NoKXL_polar bearFor years now the Canadians have been engaged in a ruthless and relentless international public relations campaign to sell tar sands to the world.

The two bottlenecks that they are trying to unblock are the KXL pipeline in the US, and climate legislation in the EU.

We know the stakes are high, but just how high is becoming clearer.

According to a report released yesterday by RBC Dominion Securities in Canada, saying ‘No’ to KXL could put a massive $9-billion of tar sands investment at risk over the next seven years. However much of this money could just be deferred until viable alternative routes are available.

But if the pipeline is not built at all, it could kill $2.4-billion of tar sands investment altogether.

The bottom line is that KXL is vital to keep the tar sands boom from going bust, especially as Canada faces growing competition for jobs from America’s burgeoning fracking industry and even Canada’s own shale developments. Even a delay in the KXL decision could be highly damaging.

André Goffart, the head of E&P for Total in Canada admitted to the Financial Times yesterday that “The logistics are critical in the development of the oil sands. If Keystone is delayed this year, I believe the industry will not be able to keep up with the current pace of development.”

Others agree. If KXL is rejected by Obama it “might result in delays at those projects that have not been sanctioned yet such as Fort Hills or Joslyn,” argues Skip York, vice-president of Americas downstream consulting at Wood Mackenzie.

Even Joe Oliver, Canada’s Minister for Natural Resources admits that without the necessary infrastructure such as KXL, the tar sands are “stranded.”

Indeed there are already signs that the delay over KXL is hitting tar sands investment already, as it is increasing the uncertainty in what is already a volatile market.

On Friday Canada’s Globe and Mail  reported that at least a half dozen oil companies– including Marathon Oil; Murphy Oil Corp; and Athabasca Oil had sought buyers and partners in the tar sands recently, but all have failed.

The paper adds that “those companies join ConocoPhillips Co., Koch Industries Inc. and Royal Dutch Shell PLC in being disappointed after putting properties up for sale that may have once attracted bids totalling in the billions of dollars.”

As Alberta stalls, Canada’s shale gas is booming. The Financial Post reported yesterday that “British Columbia’s shale gas fields stand to gain as buyers flee landlocked bitumen reserves in neighbouring Alberta.”

Tom Valentine, a partner in the Calgary office of Norton Rose Canada LLP, told the paper that would-be buyers “are now looking at Alberta as a real worrisome investment opportunity, and that’s why I think you’re seeing some of the excitement migrating to the other side of the mountains.”


One Comment

  • Fracking literally poisoms groumdater in every location where it is used. Aquifers are necessary for all life and farming. Livestock have died in numerous locations, ground water has become flamable in numerous place, soil has become toxic to all vegetatoin in numerous places, in order to keep it quiet drilling companies (big oil) have provided entire towns with trucked in drinking to help them as long as they won’t talk about it, local officials in many places have been bribed or otherwise financial compensagtions paid to townsto allow fracking, which in turn kills the towns water and agriculture, which will eventually kill these small towns where Ameicans live and support the foods of us rely on, that won’t be able to grow there any longer.Internal corporatecommunications regarding KXL tell us that it was designed to raise US fuel prices, refine deisel not gasoline and he deisel is for export to the world market. The jobs of constructing it are mostly filled andso are almost all the few refinery jobs inflated to sell the pipeline to politicians, along with tidy sums donated to scores of campaigs. Anything on the Earth that damages it so and hurts so many animals amd American livihoods, while beinf sold with lies and supported with lies and criminal acts, just becauset hey can is an abomination to man and God. Neither will be pleased with the outcomes. KXL is evil as are the people selling it and forcing it through on Americanswho will almost entirely go without benefot amd pay he damage of hgiher price. Oil Companies are already gouging and have been for a long time, hence year after years of dozens of billions in profits.

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