Oil below $100 (U.S.) oil will ratchet up geopolitical tensions

Oil below $100 (U.S.) oil will ratchet up geopolitical tensions
CHICAGO — Reuters Breakingviews
Published Thursday, Oct. 30 2014, 5:30 PM EDT
Last updated Thursday, Oct. 30 2014, 5:30 PM EDT
Sub-$100 (U.S.) per barrel crude may inflame geopolitical tempers in 2015. The sharp slide in the oil price since June from triple digits into the $80- to $90-range is turning up the heat on oil producers. But two of the world’s most flexible suppliers – Saudi Arabia and U.S. shale drillers – can stand the pain for some time.
OPEC linchpin Saudi Arabia needs an average oil price of around $92 per barrel to cover public spending, according to analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters. Even with the recent price slide, Brent crude oil has still averaged well over $100 a barrel over the past six months. The price would have to stay below Saudi’s break-even level well into 2015 before OPEC’s swing producer starts to feel the pinch. Even then, the kingdom has roughly $770-billion of foreign reserves, enough to cover shortfalls for years.
Analysts say U.S. shale drillers, the newest arrivals among big global producers, mostly need an average oil price of $60 to $80 to break even. But the precise number varies widely, and drilling costs have been falling as engineers become more experienced. The companies involved may just step up cost-cutting efforts or divert investment to cheaper oil fields rather than cutting supply if prices stay low.
Some petro states won’t have it so easy. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, for instance, needs a crude price of about $117 a barrel to pay his government’s bills – second only to Iran’s $136. The Latin American nation’s financial difficulties could morph into a political crisis. OPEC members in need of such high prices may not take kindly to Saudi Arabia’s stance.
Vladimir Putin’s Russia, meanwhile, relies on oil and gas to fund more than half government spending. And at just $92-billion as of September, its rainy-day reserve offers only a limited buffer. A fall in oil revenue combined with the impact of sanctions over Ukraine could choke off growth in 2015.
The Saudi-U.S. shale dynamic suggests that without a big shock to supply elsewhere, prices in the $80 range could hold in the coming year. For oil users, whether industrial importers or car-loving consumers, lower prices will provide a boost. But within the OPEC group and beyond, reduced oil revenue could make political tensions worse.

Alberta pushes to reform foreign investment rules to attract China

Alberta pushes to reform foreign investment rules to attract China
Nathan VanderKlippe
BEIJING — The Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, Oct. 30 2014, 5:18 PM EDT
Last updated Thursday, Oct. 30 2014, 6:07 PM EDT
Alberta’s new political leadership is calling on Ottawa to take another look at foreign investment rules blamed for a dramatic drop in energy investments from China.
When the federal government gave its approval of the $15.1-billion (U.S.) takeover of Nexen Energy ULC in late 2012, it came with a caveat: a raft of new policies intended to ensure such a deal would not happen again. Canada is not “for sale to foreign governments,” Prime Minister Stephen Harper said as he effectively black-listed state-owned companies from further oil sands takeovers.
The guidelines sparked worry in China, and prompted warnings from the energy industry, bankers and lawyers. The guidelines, some have said, are discriminatory against China, and have blocked a major source of money that could be used to build a new generation of Fort McMurray-area projects.
Now, the Alberta government itself is taking up those concerns with the federal government, in hopes of again prying open the spigots from China.
“We are urging a review of some of the quick changes that were done to our Investment Canada Act,” said Ron Hoffmann, the province’s newly named senior representative for the Asia Pacific Basin.
The changed guidelines have created “confusion,” he said, speaking at the Canada-China Forum on Energy & Environment in Beijing on Thursday.
“We just think there’s some looseness in the language,” Mr. Hoffmann said.
Alberta wants the federal government to clarify what counts as a state-owned company, a question that can be thorny in a country such as China where the lines are often blurry between public and private enterprise. Efforts in China to boost productivity among state firms are also blurring the line between what is a commercial company and what isn’t.
The province also believes foreign companies should be given credit for a track record of Alberta energy investments that “has been quite a positive one,” Mr. Hoffmann said, referring to both CNOOC and Sinopec. The province is petitioning Ottawa on a series of issues, including its policies on temporary foreign workers and skilled trades, he said.
The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, meanwhile, says Ottawa should raise the dollar threshold for scrutinizing foreign investments – now set at $354-million – because it is hampering the ability of smaller companies to make deals.
The requests for change comes as China’s state-owned companies grow increasingly sour on Alberta, owing in part to their struggles to spin profit out of the many billions they’ve spent. “We haven’t seen significant returns from the investments, so there is no strong motivation for the state-owned companies to further invest in Canada,” said Li Pilong, chief geologist and assistant president at Sinochem Group.
The new investment rules have also fostered a belief that “it is not possible for the state-owned companies to further invest in oil sands,” he said.
Ian Wild, an executive vice president at ATB Financial, added: “There’s been tremendous lost opportunity.”
There are signs, however, that a second stage of Chinese investment is building, as private companies work toward deals that, though they are much smaller in dollar terms, may see Asian money fall in to new places. ATB is currently in some 10 “sets of discussions” with Chinese companies that want to buy in to Alberta real estate, construction assets and service companies, as well as barrels in the ground, Mr. Wild said.
“There won’t be very many $15-billion transactions by privates,” he acknowledged. “But over five years, you may see a cumulative number like that. I’m quite optimistic.”
Some Chinese private investors are coming with ideas of how to do things differently. Charles Yan, president of Cadavisa Investment Group, wants to build a plant to convert natural gas to liquid petrochemical feedstock, which can be more easily transported than gas that is super-chilled to load onto ships as LNG. His company has spent two years working to adapt Chinese technology to Canadian regulatory and safety requirements.
Private company interest is driven largely by a desire for Canada’s abundant natural resources, everything from oil to beef to jade, a coveted gemstone in China, said Gong Jialong, the chief executive of Lianchang Petroleum Corp. Canada also suffers less of the instability that has burned Chinese investors in places such as Iraq and Sudan, he said.
“Investing in Canada is the ideal solution,” he said.
“We have already seen the peak of SOE [state-owned enterprise] investment. But for the next two or three decades, there will be a new wave of investment from China’s private sector.”

From west to east, a look at projected house price gains across Canada

From west to east, a look at projected house price gains across Canada

Michael Babad

The Globe and Mail

Published Thursday, Oct. 30 2014, 10:52 AM EDT

Last updated Thursday, Oct. 30 2014, 2:54 PM EDT

Home sales, prices to rise

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. has released a new report with everything you could possibly want to know about projected sales and prices across the country, forecasting a “steady” showing nationwide next year, followed by “some moderation” in 2016.

Housing starts in Canada, it predicted today, will range next year from 172,800 to 204,000, and in 2016 from 168,000 to 205,800.

Resales next year will come in between 457,000 and 507,300, and in 2016 between 448,000 and 508,000.

Prices are particularly interesting.

Average prices this year, which, of course, differ widely across Canada, are expected to range from $401,600 to $405,400, which means a so-called point forecast of $404,800.

Next year, according to CMHC, prices will be between $403,600 and $417,800, for an increase in the point measure to $410,600.

Then in 2016, expect prices to range between $407,300 and $424,500, or a point forecast of $417,300.

West to east, here’s what CMHC forecasts in terms of average prices:

  • British Columbia: Average resale price to rise to $566,300 in 2015 and $573,000 in 2016.
  • Alberta: Average to rise to $407,800 and $417,500.
  • Saskatchewan: Average to rise to $303,000 and $309,300.
  • Manitoba: Average to rise to $272,600 and $278,800.
  • Ontario: Average to rise to $435,900 and $443,800.
  • Quebec: Average to rise $270,800 and $276,600.
  • New Brunswick: Average to dip to $161,500 and $161,000.
  • Nova Scotia: Average to rise to $216,000 and $217,000.
  • Prince Edward Island: Average to slip to $157,000 in both years.
  • Newfoundland and Labrador: Average to rise to $294,000 and $298,000.

These findings, of course, mask the wide ranges from city to city, which CMHC also looked at.

For example, the average in Calgary, forecast to jump 5 per cent this year to $459,000, should rise further, to $472,000 in 2015 and $483,000 a year later.

The Nuclear Gap In Obama’s Clean Power Plan #uranium

10/27/2014
Forbes
The Nuclear Gap In Obama’s Clean Power Plan
If we want to arrest climate change, all we need are more renewables like wind and solar, right? Not exactly, according to a newly published Canadian report on lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions (“GHG”). In fact, the report, which is based on 246 studies covering various power generation scenarios and constraints, concluded that nuclear power beats wind and natural gas on an ‘apples-to-apples’ basis for battling climate change.
Full disclosure: The report, from Hatch Ltd., a Toronto-based consultant, was commissioned by the Canadian Nuclear Association. It compares lifecycle GHG emissions from nuclear power, natural gas-fired power, and wind power, all the way from fuel extraction through to plant construction, operation, and decommissioning.
How is possible that nukes have a smaller carbon footprint than the wind-natural gas duet? Well, wind power is intermittent and needs back-up from natural gas-fired electricity. Nuclear is a 24/7/365 power generation with zero carbon emissions. This is no back-of-the-envelope calculation. The methodology used by Hatch was in conformance with ISO 14040, the international standard governing lifecycle assessments. You can read more about the solid methodology on pages 2 and 3 of the report.
Below is some meat from the report itself:
On average, emissions from wind and nuclear are similar within the accuracy of the study for all emissions except GHG emissions, where wind produces distinctly less GHG emissions on average than the combination of nuclear technologies considered.
No surprise there. But let’s dig a little deeper. Nobody disputes that wind is an intermittent power source. Hatch says that in a typical wind-natural gas hybrid, wind makes up 20% of the generation mix, with natural gas shouldering the other 80%.
If you’re wondering how much less GHG emissions are coming from nuclear power generation than the wind/natural gas duo, Hatch says a lot. In fact, per kilowatt-hour of generation nuclear power emissions are 18.5 grams of GHG, while emissions for wind backed by natural gas are 385 grams of GHGs. That’s 20 times more GHGs for the wind backed by natural gas scenario.
Hatch’s numbers may even be on the conservative side. Because wind comes and goes, backup generating plants have to cycle up and down more often. This stop-and-start cycling burns up more feedstock and increases emissions across the board. Bentek, a Colorado energy analytics firm, found that 1,327 such cycling events happened in Colorado in 2009, which released up to 6.8 million pounds of extra sulfur dioxide (“SO2”), 3.1 million pounds of nitrogen oxide (“NOX”), and 147,000 pounds of carbon dioxide (“CO2”).
The Canadian Wind Energy Association has criticized the report’s focus only on one power generation scenario: wind and natural gas in tandem. The Association says, “There are many potential mixes that can facilitate significant amounts of wind energy penetration in Canada and the vast majority of them are much less greenhouse gas intensive than the scenario described in the study.”
On the other hand, Wind Concerns Ontario, a coalition of individuals and grassroots citizens groups that advocates for responsible, environmentally sound solutions to energy issues, says that, “We share [Hatch’s] concerns on this issue and have been speaking about this for years. We have taken advice from engineers in the power industry, who say that wind power cannot fulfill any of the environmental benefit promises made for it, because it needs fossil-fuel backup.”
So what does all of this mean, especially to us down here in the U.S.? If we have any hope at achieving success at lowering GHG emissions, all renewables and clean energy sources have a role to play, including nuclear power, and we have to get that right by treating them equally.
The Clean Power Plan calls for a near 20% reduction in U.S. carbon emissions from 2012 baseline levels by 2030. But here’s how the Clean Power Plan works—or doesn’t work, in the case of nuclear power. The draft rule sets forth an emissions rate baseline of CO2 emitted per megawatt-hour of fossil fuel generation. Each state can then lower that rate using the various so-called building blocks provided in the draft rule, which include: (1) tweaking fossil plants to be more efficient; (2) changing dispatch patterns of power sources so lower GHG plants are used more frequently; (3) using more zero and low-emitting sources like renewables (wind, solar, and geothermal) and nuclear; and (4) implementing energy efficiency measures. The draft rule allows for a 100% credit for all existing wind, solar, and geothermal sources, but only a 6% credit for nuclear. There’s no room at the inn for the other 94% of nuclear.
It’s puzzling why the Clean Power Plan is drafted this way given the key role that experts say nuclear will need to play in getting us anywhere close to the goal set forth in the Plan itself.  Even more puzzling is that another federal agency, the Energy Department, has scenarios that project the retirement rate of nuclear as high as 33%. Even the Clean Power Plan’s own 6% figure for retirement would increase atmospheric emissions from 200 million to 300 million tons in the next ten years.
Nuclear power is the work-horse of power supply and of zero-carbon generation.  Nuclear plants operate around the clock in all weather, providing nearly 20% of the nation’s electricity supply and comprising about 63.3% of all clean (zero carbon emissions) energy, which is more than all other clean energy sources put together.
In formulating the final rule, the Environmental Protection Agency would do well to take a look at the Hatch report, seriously consider its findings, and put nuclear on par with other zero carbon generating sources.
Michael L. Krancer is Partner & Energy, Petrochemical and Natural Resources Practice Group Leader at Blank Rome LLP and a former secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. His blog, Energy Trends Watch, follows developments in energy, petrochemical and natural resources.

CROP REPORT FOR THE PERIOD OCTOBER 21 TO 27, 2014

CROP REPORT FOR THE PERIOD OCTOBER 21 TO 27, 2014

Released on October 30, 2014

DETAILED REPORT IS AT Crop Report Backgrounder

Harvest is nearly complete with 99 per cent of the 2014 crop off the field, according to Saskatchewan Agriculture’s Weekly Crop Report.
The southwestern, west-central, northeastern and northwestern areas are 99 per cent complete, while the southeastern and east-central areas are reporting 98 per cent complete.  There are still some flax, soybean, chickpea and oat crops left to be combined when the weather improves.
Precipitation was received in most regions last week, with some areas reporting an inch or more.  Snowfall was also received in some areas on Monday.  Across the province, topsoil moisture conditions on cropland are rated as 13 per cent surplus, 81 per cent adequate, five per cent short and one per cent very short.  Hay land and pasture topsoil moisture is rated as six per cent surplus, 87 per cent adequate, six per cent short and one per cent very short.
Farmers are busy wrapping up harvest as weather allows, moving cattle, working fields and completing fall work.
Follow the 2014 Crop Report on Twitter at @SKAgriculture.
-30-
For more information, contact:
Shannon Friesen Agriculture Moose Jaw Phone: 306-694-3592

Average weekly earnings and number of people working in Saskatchewan up in August

Statistic Canada
October 30, 2014
Average weekly earnings in Saskatchewan were up 4% in August 2014 from August 2013.
The number of people working in Saskatchewan was up 1.4% in August 2014 from August 2013.
Earnings 1 Oct 2014 Earnings 2 Oct 2014
Employees 1 Oct 2014 Employees 2 Oct 2014

Rail safety measures announced

30 Oct 2014
Calgary Herald
GORDON ISFELD AND KRISTINE OWRAM FINANCIAL POST
Rail safety measures announced
Small operators says new costs could be onerous
OTTAWA/ TORONTO — New railway safety measures announced by the federal government Wednesday run the risk of putting smaller railroads out of business unless “significant dollars” are provided to help them address shortcomings, according to one short- line operator.
Ottawa is tightening safety measures for railways operating in Canada in the aftermath of last year’s deadly derailment in Lac- Megantic, Que., in which “rules simply were not followed,” Transport Minister Lisa Raitt said Wednesday.
This includes an “audit blitz” of short lines to find any gaps in safety training.
But not all short lines — defined as railroads operating over a relatively short distance — are the same and they shouldn’t be treated as such, said Ken Eshpeter, chairman of the Battle River Railway based in Forestburg, Alta.
“New legislation aimed at making short lines safer may become so burdensome both operationally and financially that they could put short lines out of business,” Eshpeter said in an email.
“If the federal and provincial governments were going to partner those blitz audits with significant dollars to help short lines address safety shortcomings found in those audits, we would have no issue with [ them],” he added. “If we have to fund the improvements with our own resources then I see the possibility of big trouble.”
Raitt, speaking to reporters in Ottawa, said the new measures “will improve railway safety and make the transportation industry more accountable.”
“We will always remember what happened in Lac- Megantic,” she said.
The short- line derailment in July 2013 caused an explosion that killed 47 people and destroyed part of the southern Quebec town. The Montreal, Maine & Atlantic train, which was carrying volatile crude oil, broke loose after being left unattended for the night and slammed into the tiny community. It has been described as Canada’s worst train disaster.
Ottawa has accepted the recommendations by the Transportation Safety Board, issued in July, that will give the federal government “greater powers to enforce and respond quickly to safety issues and they will help protect Canadian communities and strengthen our transportation network — because that is a vital element of our economy and our country,” Raitt said.
The new measures cover four areas, beginning with ensuring that unattended trains are properly secured.
All rail operators will need to meet “minimum requirements for hand- brake application” and to test hand- brake effectiveness.
The changes will also require “additional defences for all trains on all main lines, on sidings and other appropriate locations to physically prevent unattended trains from rolling away.”
As well, Raitt said Transport Canada will take steps “to improve how transportation operators implement safety management systems in this country.”
To do this, Transport Canada will add more staff to conduct frequent “safety audits,” and require improved information- sharing between the federal agency and municipalities “to ensure better long- term tracking and followup.”
Raitt said “monetary penalties” will be imposed for non- compliance.
Lee Jebb, vice- president of railway operations at short- line Central Manitoba Railway Inc., said audits take “time, money and effort” but he’s not worried about the new approach.
“We think we’re in good shape and we believe that our operations would stand up to the scrutiny of whatever an ‘ audit blitz’ is,” Jebb said in an interview.
Transport Canada staff — with expertise in this area — will also be assigned to conduct research into the hazards of crude oil and their labelling, Raitt said, adding that not enough was known about “the properties of the crude oil that was being carried on the train that exploded in Lac- Megantic.”
Both Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. and Canadian National Railway Co. said they intend to fully comply with the new regulations.

Wheat, canola prices remain low

30 Oct 2014
Leader-Post
BRUCE JOHNSTONE
LEADER-POST
Wheat, canola prices remain low
BMO report says lengthy sag expected
From near-record highs two years ago, prices for canola, wheat and other crops have fallen to new lows, thanks to supplies left over from last year’s record harvest in Western Canada and back-to-back bumper crops in the U.S., according to the latest commodity report from BMO.
“Just two years ago, crop prices were flirting with all-time highs after several years of poor growing conditions and a severe drought in the (U.S.) Midwest depressed production and depleted stockpiles,” said Aaron Goertzen, an economist with BMO Capital Markets. “How dramatically things have changed since then.”
North American farmers are now harvesting their second consecutive bumper crop and major crop prices are once again under heavy downward pressure. Corn and soybeans — the continent’s two largest crops — have been hit especially hard, but the prices of all major field crops are well below their post-recession highs, the report said.
Corn and soybean prices have fallen by 34 per cent and 25 per cent respectively from last year and are down 60 per cent and 40 per cent respectively from their postrecession peaks two years ago.
“Sharply lower corn and soybean prices have had big knock-on effects in other crop markets where yields were not as strong. The impact has been particularly evident in the canola market, where prices are down 22 per cent year-over-year despite a lacklustre crop, as a deluge of soybeans has poured into oilseed markets,” BMO said.
While this year’s wheat harvest has been restrained by lower acreage and poor growing conditions in many regions, wheat prices have barely budged, as existing stockpiles have tempered upward pressure on prices, the report said.
“Unfortunately for farmers, … crop prices will likely remain low for some time,” BMO said. Domestic food consumption is relatively insensitive to swings in crop prices and grocery budgets are already stretched by surging meat prices, so excess crop stockpiles will take time to work down.
Export demand is unlikely to pick up the slack either, as global yields have been above-average for all major crops this year. Supply factors are also pointing to a lengthy sag in prices.
Since some farmers are holding their crops onfarm in the hope that market conditions will improve, any near-term upturn in prices could spur a fresh flood of supply. And with crop prices weak across the board, farmers have few options to reallocate their acreage toward scarce crops next year.
Limited transport capacity will exacerbate the supply overhang in U.S. states where grain companies compete against oil producers for scarce rail capacity. “Fortunately, a more moderate harvest north of the border should make distribution less of a problem in Canada this year,’’ the report added.
“All of this means that crop prices are unlikely to rebound with gusto any time soon, and our 2015 forecasts for wheat and canola prices have therefore been revised lower,” the report said.
Wheat prices are expected to average $9.40 US per bushel in 2015, up six per cent from an expected average of $8.90 US in 2014, while canola prices are expected to average $415 US per tonne in 2015, up just four per cent from an anticipated average of $398 US in 2014, BMO said.

International teams to compete at U of S mining competition

30 Oct 2014
The StarPhoenix
THE STARPHOENIX
International teams to compete at U of S mining competition
The University of Saskatchewan will compete this weekend in the National Mining Competition (NMC) along with teams from the United Kingdom, United States, India, Germany and the rest of Canada.
Organized by U of S students, NMC is Canada’s first mining strategy case competition that brings together business, engineering and geology students to apply their skills in a 36-hour mining challenge.
The competition is being held at the Delta Bessborough, U of S and TCU Place starting Thursday and going to Sunday. The top six teams will present to a panel of industry judges.
“The National Mining Competition is on track to being the most successful iteration yet with a now international presence of prestigious universities and top mining schools attending, as well as a panel discussion featuring Canadian mining company magnates at our awards gala,” stated Chris Chovin, competition co-chair internal, in a news release.
“The mining community in Saskatchewan is incredibly supportive of the competition and we really want to showcase the province as a great place to work to the competing students,” added Cooper Meadows, co-chair external for the games.
For further information about the National Mining Competition, please visit http://www.nmcompetition.com

TransCanada files application for approval of Energy East pipeline

TransCanada files application for approval of Energy East pipeline
Jeff Lewis, Shawn McCarthy and NICOLAS VAN PRAET
CALGARY, OTTAWA AND MONTREAL — The Globe and Mail
Published Wednesday, Oct. 29 2014, 12:54 PM EDT
Last updated Thursday, Oct. 30 2014, 7:19 AM EDT
TransCanada Corp. has filed for regulatory approval for its massive Energy East pipeline, even as the project faces new competition from U.S. shale producers in key Eastern Canadian markets.
TransCanada submitted a formal application for the $12-billion project Thursday, kicking off a lengthy hearing process and environmental review for the 1.1-million-barrel-a-day pipeline. The Calgary-based company has pitched the project as a boon for Eastern Canadian refineries that currently rely on pricier Brent crude for feedstock. But those facilities are increasingly tapping cheap oil from U.S. suppliers as the boom in shale oil spills north across the border.
Valero Energy Corp., for instance, said its Jean Gaulin refinery near Quebec City will run on 100 per cent North American crude once Enbridge Inc.’s Line 9 pipeline, a rival to Energy East, starts up. Suncor Energy Inc. has also shipped crude by tanker from as far as Texas for use in its Montreal refinery, while Irving Oil Ltd. in New Brunswick has scoured the globe for bargain-priced oil.
The influx of cheap crude represents a new challenge for TransCanada as it seeks to build domestic support for Energy East, a project supporters say is key to attracting higher prices for Alberta’s landlocked crude as competing projects are sidelined by opposition and political wrangling.
“If we’re not making progress on some of the other directions, than the Energy East project becomes even more interesting,” said Craig Alexander, chief economist at TD Bank in Toronto.
The U.S. shale boom has dramatically altered Quebec’s diet of crude, replacing such traditional supply sources as Algeria. So far this year, about 51 per cent of the province’s oil imports have come from the U.S., according to Statistics Canada data. That has translated into lower gasoline prices for consumers in the province compared with the rest of Canada, generating $280-million in savings for Quebec households from January to August, according to National Bank research.
“It’s a big, big deal,” economist Stéfane Marion said. “Just switching to the U.S., we’ve seen [a significant] relief at the pump for Quebec consumers.”
Still, he said, “There is still some scope for the consumer to benefit” from more western crude.
With Energy East, TransCanada plans to convert portions of its under-used mainline natural gas system to carry crude as far as eastern Ontario, adding new pipe to get oil to tanker ports in Quebec and New Brunswick. In all, the project would span 4,600 kilometres, with crude deliveries starting in late 2018.
The pipeline is deeply controversial. It has won broad political backing in energy-rich Alberta as well as in New Brunswick, whose new premier, Brian Gallant, pledged support for the project this month in Calgary.
But gas distributors in Quebec and Ontario are wary, fearing that switching portions of the pipeline in eastern Ontario from natural gas service to crude oil would choke off gas supplies in heavily populated markets.
TransCanada rejects that view. Chief executive officer Russ Girling has said the project could give Canadian oil a path to the U.S. Gulf Coast and across the ocean to Europe and India. The company insists the pipeline will push out foreign imports to domestic refineries, bolstering Eastern Canadian plants that are currently captive to pricier imports from Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Venezuela and Algeria.
Environmentalists on Wednesday challenged that claim, pointing to data that show eastern refineries are quickly replacing supplies from those countries with a flood of shale oil from the U.S.
Refiners are eager for more. Valero’s Quebec plant would benefit from additional suppliers of crude, spokesman Bill Day said. Irving Oil is also looking west. “We anticipate sourcing a significant amount of crude oil from the pipeline for refining into finished products here in New Brunswick,“ spokeswoman Samantha Robinson said.
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