Alberta Soap Box 🇨🇦

Comments Effecting Canadian Events – Ken McGregor

Alberta – Is Shipping Oilsands Oil Worldwide Fiction?

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Albertans are putting a lot of hope in the oil sands for their future prosperity. Unfortunately since the oil sands are landlocked, unable to ship abroad to China and other world markets, their hopes may be misguided. The two main potential routes to transport oil sands oil is through the US to Huston by way of the  Keystone pipeline and west to Kitimate BC (Northern Gateway) starting just west of Edmonton Alberta. Both of these routes are mired in environmental and political dung. This uncertainty is not good for Alberta.

President Obama has hinted several times that the Keystone would be approved but when the time comes the approval is put off. The latest is, maybe an approval in the fall of 2011 or early in 2012. His personal objection to the OIL Sands doesn’t help matters. Not having this pipeline approved will be a major blow to Alberta’s ability to make money from the oil sands and have a detrimental impact on the economy.

The Enbridge Northern Gateway Project , involves a new twin pipeline system from Edmonton to Kitimate BC. Environmental protests which include more than 60 First Nations groups have banded together to oppose the pipeline project. Even though there is already a port being built (ok’ed by the indian nations) that will be handling super tankers carrying LNG GAS starting in 2013 , oil from the oil sands is a no-go with the environmentalist. Ppresently Enbridge is pushing ahead to get approval but it is going to be an uphill battle.

Fortunately there is a third opton that has just come to light which may save the day for Alberta. The port in Valdez Alaska that ships oil from the North Slope , is in need of a new source of oil since the North Slope production is in decline. The 1,250-mile railway would run northwest from Fort McMurray, Alberta, to Delta Junction where the oil would be added to the trans-Alaska pipeline and sent on down to Valdez. The G7G idea already has support from some First Nations leaders. This is starting to look like the best bet for Albertas future.

So far the Northern Gateway and the Keystone are just pie in the sky fiction.  Alberta seems helpless to get either one of these projects up and running since there is  little public awareness and even less political courage. Our Alberta politicians  are more interested in health care and how to spend money rather than putting their brain power on where to get the money to pay for it.  Without a way to ship the oil sands product Albertans are in trouble. Hopefully Valdez Alaska will be our saviour.

Please leave a comment below or email me direct with your thoughts at

Written by Ken McGregor

July 7, 2011 at 6:14 pm

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