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Sat Nov 17, 2012, 08:23 PM

In U.S. energy renaissance, flares of fear for Alberta’s oil patch

A fear mongering assessment of the challenges to Alberta's Tar sands, written by an industry stooge. His solution: despite lack of diversification in the Canadian economy, ignore reality and double down on rapacious resource exploitation and cheer-lead for Keystone XL, and Northern Gateway pipelines.

Canada already produces far more oil than it needs. Any flaws in that assumption about U.S. demand will have a profound effect on Canada’s oil sands, where companies are spending a billion dollars a week to build production destined for export – virtually all U.S. bound.

At stake is the growth of an industry that keeps Western Canada’s economy vibrant, producing boatloads of well-paying jobs, welcome spinoff effects and government revenue. Already, amid weaker oil prices, some oil companies have contemplated deferring or cancelling projects, and just this week the Alberta government backed away from a goal to balance its budget.

“Canada has a real problem,” said Al Monaco, chief executive officer of Enbridge Inc., the pipeline company that has long been the prime mover of Canada’s oil. Combine rising U.S. oil output with declining consumption and the lack of other markets for Canada, and “none of that bodes well for prices if you’re a producer – nor if you’re a government that has royalties at play. Nor if you’re the federal government for tax revenue.”

The greatest vulnerability, he said, lies in the northeastern corner of Alberta, the Fort McMurray area that not long ago looked a lot like North Dakota, a nascent boom town that stoked – and continues to stoke – great economic hopes for Canada. But, Mr. Monaco warned, “if you’re in the oil sands and you are the marginal production because you’re the highest cost, this is a big factor. These are big issues.” He is not, however, worried. Enbridge believes it can be the solution by building new pipelines to bring Canadian oil to new markets, both abroad and in U.S. states not served by current pipelines. But it’s hard to find a new pipeline proposal – to the West Coast, to the Gulf Coast, to the East Coast – that is not wrangling with severe political and social skepticism.

And if opponents succeed in stopping or slowing those projects, the outlook is grim: Prices for Canadian oil “will get pushed down to the point that production stops growing,” says Chris Micsak, an oil analyst with Bentek, an international energy forecasting and analysis firm.


Naturally, conspicuously absent from this article of course:

-Massive environmental destruction, massive use of fresh water, the clean up bill, and its substantial contribution to global greenhouse gases.
-Any question of why its not refined here in Canada, thereby adding value and jobs, or why gas prices will remain high?
(Personally, I can't figure out why Canada has a strategic maple syrup reserve, but not a strategic petroleum reserve)
-Any substantiative mention that the oil is ultimately going to China, if/when the pipelines are built.
-Why has the government of Canada so heavily invested and subsidized the shit-sands for decades now, instead of diversification and support of other industries.

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Reply In U.S. energy renaissance, flares of fear for Alberta’s oil patch (Original post)
Joe Shlabotnik Nov 2012 OP
ROBROX Nov 2012 #1

Response to Joe Shlabotnik (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 02:30 AM



The east cost is the perfect market for this oil and there are oil pipe lines which can move the oil EAST.

Sending the oil to Texas is like sending coal to the coal producing states.

The oil sent to Texas will be sent to other countries just like the oil leaving Texas today. Europe would be an excellent market with a USA discount.

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