Build the pipeline: Energy Department study: Oil sands oil "could essentially eliminate U.S. Middle East crude imports"

“A central finding from this study is that the U.S. has the potential to take in substantially increasing volumes of crude oil from Canada over time, albeit with a steadily rising proportion of oil sands streams which would reach close to 90% by 2030. Study results indicate U.S. refining of Canadian crudes could rise from 1.9 mbd [million barrels per day] in 2009 to 4 mbd by 2030. Associated oil sands streams imports would rise from under 1 mbd in 2009 to over 3.6 mbd by 2030. This projected increase would curb dependency on crude oils from other sources notably the Middle East and Africa.  …

The evidence from the WORLD model cases is that, if pipeline projects to the BC [British Columbia] coast are built, they are likely to be utilized. This is because of the relatively short marine distances to major northeast Asia markets, future expected growth there in refining capacity and increasing ownership interests by Chinese companies especially in oil sands production. Such increased capacity would alter global crude trade patterns. WCSB [Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin (oil sands)] crudes would be “lost” from the USA, going instead to Asia. There they would displace the world’s balancing crude oils, Middle Eastern and African predominantly OPEC grades, which would in turn move to the USA. The net effect would be substantially higher U.S. dependency on crude oils from those [OPEC] sources versus scenarios where capacity to move WCSB crudes to Asia was limited. Instead of reaching 3.6 mbd by 2030, WCSB oil sands volumes into the U.S. could be 2.6 mbd, possibly lower still and Middle East/African crude imports correspondingly higher.

The study has shown that reduction in U.S. petroleum product demand would not appreciably cut WCSB crude flows into the U.S. Rather, a low U.S. demand outlook would substantially reduce U.S. dependency on foreign (non-Canadian) crudes and products. A combination of increased Canadian crude imports and reduced U.S. product demand could essentially eliminate [U.S.] Middle East crude imports longer term. Low U.S. demand is also projected to reduce U.S. net product imports and potentially turn the USA into a net product exporter after 2020.”  “Report Assessing Petroleum Market Impacts of Keystone XL Pipeline Project

Reuters article:  “Canada-US pipe would cut Mideast oil imports-study

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