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The 'economics' of upgrading

The ‘economics’ of upgrading

Why would you buy an oilsands lease, or if you had one, why might you chose to invest billions of dollars of your money, up front, to produce oil for the next 40-50 years? The answer is pretty simple – given your view of future oil prices, the costs of building and operating the plant, […]

Source: IEA World Energy Outlook, 2010.

An economist pretending to be a geologist

Last night, I wrote a long post on the EU Fuel Quality Directive, on which a vote is expected next week. The Fuel Quality Directive has attracted a great deal of attention here in Canada because it would assign a higher emissions rating to Alberta oilsands than to other sources of crude oil, and I have […]

Source: IHS CERA

Molasses, the viscosity of “natural bitumen”, and the FQD

Next week, the EU is expected to vote on the Fuel Quality Directive which would assign a higher emissions rating to Alberta oilsands than to other sources of crude oil, including some which may or may not actually have higher emissions than oilsands oil. One of the many arguments against this policy made by Canadian government […]

Source: National Energy Board

What would it take for Eastern Canada to run on Western Canadian oil?

Yesterday, I had a lengthy Twitter discussion with Green Party Leader Elizabeth May, on the subject of oil pipelines and energy security.  A few things in the discussion surprised me, and it also forced me to think a lot more about oil infrastructure in this country and to put some numbers to the question, “What would it take […]

Forecasts are wrong, but that doesn't mean we should ignore them

Forecasts are wrong, but that doesn’t mean we should ignore them

Oil price forecasts are wrong.  That’s not going to change. Today’s Alberta budget has one in it, it’s aggressive, and it will be wrong.  Will it be proven to be too high or too low?  I haven’t a clue. But, in a province where approximately 1/3 of future provincial revenue depends directly on energy prices, […]

Local crude prices vs. local gas prices

Local crude prices vs. local gas prices

After my 1700 word rant the other night, I thought I’d tell you the same story with two figures. The first figure shows you two things – the difference between crude oil prices in the Midwest US (WTI in PADD 2) and the US Gulf Coast (Brent or LLS in PADD 3) is shown in […]

Northern Gateway and Gas Prices

“Northern Gateway represents an inflationary price shock which will have a negative and prolonged impact on the Canadian economy by reducing output, employment, labour income and government revenues.” This quote appears in the second paragraph of a report prepared by Robyn Allan, apparently for the Alberta Federation of Labour, as it is included as part of their […]

More EIA numbers

More EIA numbers

In follow-up to my post last night on EIA numbers relating to Canadian exports to the US (of course, they are US numbers, so they call them imports), I went to see how the numbers they use have changed from the 2011 to the 2012 report, and the change surprised me yet again.

EIA's import numbers

EIA’s import numbers

Last week, the US Energy Information Administration posted the early release of their Annual Energy Outlook which contains a short summary report and access to some of the data tables which will be included in the document itself when it’s released in April. I was curious to see one element in the data – their prediction […]