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Old 05-22-2012, 06:43 PM   #1
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Default Canadian Oil the Answer?

I don't know about you, but I can barely afford to fill up my tank. Extended trips are out of the question. What is the answer?

http://www.theoildrum.com/

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There is no doubt that there is a huge amount of resource in place - between 1.7 and 2.5 trillion barrels, according to the Oil Sands Discovery Centre's Oil Sands Story. Of this, 173 billion barrels (about 10%) is considered producible with current technology at 2006 prices ($66 barrel for WTI). Production to date has been relatively low, though--only 1.2 million barrels a day in 2008, according to Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP).



A big part of the reason that Canada can export oil to the United States is the fact that it is importing oil on its East Coast for its own use. When one looks at oil sands in relationship to its other oil sources (including imports), oil sands oil is only about one quarter of the total. The non-oil sands portion is expected to decrease in the future, so a significant increase in oil sands production is needed simply to offset expected decreases elsewhere. See my earlier post about this.
Unless oil prices rise above today's level, and stay higher, it seems unlikely that there will be a major increase in oil sands production. Don Thompson from the Oil Developers Group told us that in order to justify new development, the cost of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude must be at least $80 a barrel. CERA indicates in a new report (free with registration) that more than 70% of proposed Oil Sands expansion projects were postponed, after the drop in oil prices in 2008. CERA quotes a needed WTI price of $65 to $85 barrel to justify Oil Sands expansion--but based on a rate of return of 10%--which is probably not high enough.
Even beyond high oil prices, a major ramp up would also require a huge amount of investment funds. For example, if one wanted to add 1 million barrels a day of upgraded oil by adding new mines and upgraders, it would require an investment of roughly $126 billion dollars, based on a CERA estimate of $126,000 per flowing barrel. It would also require a huge amount of credit availability and a veritable army of workers.
In the absence of a major improvement in technology (or perhaps even with one, since a big change in technology often takes a long time to implement), my estimate of the ramp up in oil sands production to 2020 is given below:



I am forecasting that oil sands production will approximately double by 2020 (from 1.2 million barrels per day in 2008, to 2.4 million barrels a day in 2020). This forecast, in part, reflects Tony Eriksen's ("ace's") calculation that projects already approved and in construction are expected to bring production up to 1.94 million bpd. Growth beyond that is expected to be constrained for a number of reasons, including difficulty in obtaining sufficient investment funds, need for a high price of oil to justify new construction, difficulty in obtaining enough diluent, and the possibility that royalties will be higher as governments discover that oil companies are among the few companies from whom higher taxes might be extracted.

How much Canadian oil will the United States import?



Will oil actually be exported to the US?

But how likely is this scenario? When one reads Canadian material, it becomes clear that many Canadians would very much like to diversify the countries it exports to, even if currently nearly all pipelines lead from Canada to the United States. With the US as its only export partner, Canada has little leverage in bargaining over price. Also, there are details such as the US charging less for gasoline than Canada--why should Canadians be taxed to keep their consumption down, and the same time Americans can buy Canadian oil and sell it for less? NAFTA limits changes right now, but over the long term, that can be changed.
Canada is already working on an approach that will allow it to export oil in directions other than the US, to help diversify its exports. The approach is a rail link that acts like a pipeline, and can be implemented quite quickly. China and others with few environmental concerns are particularly favored as export partners. Canadian National (CN) also has tracks going East, so this approach could also be used to bring oil from western Canada to eastern Canada.
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Old 05-22-2012, 06:47 PM   #2
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Default Re: Canadian Oil the Answer?

Oil has one international price, we can easily run off our oil, but it's easier to import it and sell our own.
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Old 05-22-2012, 06:49 PM   #3
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Default Re: Canadian Oil the Answer?

tl;dr

Electric cars can solve the gas problem, albeit they don't get you far.
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Old 05-22-2012, 06:51 PM   #4
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Default Re: Canadian Oil the Answer?

Until electric cars are more affordable, the average person cannot buy one and therefore are forced to drive gas guzzlers. It's kinda like when you go to the store to buy groceries. The healthy food always cost more than the junk.
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Old 05-22-2012, 07:05 PM   #5
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Default Re: Canadian Oil the Answer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Miss Kitty View Post
Until electric cars are more affordable, the average person cannot buy one and therefore are forced to drive gas guzzlers. It's kinda like when you go to the store to buy groceries. The healthy food always cost more than the junk.
Yeah that's twisted logic. It's worth getting the more expensive products, but why do that when there's a McDonald's right down the street?

That's why Americans are so fat and lazy-
(Getting off topic, I'm gonna actually read the OP now. xD)
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Old 05-23-2012, 06:06 PM   #6
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Default Re: Canadian Oil the Answer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by leaf777 View Post
Yeah that's twisted logic. It's worth getting the more expensive products, but why do that when there's a McDonald's right down the street?

That's why Americans are so fat and lazy-
(Getting off topic, I'm gonna actually read the OP now. xD)
Wow lol another guy generalizing and insulting the American people. I am always skeptical of patriotism and I'm not a big fan of group identity either but when I see oversimplified stereotypes like this I feel the need to actually say something. Are the obesity rates abnormally high in the US? Yes, but other developed nations have this problem as well. As for laziness I don't need to disprove this stereotype people can do it on their own, it's a weak one like the British having bad teeth or the French having unpleasant aromas. Stupidity and laziness are more egalitarian than all of us: these qualities have the amazing power to transcend race, gender, nationality, sexual orientation, able bodiedness, religion, and the list goes on.

The problem of availability and price is very real and complex, hate to break it to you but it's going to be a lot harder than writing off an entire nation as overweight and unmotivated.
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Old 05-24-2012, 09:46 PM   #7
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Default Re: Canadian Oil the Answer?

They have cars designed that can run off of natural gas. We just do not have the infrastructure and the oil companies have their hands far up the butt of gov't and vice versa. This is why we limit gov't powers. So that if powerful companies to buy it out they won't be able to use the gov't as a tool to stifle competition or newer and better products.
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Old 05-24-2012, 09:58 PM   #8
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Default Re: Canadian Oil the Answer?

Why would the US need canadian oil? Just start drilling in California and Pennsylvania and you'll have enough oil for the next 100 years.
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