Thursday, August 15, 2013
The Line 9 Reversal
The chap from Blast Furnace Canada has a carefully reasoned take on what's at issue with the "Line 9 Reversal"--the plan to bring diluted bitumen from Alta/Sask's tar-sands to refineries in Eastern Canada. Mind you, I disagree with his conclusion: a reluctant acceptance of the line for "energy security" reasons. My understanding (and I haven't followed this project nearly as closely as Northern Gateway, Trans Mountain, or Keystone XL) is that this too is intended largely as an export pipe-line. The oil in it will be sold to China and other locales, and if anything it will drive Canadian gasoline prices higher rather than lower. I also think that the kind of upgrades to the existing pipe that BFC thinks necessary for safety reasons will never come to pass. Rebuilding the line would be expensive, and the market take on a West-East line is already an unenthusiastic meh. Driving up the costs of building it will not change this verdict.