Thursday, June 26, 2008

Obama & the Canadian oil market

Canadian oil exported to the U.S. is drawn from oil sands using extraction processes which produce more carbon emissions than is typical when extracting crude oil.

Recently, Senator Barack Obama and a group of Democratic mayors railed against America's importation of Canadian oil.

They've drawn a response in the form of an editorial by Canada's National Post. Extracts from the NP's editorial follow with my comments below the star line.

The NP begins - - -

Big-city U. S. mayors and presidential hopeful Barack Obama, who joined the parade this week of ill-informed, U. S. anti-oil sands policies, should be careful what they wish for.

While the aim is undoubtedly to pander to the electorate in an election year charged with oil and climate-change debate, what they are stoking is an increasingly angry Canadian energy industry that is seriously looking at non-U. S. markets for its oil.

Here's what Rick George, chief executive of Suncor Energy Inc., Canada's largest single oil sands producer, said this week, reflecting rising frustration with the wave of American anti-oil sands policies:

"We are down to very limited amounts of spare capacity," he said. "Mexico is in very steep decline. The North Sea is in decline. Venezuela is likely to slip from here. There are problems in Nigeria, Russia. The world will absorb this oil one way or the other. If the U. S. doesn't take it, then we will develop other markets." ...
Yesterday, Mr. Obama vowed to break America's addiction to "dirty, dwindling and dangerously expensive" oil if elected U. S. president -- and he said one of his first targets may well be imports from Canada's oil sands. A senior advisor to Obama's campaign said it's an "open question" whether Alberta's oil sands fit with Obama's vision for shifting the U. S. dramatically away from carbon-intensive fuels. ...

Canada's oil is now exported almost exclusively to the United States because it's dependent on the reach of pipelines. Of the 2.7 million barrels produced daily, 1.6 million is sold to Americans and 15,000 to 25,000 goes to non-U. S. markets, through a Kinder Morgan Energy Partners oil pipeline from Alberta to the West Coast.

That picture could soon change.(all emphasis added)

The sector is looking at reversing Enbridge Inc.'s Line 9, which would allow Western Canadian oil to move all the way to Montreal, and then from there move on another pipeline to the East coast, where it could be loaded on tankers for sale offshore.

Because the pipelines are already built, it's estimated it would take barely a year to reverse the flow of the oil and open that new option.

Meanwhile, interest is perking up yet again to build another pipeline from Alberta to the West Coast, to Kitimat or Prince Rupert, where oil tankers could sail to Asian markets.

Greg Stringham, vice-president of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, said oil-sands companies are studying the alternatives because they want to keep their options open in case U. S. policies reduce their access to the U. S. market. ...

The entire NP editorial is here.



Senator Obama's had so much to do lately including:

Disowning his close friend and pastor of twenty years he said he could "no more disown" than "the black community."

Planning the "free health care" he's going to "give" all 300 million of us.

Counting those tens of millions coming to his campaign from special interest groups.

And accusing people of making bitter racist attacks on him and planning new ones.

With Obama having to do all that and more, I wouldn't be surprised to learn he doesn't know very much about the Canadian oil market.

What do you think?

Hat tip: AC


Anonymous said...

Add to Mr. Obama's recent chores: he has to make it sound like he's always supported the individual right of Americans to keep and bear arms, even though his record clearly shows he has advocated making ownership of guns illegal. Remember during the primaries that little minuet Mr. Obama danced with Hillary Rodham about who loved guns more?? You can always tell when a leftist is lying: their mouth is moving.
Tarheel Hawkeye

Anonymous said...

Love ya Hawk. Keep comments coming!!

Anonymous said...

Why not blame the ‘Canadian Oil Sheiks’ for high gas prices?
Canada is a top exporter of Oil and total petroleum, but not a part of OPEC. However, it is charging the same price as the Saudis. If we develop our own resources, perhaps we can cut them out of the deal as well.

BillyB said...

I have said from the beginning, Mr. Obama will self-destruct before the elections.

The man is really stupid. He has no concept that words mean something.

The only way he will be elected is if a willing press lets him keep saying stupid things, the say he's sorry and can't we just move on.

He's made enough blunders so far that Democrats HAVE to be considering nominating Hillary. Barack Obama is a menace to this country.

Anonymous said...

"Develop our own resources" - what a wonderful and effective idea. Why didn't Congresss think of that? Are you listening Congress?? Congress?? Come in Congress --- Steve in New Mexico

Anonymous said...

80 % of Floridians now vote to drill for oil. Tourism is down due to high gas prices.(Oh Really?)

Cuba is allowing China to drill fifty miles from Florida, while the USA is not allowed to drill, even 100 miles offshore.(Oh Really?)

The Governor of Alaska says,“Come drill, Alaska wants to help America.(Oh Really?)

Democrats up for election are getting nervous about their ‘No Drilling’ stance. (Oh Really?)

The ‘Drill Here-Drill Now’ petition that hoped for 300,000 signatures to send to congress, is heading toward 2 million signatures.(Really!)

Anonymous said...

John -

As I mentioned in one of my other comments, Congress is incoherent when it comes to oil in particular and energy in general. Here we are paying $4 (or more) a gallon and Obama is railing against Canadian oil. What does he want, $10 a gallon?

Also note something else I mentioned. The National Post article you cited does not use the term, "global warming." Rather, it uses the term, "climate change." As I indicated, no one can ever be wrong using that term because the climate is alway changing. That kind of language fails the falsifiability test required of science. When something does that it leaves the realm of science and enters some other realm, and I wouldn't even say religion. How clever.

Jack in Silver Spring