Pipeline and railway firms plan to increase crude transport capacity to the West Coast

9 février 2011

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Despite a consistent rise in Canadian oil shipped overseas in the last few years, less than 2 per cent of all Canadian crude exports are delivered to destinations other than the United States.  A lack of sufficient infrastructure is to blame.  However, Asian markets may soon assume a greater share of Canadian production if various projects come online to raise transport capacity to the West Coast of Canada. 

In the last month, pipeline and railway players have made the following announcements:

  • Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipeline received a $100 million injection from a corsortium that included China Petroleum & Chemical Corp., also known as Sinopec, to help the $5.5 billion pipeline get through the regulatory approval process. If approved, Northern Gateway will transport up to 525,000 barrels per day and may commence deliveries as early as 2016.
  • Kinder Morgan plans to construct an 80,000 barrel-per-day expansion to its TransMountain pipeline that runs from Edmonton, Alberta to Burnaby, B.C. Kinder Morgan intends to accept open season bids for shipping commitments later this year, and may complete its expansion project by 2014 to 2015.
  • Canadian National Railway Co. confirmed that it is in early discussions with Canadian oil producers and Chinese companies to ship oil via railway from Saskatchewan and Alberta to yet-to-be-determined West Coast tanker ports. 
  • There are also reports that Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. is working on a similar proposal for a “pipeline on rail” to the West Coast.

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