B.C. Refineries Goal Oversupplied Market
When the federal authorities killed the Northern Gateway pipeline mission in November, residents of Kitimat, where it could have terminated, had been happy with the decision.
The District of Kitimat even revealed an open letter to Canadians in newspapers applauding the choice. If any oil strikes through Kitimat, it ought to be by a refinery, the district stated.
“Kitimat supports worth-added opportunities across the nation that benefit our economy at the same time as decreasing environmental dangers, including proposed oil refineries and LNG terminals in the Kitimat area,” the district wrote.
That’s the type of group help B.C. media mogul David Black will need to raise the $10 million he needs just to get his $18 billion Kitimat Clean refinery proposal by the environmental overview course of.
It’s one among two export refineries proposed for the Kitimat area and sure would by no means have been contemplated had been it not for Northern Gateway, as a result of Kitimat Clear was pitched as a greater different to an oil pipeline.
However, West Coast refineries built to serve Asian markets could face some challenges. While demand for refined petroleum products is growing all through Asia, so is its refining capability.
Many of the world’s new refineries previously decade have been in-built Asia and the Center East. Twenty new oil refineries were deliberate for Asia between 2014 and 2018 – seven in China and three in India, in accordance with a 2014 Gaffney, Cline & Associates analysis.
Nations like China are ready to over-invest in refining capability because they need the vitality security refineries present. Refineries are additionally a important part of the petrochemical industries in India and China.
“For Canada to develop its own refining capability now could be to extend the global overcapacity downside and make a high-value, upfront funding into a worldwide market that’s in all probability oversupplied for a while to come,” David Elmes, a professor at the Warwick Enterprise School’s International Power Research Network, advised Enterprise in Vancouver.
Any North American refinery that might make petroleum products for the Asian market would even be trying to promote into markets that use price controls that keep fuel prices under market worth.
“You will likely should find a purchaser willing to supply a protracted-time period agreement for fair market value to your product, and lots of of these international locations have regulated refined product costs or pump prices which will pose a troublesome hurdle to striking a favourable deal,” mentioned Kevin Birn, crude oil supply and markets analyst for IHS Markit.
However Jacques Benoit, chief operating officer for Pacific Future Power, points out that Chinese language corporations invested closely in the Canadian oilsands with the expectation of getting access to Alberta oil via new pipelines, considered one of which won’t be constructed. China Nationwide Offshore Oil Corp. for example, acquired Alberta oilsands producer Nexen (NYSE:NXY) in 2013 for $15 billion.
“They probably would like to have it as uncooked bitumen, but they can’t get at it, so they’ll take it as gasoline and diesel,” Benoit said.
“We’re taking the feedstock from Chinese companies here in Alberta who have invested heavily into the oilsands, and who need access to their product. Proper now that’s stranded in Alberta. Secondly, it’s going to the U.S. so they’re not happy with that.”
Though he has nothing in writing, Black said he has been given verbal assurance from potential patrons and traders in China that they will buy Kitimat Clean’s petroleum merchandise.
“They left me with no uncertainty as to the fact that they could be delighted to buy it, if it’s cheaper than they could make it, as a result of then they will lock in a source of refined gasoline from Canada for a hundred years or so,” he said. “They have overcapacity to 2024, but it can take us that lengthy to build ours.”
Despite among the challenges Kitimat Clear and the density of crude oil fractions $eleven billion Pacific Future Vitality refinery face, West Coast refineries have some benefits, according to financial services company IHS Markit. Its evaluation reveals a West Coast refinery can be cheaper to construct than a refinery in Alberta because entry to tidewater means giant modules might be assembled in Asia relatively inexpensively and shipped to B.C.
Neither Kitimat Clear nor Pacific Future Power would want pipelines. Both suggest to deliver raw bitumen to Kitimat by rail within the form of “neatbit,” which is bitumen oil in a semi-solid state.
Rail tends to be dearer than pipelines for transferring diluted bitumen (dilbit) or artificial crude. However those merchandise are created by including lighter oil products, like condensate, to the bitumen, which adds to its prices.
Shipping neatbit by rail avoids the cost of shopping for and moving the condensate, as well as some rudimentary refining. IHS Markit evaluation confirms that, relying on a variety of things, neatbit by rail may come near being competitive with dilbit by pipeline.
“When you get down barrel to barrel, the difference between the 2 is negligible,” mentioned Samer Salameh, govt chairman of the Pacific Future Vitality undertaking.
Each the Kitimat Clean and Pacific Future Power initiatives are in the early stages of a Canadian Environmental Evaluation Agency evaluate. However, Black has put his challenge on hold.
He asked for a suspension when the federal setting minister ruled the undertaking must be despatched to a review panel, which might deliver the full cost of going by a evaluate course of to about $10 million.
“That was more than I had density of crude oil fractions accessible for the environmental work, so I needed to go outdoors to get some buyers and, after all, you can’t get traders till you may have some basic building blocks in place, like letters of intent with
Pacific Future Energy continues to maneuver forward. Salameh said his firm has already spent $25 million getting the undertaking into the environmental evaluate course of, and plans to start front-finish engineering design within the spring.
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