Who Wants Al­ber­tan Crude, Any­way?

Alberta Oil - - CONTENTS -

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.

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