Friday, February 1, 2013

Groundhog Day -- Keystone XL: At Least Another Six Months -- State Department Will Delay Decision Another Six Months

Updates

March 29, 2017: connecting the dots. Not quite a "commentary." 

March 24, 2017: Trump administration approves Keystone XL. Nebraska has not approved the new route; won't even get to the issue until September, 2017, the earliest. 

November 10, 2015: with regard to the Keystone, winners: Warren Buffett's BNSF, Venezuela, CBR in general, Enbridge. Losers: Canada, future large pipeline projects, the American public, Nebraska taxpayers, those who wait at RR crossings. 

November 6, 2015: SecState John Kerry (who served in Vietnam) kills the Keystone. President Obama says regardless of climate change issues, oil is so inexpensive now, the Keystone is not needed for national security. Very, very clever. Sort of a "present" vote. Obama/US public don't understand US refining; heavy oil; light oil; and why the decision to kill the Keystone was all about "saving" Saudi, Iraq, Iran at the expense of Canada. 

October/November 2015: Obama says he will decide Keystone issue before he leaves office.

February 22, 2014: Rigzone says the Nebraska PSC won't vote on the new Keystone XL route for at least seven months. This pushes the decision into 2015.

February 19, 2014: judge rules that the Nebraska governor did not have the authority to approve the new route for the Keystone XL 2.0 North. Back to square one. LOL. 

February 3, 2013: from Petroleum News, all of a sudden, the Canadian government, others, getting nervous -- this US administration might not approve the Keystone XL. 
However, what should have been the most welcome development for the Canadian government in more than four years of raging battles over the project and its own desire to open up a huge new market on the U.S. Gulf Coast for oil sands crude has instead turned gloomy.
Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, who seldom comments on natural resource matters, told reporters Jan. 27 at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, that Obama’s inaugural speech to launch his second term does not bode well for the pipeline.
By pledging to combat climate change, emphasizing that a “failure to do so would betray our children and future generations,” and insisting the U.S. should be a leader in sustainable energy, Obama had effectively eroded the outlook for Keystone XL, Flaherty suggested.
“I had reason for optimism before the election that the president would approve (the pipeline) were he re-elected, but his (inaugural) speech was not encouraging,” he said.
If the 830,000 barrels per day XL pipeline is scuttled it removes the prospect of including about 100,000 bpd of Bakken crude on the system to Cushing, Okla., and accessing TransCanada’s Gulf Coast project to carry 700,000 bpd from Cushing to Nederland, Texas, starting late this year.
I still don't believe any North Dakota Bakken oil is going to be put into the Keystone XL without a huge price discount.

I think the announcement delaying a decision for six months was a political trial balloon: the administration will see how much blow-back it gets. If it doesn't get much blow-back, the Keystone XL is dead. As far as I know, there are not many US voters living in Canada. I think this is a win-win for the president: his faux environmental base doesn't want the Keystone XL; and, no one in the US really cares.

It will also be a nice feather in the new SecState's cap. Sort of like President Nixon going to China.

Original Post 

Groundhog Day is tomorrow, Saturday, February 2, 2013, just in time for this post. I can't make this stuff up.  

I believe when we last left "As The World Turns," we were on episode 49.  I could be wrong; I have lost count. But like reruns in syndication, it really doesn't matter.

Now episode 50 of "As The World Turns" in which Bill Murray plays the president of the United States, and Stephen Tobolowsky plays the part of TransCanada's CEO:


Click here for yet another ridiculous excuse ...
The Obama administration's decision on the Keystone XL oil pipeline will not be made until at least June, a U.S. official said, which would delay the project for months and frustrate backers of Canada's oil sands.
"We're talking the beginning of summer at the earliest," said the source, who did not want to be identified due to the sensitive nature of the TransCanada Corp project, which has been pending for more than four and a half years. "It's not weeks until the final decision. It's months."
I have no dog in this fight. But this continues to be great news for the Bakken, for Enbridge, for the crude-by-rail folks, for Warren Buffett, for the US oil and gas industry, for Saudi Arabia, for OPEC, actually for everybody except the Canadians. Some people even suggest that TransCanada is better off not getting this pipeline approved. Again, remember: Bakken oil was never going to be put in the Keystone XL pipeline. This pipeline is only about Canadian oil and politics.

When gasoline starts hitting $4.00/gallon or more this spring/summer, a lot of folks will blame this on the Keystone XL delay, but the Keystone XL being delayed a few more months will have no effect on the price of oil.

I assume the only reason the President is delaying the decision is because he can. Next week: "I'm Chevy Chase, and you're not."

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