It seemed like a good idea at the time. When Canada’s government decided to fund the nation’s first new refinery in three decades in 2012, a diesel shortage had just caused some truckers to be turned away from filling stations, and demand was climbing. Oil-sands producers were ramping up output and crude prices topped $100 a barrel.Much more at the link.
Fast forward to 2017, and North West Refining’s Sturgeon plant in Alberta is poised to add 40,000 barrels a day of diesel to an already-glutted market. Crude is hovering around $50 amid surging North American output, oil-sands producers have shelved expansions and Alberta has just emerged from a two-year recession. Diesel demand is lower than it was two years ago, and truck-fuel prices relative to crude oil are half their level from three years ago.
“Diesel demand is dropping in Alberta,” John Auers, executive vice president at energy consultant Turner Mason & Co., said by phone. “Any time you are adding more supply, you are going to impact the price negatively.”
The Sturgeon plant, Canada’s first new refinery since 1984, will begin turning oil-sands bitumen into diesel by the end of the year, according to Ian MacGregor, chairman of Northwest Redwater Partnership, which owns half the project in partnership with Canadian Natural Resource Ltd. Bitumen is a molasses-like substance extracted from oil sand that is so thick, it has to be blended with condensate or upgraded into synthetic oil to be processed.
Tuesday, May 30, 2017
Canada's Diesel Glut -- May 30, 2017
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