Oil and Financial Industry Quotes Highlight Keystone XL as Essential Tar Sands Lynchpin
Posted January 31, 2014
It has been a pretty frustrating day on the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline front. Lots of reporters seem to have been working off of the State Department's briefing that took place this morning, rather than reading the actual Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement that came out late afternoon today. There's an array of issues that the first wave of stories seem to be getting wrong--and we will deconstruct some of that stuff later. But the issue of Keystone XL being the lynchpin that determines whether unsustainable plans to triple production of the dirtiest oil on the planet continues to get short shrift. Simply put, if the President says no to this project, the tar sands industry will be forced to take their foot off the pedal, which in turn means easing off one of the fastest growing sources of carbon pollution in North America.
But don't take my word for it. The industry is pretty open about this issue when it suits their needs. And there are some interesting statements from the financial world too. This is hardly comprehensive, but here are a few recent examples:
Russ Girling, CEO, TransCanada. An article quoting him indicates, “If Canada fails to develop its oilsands now — and fails to build the pipelines to move it to market — the opportunity could vanish for decades, two industry executives warned Wednesday.” The article further indicates that Girling “pointed to the Mackenzie Valley gas pipeline, which took six years to get regulatory approval. By that time, natural gas prices had fallen and the project was shelved.” Girling was quoted as saying: “This is exactly the same thing. When markets come up, you have to take advantage of them … If you miss an opportunity, you may lose it for decades and decades to come.”
Oilsands development is now or never, industry executives say, The Star,January 15 2014
“If there were no more pipeline expansions, I would have to slow down.”
– Brian Ferguson, CEO of Cenovus Energy Inc (Canadian oil company planning to triple its tar sands production)
Oil industry rebuts ‘trash-talking’ celebrity critics, The Globe and Mail, January 15 2014.
“In order for crude oil production to grow, the North American pipeline network must be expanded through initiative, such as the Keystone XL Pipeline project.”
-- Joe Oliver, Canadian Natural Resources Minister
Canadian officials admit pipeline would increase oil sands production, Greenwire [subscription required] August 26 2013.
Steve Tungesvik, President and CEO of Statoil, said that he and other companies are “reluctant” in invest in tar sands in Alberta due to the current uncertainty about export pipelines. He says that activity has decreased “because people want to have some answers.” Statoil is not alone; Suncor Energy Inc. and Cenovus Energy Inc. also recently created more conservative financial strategies to develop the tar sands.
-- Statoil may pick East Coast over Alberta for new expansions, Financial Post, December 16 2013
[Tar sands expansion] “is contingent on the construction of major new pipelines to enable the crude to be exported to Asia and the United States” and specifically cites the Keystone XL proposal as critical to allowing these expansion efforts.
-- The International Energy Agency
IEA confirms tar sands pipelines are key to production growth from my colleague Anthony Swifts blog (with cites)
“Approval of the Keystone XL pipeline could lead (depending on assumptions about how much of the oil would otherwise make it to market) to an increase in global GHG emissions four times as big as prior analyses have concluded and potentially counteract some of the flagship emission reduction policies of the U.S. government.”
-- The Stockholm Environmental Institute
Greenhouse gas emissions implications of the Keystone XL pipeline, Stockholm Environmental Institute, December 2013.
“Approval of the northern leg of the Keystone XL pipeline, which will transport oil from Alberta to Cushing, remains the most significant catalyst for improving takeaway bottlenecks, in our view.”
-- Barclays Bank, pg. 35
Global 2014 E&P Spending Outlook, December 9 2013
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