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View Diary: Canadians Import Texas Oil Instead of Building a Pipeline East, Fear Spills (61 comments)

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  •  They have been doing so for quite a while (14+ / 0-)

    Or at least importing oil through the U.S., although I don't know where the oil originates.

    There is a pipeline from Portland, Maine, to Montreal that has been around since 1941.  Tankers arrive in Portland harbor and the oil is than shipped through the pipeline to Canada.  

    As a fallback if Keystone XL is blocked, the tar sands companies have considered building a pipeline through Canada (which is what the Diary suggests some Canadians are resisting) that would connect to the Portland-Montreal pipeline -- which would then have its flow reversed so the tar sands oil could be exported to Europe via Portland harbor.

    One of the several dirty little secrets that the proponents of Keystone XL don't talk about is that all of the tar sands oil is intended for export and not for use in the U.S.  The oil companies would like to export it through the U.S. ports on the Gulf of Mexico, but if they can't do that, they'll try a pipeline through the "First Nations" land to Vancouver or through eastern Canada as above.

    We must drive the special interests out of politics.… There can be no effective control of corporations while their political activity remains. To put an end to it will neither be a short not an easy task, but it can be done. -- Teddy Roosevelt

    by NoMoJoe on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 04:28:38 PM PDT

    •  Major Enbridge pipeline expansion is planned (10+ / 0-)

      It may be like adding another Keystone XL.

      The export of Powder River Basin coal to China could add as much carbon to the atmosphere as exploiting the tar sands, but it wouldn't destroy as much land and water.

      Unfortunately, the bad shit keeps on coming at break neck speed.

      look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening.

      by FishOutofWater on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 04:34:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The Maine pipeline (6+ / 0-)

      flow is currently under consideration for reversal, probably to carry more tar sands oil out of Canada.  Right through imporatnt watersheds, e.g., Sebago Lake which provides drinking water for Portland ME.  Not a good idea.

      Democrats give you the Bill of Rights; Republicans sell you a bill of goods!

      by barbwires on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 05:14:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Around First Nations land (7+ / 0-)

      This map is obsolete:

       photo YDAmap_comp1.jpg

      The BC pipeline proposals are in addition to the KXL proposal, not

      but if they can't do that, they'll try a pipeline through the "First Nations" land to Vancouver
       photo kitimatmap.jpg

      TransMountain avoids First Nations Land, and the Enbridge proposal is going to be rerouted.

      But as you say, if the KXL is stopped then this proposal will get more attention:

       photo Screen20shot202012-06-2120at209055820AM.png

      ...... Social Security blogathon March 25th thru March 29th. #HandsOffmySS FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

      by Roger Fox on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 05:33:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Exxon Mobil and Suncor own PMPL (5+ / 0-)

      and have major tar sands holdings, so yeah, the plan as I understand it is to pump the oil east, reverse the flow of Enbridge Line 9 from Sarnia to Montreal, and subsequently reverse the flow of the Portland-Montreal line to export dilbit from the east coast.

      Northern Gateway is still a couple of years away from approval, although I suspect it will be bogged down in the courts due to unresolved First Nations land claims in Northern B.C.  Kinder Morgan's Transmountain pipeline expansion is underway to export an additional 500,000 bbd through Vancouver along an existing right-of-way.  There is also a $13 billion proposal to build a refinery in Kitimat, B.C. to avoid shipping crude oil off the northern B.C. coast.

      Tar sands operators companies are counting on Keystone XL, Transmountain, and reversing the flows of existing pipeline infrastructure to lower the current price spread between Western Canadian Select and WTI until additional pipeline capacity comes on line.  The Achilles heal of the tar sands is that the oil is landlocked, so the economics of extracting, upgrading, and transporting the oil puts the tar sands producers at a significant disadvantage to other players in the market.

      Legalized corruption is destroying our democracy.

      by geodemographics on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 06:26:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm not so sure they will export dilbit from (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tofumagoo, Creosote

        the Atlantic coast of the US, EU refineries like light sweet, dont like sulfur and nitrogen. Portland Maine to the W. EU via supertanker is way shorter than shipping by supertanker from the Mid East to W. EU.

        Unless there is a dilbit customer outside the W. EU that makes sense, that I'm not seeing.

        The Achilles heal of the tar sands is that the oil is landlocked, so the economics of extracting, upgrading, and transporting the oil puts the tar sands producers at a significant disadvantage to other players in the market.
        Well said, this is vital to understand, if the tar sands partners want to produce 5mbpd, they need 5.1mbpd of pipeline capacity. Seawaymax tankers are the largest that can get from the Great Lakes to the Atlantic, not viable compared to supertankers. Rail is a temp solution.

        ...... Social Security blogathon March 25th thru March 29th. #HandsOffmySS FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

        by Roger Fox on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 06:39:23 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Re: dilbit refineries (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Creosote

          I don't have a definitive answer to that question but suspect that upgrades to existing heavy oil Gulf Coast refineries (financed through long-term offtake agreements with tar sands producers) would make the numbers work.

          Venezuela would also get poked in the eye.

          Legalized corruption is destroying our democracy.

          by geodemographics on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 09:16:25 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Gulf coast refineries can generally process (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            geodemographics

            synthetic heavy sour crude from tar sands without making any process modification from what is and was required from a process and environmental management standpoint to process heavy sour crude from Mexico, Venezuela and Saudi Arabia.   The upgrades have already been completed for heavy sour crude processing at most larger refineries.

    •  You said: (0+ / 0-)
      "One of the several dirty little secrets that the proponents of Keystone XL don't talk about is that all of the tar sands oil is intended for export and not for use in the U.S."
      I don't understand this compulsion on the part of the environmental community to swim in this particular conflation....that somehow all of the tar sands crude from the 830,000 barrels per day flow is either for direct export, or all for export after refining.

      What is going to happen with the Keystone XL Pipeline transported heavy sour crude is that it will replace heavy sour crude from Mexico, Venezuela and from the Saudi's.  The same thing will happen in the south central market that has happened in the Midwest market.....with existing refineries meeting matching their existing production capacity to their existing customers, the proportion of which are overwhelmingly domestic.

      Creating one conflation after another is no way to win the decision you're after on the Keystone XL Pipeline.

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