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PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2018 3:33 pm    Post subject: Pipeline Politics Reply with quote

We have no thread on the pipeline politics that seem destined to be the focus if and when the trade deal is struck ...

As I understand the pipeline issue ... it's a choice -- do we want to be a captive supplier of oil to the USA, or do we want to be able to participate in world markets?

If we can build pipelines to ocean ports, we can market an important resource and get higher prices. That wasn't so bad, but now the USA is the world's biggest supplier of oil. We are selling our oil into an oversupplied market at a discount.

I say "we", and of course the oil companies would profit most -- but remember how our dollar lost a dime when oil prices dropped? That's how 'we' profit. (If it pisses you off that the oil companies seem favoured, get some money and invest in them. That's how it works, figure it out!)

The other choice discourages investment and has other negative impacts.

Maybe I am wrong. It's just my frame of reference.

Second, we know Harper was working on pipelines in three directions, and that Trudeau cut one of them. They set guidelines, and the improved, privately owned pipeline had complied. Aboriginals were paid off, everything was at a late stage short of closing the deal. And this kicked up. The courts -- again!

Now, they're acting as if work can proceed, like it's all patched up. How does that happen? I thought the decision meant the government has to establish a few more facts and verify some results, and they get a green light. But it would take a year or two.

This is a bit of video on the subject ... it gives a sense of the importance of the project, and the frustration of a professional who works in the field ... 2 minutes.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2018 11:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have been remiss ... there have been a couple of encouraging developments. There is a sophisticated video -- high-priced videography, professional voice-overs -- explaining the economics of the pipeline, and identifying it as a vital national interest ... doing the work that journalists and politicians should have been doing.

Harper promoted this and patiently waited through the most extensive reviews ever, and never got it done. Trudeau taunted him with the fact that he was the one that would cut the ribbon and reap the electoral rewards. He kissed off the Eastern pipeline in the process.

Now there are signs within the Liberal party, and voiced by the boy PM himself, that they don't know exactly what they're going to do, but they are determined that the pipeline will be built. Now that they bought it, they are committed. Otherwise, it'll turn into the whitest of white elephants. (Trudeau is always at his best when he does what he has to do to avoid looking really bad.)

I think that's a fair summary of where it stands now. This study is probably another way they are embarking on undercutting conservationist concerns.

Feds launching review of oil tanker traffic in bid to renew pipeline approval
By The Canadian Press — Sep 21 2018
OTTAWA — The National Energy Board has less than six months to redo its environmental review of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, this time taking into account the impact of additional oil tanker traffic off the coast of British Columbia.

Three weeks after the Federal Court of Appeal overturned approval of the expansion project, Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi says the federal cabinet is giving the NEB 22 weeks to complete a thorough review of the environmental impact of additional oil tankers that would result from the additional flow of diluted bitumen from an expanded pipeline.

"We are confident that this plan will allow us to meet the high standards that Canadians expect when it comes to protecting the environment," Sohi said today.

The review will examine the impact on killer whales of the additional tankers — it's estimated the number of ships will go to about 35 a month from the current five.

Last month the appeal court quashed the NEB and cabinet blessing of the project, citing improper consultation with Indigenous communities and a lack of review of the marine shipping issue. The decision laid out some specific things Canada and the NEB must do if they want the pipeline green-lighted again.

"Obviously this decision was disappointing but by no means insurmountable," Sohi said.

Canada's plans to restart consultations with Indigenous communities will be announced shortly, he added. A source told The Canadian Press recently the government is looking at hiring a retired federal judge to help oversee those consultations with a view to ensuring they follow court-ordered processes exactly this time.

Sohi is also appointing a scientific technical adviser to the NEB review panel to help conduct the oil tanker review.

The expansion project features a second pipeline, roughly parallel to the existing one that runs between Edmonton and Burnaby, B.C. It would triple the total capacity but the new pipeline would carry only diluted bitumen for export to foreign refineries, while the existing one carries a number of products including refined oil and diluted bitumen.

Sohi made the announcement in Halifax, where he is hosting G7 energy ministers today. Their meeting comes after G7 environment ministers discussed issues including climate change earlier in the week.

Environment Minister Catherine McKenna said today the issue of expanding the pipeline was not raised at those meetings. However Canada has been heavily criticized by environment groups for approving the expanded pipeline, which they argue is incompatible with Canada's promise to cut greenhouse gas emissions and help slow global warming.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the cabinet argue Canada needs to continue to develop its resources even as it makes the slow transition to a greener, cleaner energy economy.

Canada issued cabinet approval for the expanded pipeline in 2016 but political opposition — particularly from the new NDP government in British Columbia, which doesn't want the pipeline — spooked investors from Kinder Morgan Canada enough that the company wanted to walk away from the project.

In May, Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced Canada would buy the existing pipeline from Kinder Morgan for $4.5 billion, expand it and then sell it back to a private buyer when the timing was right.

Imagine Doug Ford in this situation. I think it'd take him about five minutes to book some time with his legal brains to see if he could use the Notwithstanding clause on this.

And he'd be right!

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2018 2:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pipelines is a principal issue;
Not an Economic one.

The amount of revenue that Oil has generated for the Federal Government and many Provinces has gone a long way to pay for many of those programs we enjoy.

The trouble with Notley and Trudeau's (historic) positions on oil is they are largely effective when you are in opposition, but impossible to maintain when you are in Government.

We can't "stop" using oil overnight;
Alternative technologies are amongst the most government subsidized in human history and we still aren't there, when we get there I will be over the moon to fill my hovercraft with water, alcohol, horsehair or whatever the tech is at the time, but for the short term we are stuck with tanking up.

With that out of the way;

The Federal Government is in the process of talking tough with our greatest trade partner.

However the Federal Government has by its actions and inaction made us far more reliant on sending goods North than we were five years ago.

Trans Mountain gives Canada better access to the Asian Markets whose consumption is increasing and need alternate sources;

Energy East not only allowed for us to have better access to a European Market and assist them as their North Sea oil reserves decreased but also allowed us more freedom to refine our own oil into gasoline while producing Thousands of jobs in Quebec and the Martimes.

Having those in process would have made our negotiation with the US far more creditable than it is on this issue.

Instead we sit back and watch it go south, get refined in the south, and pay more for a full tank of gas in Edmonton than in Oregon.

Its Economic Madness.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2018 3:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do you really think they're talking tuff? As I see it, they're hardly talking at all.

The Canadian Minister of International Trade walked through the airport in Washington DC wearing a t-shirt with slogans on it. Once a week she goes to the office of the US Trade Ambassador, a far lower rank, in his office, so far as I can tell.

Do the Kremlinology.

Franz Kafka wrote a book called The Castle, in which a tutor arrives to teach the prince. He overplays his hand in negotiations. The book is a study of how impersonal bureaucracy wears down an individual who doesn't accept its terms. In the end, the tutor ends up chasing the sleigh of the overseer through the snow, begging ... and hardly anybody pays him any attention. His self-importance has been demolished.

I think of that book whenever I see the rictus grin of Crystia gazing out at me from a screen. It seems to characterize their vain enterprise. But there is no reason that Canada should pay the price.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2018 4:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

By talking tough;
I mean the usual petulant talking tough in front of microphones about how hard they are working for the average Canadian.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2018 12:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is the kind of thing investors are reading ...

Canadian Shale Is Hitting The Wall
by Tyler Durden
Tue, 09/25/2018 - 11:01

Authored by Tsvetana Paraskova via Oilprice.com,

Plunging Canadian prices have been depressing oil producers’ realized prices and revenues, even though the U.S. benchmark and the international Brent Crude prices have rallied year to date.

But it’s not only oil sands producers that have been coping with wide price differentials between Canadian crude oil prices and WTI this year.

Canada’s shale drillers have also started to face widening differentials between the Canadian benchmark for light oil delivered at Edmonton and WTI, due to - unsurprisingly - insufficient pipeline infrastructure to transport the light oil to the market.

The Edmonton sweet crude discount to WTI slumped to US$16 a barrel earlier this month - the widest spread since Bloomberg began compiling the data in June 2014.

Not that Western Canadian Select (WCS) - the benchmark price of oil from Canada’s oil sands delivered at Hardisty, Alberta - has been doing any better. The WCS discount to WTI has been more than US$20 this year, and even US$30 at one point.

This resulted in Canada Natural Resources saying in early August that it was allocating capital to lighter oil drilling and is curtailing heavy oil production as the price of Canadian heavy oil tumbled to a nearly five-year-low relative to the U.S. benchmark price.

Higher oil prices this year have encouraged more Canadian light tight oil and condensate drilling and production, but takeaway capacity - the weakest link of Canada’s oil industry - is maxed and has already started to affect the realized prices of shale drillers, similar to the widening discount for Midland crude from the Permian in the United States.

To be sure, Canadian shale producers are still making money, even with a wider discount, because WTI is now at $70 a barrel, analysts tell Bloomberg.

Yet, signs have begun to emerge that a glut has started to pile up, as shale and condensate production has been growing when pipeline infrastructure has not.

Combined condensate production in Alberta and British Columbia has surged from around 170,000 bpd in early 2014 to nearly 400,000 bpd in March and 366,000 bpd in May 2018, according to Bloomberg estimates based on National Energy Board (NEB) data.

Yet, shale and condensate drillers expect that the wider Canadian light oil discount to be temporary, Tom Whalen, CEO at the Petroleum Services Association of Canada, told Bloomberg.

Although light oil and condensate prices are currently depressed, due to the infrastructure constraints, analysts see one upside for the Canadian oil industry from the wider light oil discounts.

While the wide price differential for Canada’s heavy oil has prevented oil sands producers from taking full advantage of the international and U.S. WTI oil price increase over the past year, low Canadian condensate prices is helping their finances a bit, because they pay lower prices for the condensate to dilute the bitumen they produce.

Oil sands production has created a market for 500,000 bpd of condensate necessary to dilute the bitumen, Kevin Birn, director on the North American crude oil markets team at IHS Markit, told Bloomberg.

A large part of that condensate currently comes from imports of U.S. condensates. According to Birn, the idea that Canadian condensate could overtake imports from the United States wasn’t considered in the past.

“If it’s a battle for market share, it’s going to come down to U.S. imports being pulled back,” Birn said.

Canadian condensates may end up helping oil sands producers with cheaper domestic dilutents, but the widened price differential for Edmonton light crude highlights the key factor that has plagued Canadian oil prices this year and that will likely shape the fate of Canada’s industry over the next five years - not enough pipelines.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2018 10:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Feds restarting Indigenous talks over pipeline, won’t appeal court decision
By The Canadian Press — Oct 3 2018

OTTAWA — The federal government will not appeal the court decision that tore up cabinet approval for the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion and is appointing former Supreme Court justice Frank Iacobucci to oversee a new round of consultations with Indigenous communities.

Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi says the government does not intend to start the phase-three Indigenous consultations from the beginning, but will use them to address the weaknesses that led to the Federal Court of Appeal decision in August.

The court found that while the government did spend several months in 2016 meeting with Indigenous communities concerned about the pipeline, those consultations were largely note-taking exercises and the government did not do anything to address the concerns that were raised.

The Trans Mountain pipeline expansion plan to triple capacity of the existing pipeline between Edmonton and Burnaby, B.C., is in limbo while Ottawa attempts to fulfil requirements to consult Indigenous communities and consider the environmental impact the pipeline will have from additional oil tankers off the coast of British Columbia.

Last month, Sohi ordered the National Energy Board to go back and do a better environmental review of the risk of oil spills and the impact on marine life when the number of oil tankers in the Burrard Inlet rises to 35 a month from about five.

Sohi gave the NEB until the end of February to report back on the environmental review, but is not putting a deadline on the Indigenous consultations.

"We believe that meaningful consultation can be undertaken in a focused and efficient manner," he told a news conference today.

"We are not going to put a timeline on these consultations because we feel that it is our duty to faithfully engage with the Indigenous communities to get this right."

The Canadian Press

Watch them solve this one with bribes! Money. Our money ... well, borrowed money we will pay for forever ... and our children, and their children ...

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2018 12:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Explosion and fire at Canada's largest oil refinery
AFP AFP•October 8, 2018

Montreal (AFP) - An explosion and fire ripped through Canada's largest refinery Monday, injuring several workers in what its owner called a "major incident."

The blast was believed to be the result of a malfunction in the diesel refining section of the Irving Oil refinery in St John's, New Brunswick, said company executive Kevin Scott.

Officials said all the plant's workers were accounted for after the fire, and four people received hospital treatment for minor injuries.

Images posted on social media networks showed intermittent flames and a column of black smoke rising from the refinery, the country's largest with a production capacity of 300,00 barrels of refined products a day.

Rob Beebe, who lives near the refinery, told Radio Canada he felt his house shake, followed by a blast.

Refinery owner Irving Oil confirmed on Twitter that a "major incident" occurred there.

"We now understand that all employees and contractors working on site have been safely accounted for," it added.

"Several contractors are being treated for non-life threatening injuries in relation to this incident."

The large cloud of black smoke dissipated by early afternoon as the fire appeared to be under control.

Police maintained a cordon around the plant, which is located in a residential area and close to a regional hospital.

Despite Monday being Canada's Thanksgiving holiday, there were almost 3,000 workers at the plant at the time of the blast, since a major maintenance operation was taking place. [....]

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2018 9:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oilsands companies pull back on production as 'crisis' hits sector

Western Canadian oil is selling at a steep discount and analysts don't expect prices to bounce back soon
Kyle Bakx · CBC News · Posted: Nov 02, 2018 4:00 AM ET | Last Updated: an hour ago

With no immediate relief in sight from a collapse in Canadian oil prices, Alberta oilsands companies are beginning to turn down the taps and produce less oil.

Low prices for Canadian crude are causing a chill throughout the industry — from the oil majors, to the small service companies.

Cenovus announced on Wednesday it would limit its oil output by an unspecified amount, while Canadian Natural Resources followed on Thursday by stating it has already cut production by up to 15,000 barrels per day and could increase that figure to as much as 55,000 this month and in December.

Canadian prices crashed in September because of a backlog of oil in Alberta. The Fort McMurray region has increased production throughout this year, but export pipelines are full and several refineries in the U.S. which process heavy oil from Alberta, have shut down for maintenance in recent months.

I am wondering ... is Gerald Butts happy about this situation? Or is he upset?
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