Oil-Sands Crude Sails From B.C., Sidestepping Federal Ban

Oil-Sands Crude Sails From B.C., Sidestepping Federal Ban

SOURCE: Bloomberg DATE: September 25, 2019 SNIP: A Canadian law barring oil tankers from the northern coast of British Columbia hasn’t stopped crude from setting sail there. Two Calgary-based companies, Melius Energy and BitCrude, are exploiting a loophole in the law passed this summer — by shipping semi-solid bitumen mined from oil sands on a cargo ship rather than in liquid form on an oil tanker. About 130 barrels of bitumen left Prince Rupert, B.C., on Saturday bound for a refinery in China, according to Cal Broder, founder of both companies and chairman of BFH Corp. He declined to name the cargo’s buyer. Canada’s Senate in June passed Bill C-48, banning oil tankers off the northern B.C. coast, against the objections of the oil sands-producing province of Alberta. Broder was able to get around the ban by sending the bitumen in a 20-foot shipping container in a semi-solid state, undiluted with lighter oils such as condensate. The concept of sending bitumen in solid form in shipping containers isn’t new. Companies have been developing technologies to send oil in the form of bricks or pellets for several years. The technology could help Canadian oil producers overcome a pipeline shortage that’s caused local oil prices to collapse last year and prompted the Alberta government to impose production limits on large producers. The bitumen shipped to China came from an oil sands producer that Broder didn’t identify. After diluent was removed, it was loaded onto a rail car and sent to Prince Rupert. Broder said he is currently setting up a processing center near Edmonton and plans to start shipping his undiluted...
A Pipeline Controversy Explained: Is Washington Now In The Tar Sands Crosshairs?

A Pipeline Controversy Explained: Is Washington Now In The Tar Sands Crosshairs?

SOURCE: Sightline DATE: June 7, 2018 SNIP: It seems likely that the Canadian province of Alberta—home to a massive tar sands industry that produces some of the globe’s dirtiest and most polluting oil—has put the Pacific Northwest in its crosshairs. The province is partnering with the Canadian government to ram through the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline, a 715-mile conduit that would carry up to 890,000 barrels of oil per day from the Canadian interior to southwest British Columbia. Much of that oil would be exported by tanker from a port just outside Vancouver—resulting in a seven-fold increase in oil tanker trips from the Port of Vancouver into the Salish Sea. Additional tar sands oil would make its way south to Puget Sound refineries, via a 69-mile pipeline called the Puget Sound Pipeline (PSP). … But hidden in the details was a surprising fact: the Canadian government intends to buy not only Trans Mountain, but also the Puget Sound Pipeline. Strikingly, this means that the government of Canada is poised to become the sole owner of an oil pipeline feeding Washington State refineries. Even more troublingly, Kinder Morgan has been telling investors for years that it is considering doubling the capacity of the Puget Sound Pipeline. … In light of the undeniable fact that tar sands oil produces far more climate-warming emissions than other types of oil, Alberta’s commitment to boosting tar sands projects is nothing short of alarming. Today, the region produces about 2.8 million barrels of tar sands oil per day, or about a billion barrels a year. But if the Canadian government’s plans come to...