Who Wants Albertan Crude, Anyway?
Refineries in Eastern Canada have concerns about upgrading their plants to handle Albertan bitumen, from political risks to the economics of carbon pricing.
Why on Earth do we —the world’s fifth-largest oil and gas producing nation— import crude from the Middle East, the U.S. and Africa? It’s a question that gets asked frequently, and at first glance it seems like a no brainer—just build a pipeline to get Western Canadian oil to Eastern Canadian refineries and swap out the foreign imports.
But from a refiner’s point of view it isn’t that simple. Refining Canadian heavy crude requires billion-dollar coker units and other refinery upgrades, and ties a refiner to the market demand for Canadian oil for the foreseeable future.
These are just a few of the pros and cons refiners fac e when deciding whether or not to shop loca l.