development of the pipelines and port facilities required to ship crude oil, raw bitumen and synthetic crude oil (i.e., upgraded bitumen) to the west coast and on to oil refineries in Japan, Korea, China, India and other countries in Asia that are increasingly becoming dependent on oil imports.

Finally, we suggest a number of policy reforms that, if implemented, would resolve, or at least help to overcome, the obstacles that stand in the way of infrastructure development and therefore threaten to prevent Canada from taking full advantage of opportunities to develop markets for crude oil in southeast Asia. The overriding objective is to ensure that Alberta?s conventional crude oil and oil sands resources are developed expeditiously and efficiently in view of current market conditions, legitimate environmental concerns, and global investment opportunities in order that Canadians may benefit, both directly and indirectly, from the employment and income opportunities that such development will bring.

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