Response to efhmc (Reply #12)
Mon Feb 20, 2012, 01:33 PM
polly7 (9,113 posts)
18. Canada does have refineries.
"Most refineries in Western Canada and Ontario were designed to process the light sweet crude oil that is produced in Western Canada. Unlike leading refineries in the U.S., Canadian refineries in these regions have been slower to reconfigure their operations to process lower cost, less desirable crude oils, instead choosing to rely extensively on the abundant, domestically produced, light, sweet crudes. As long as these lighter crudes were available, refining economics were insufficient to warrant new investment in heavy oil conversion capacity.
However, with growing oil sands production and the declining production of conventional light sweet crudes, refineries in Western Canada and Ontario have started to make the investment required to process the increasing supply of heavier crudes. Much of this investment by the large integrated oil companies (companies that are involved in both the production of crude oil and the manufacturing and distribution of petroleum products) is associated with ensuring a market for their growing oil sands production.
In Western Canada and Ontario, almost 50% of the crude oil processed by refiners is conventional light, sweet crude oil and another 25% is high quality synthetic crude oil. Synthetic crude is a light crude oil that is derived by upgrading oil sands. Most of the remaining crude oil processed by these refineries is heavy, sour crude. The crude slate is expected to change significantly in the years ahead as refiners increase their capacity to process heavy crude oil and lower quality synthetic crudes.
Refineries in Atlantic Canada and Quebec are dependent on imported crudes and tend to process a more diverse crude slate than their counterparts in Western Canada and Ontario. These refiners have the capacity to purchase crude oil produced almost anywhere in the world and therefore have incredible flexibility in their crude buying decisions. Approximately 1/3 of crude processed in Eastern Canada and Quebec is conventional, light sweet crude and another 1/3 is medium sulphur, heavy crude oil. The remaining 1/3 is a combination of sour light, sour heavy and very heavy crude oil. The crude slate in Eastern Canada is expected to remain much more static than that in Western Canada and Ontario, as these refiners are not constrained by the quality or volume of domestic crude production."
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