Teck Mining and their Northern Alberta Pullout.

Much to my relief I heard that The CEO of Teck Mining had come to his senses and decided not to invest any more money in a huge proposed mine in Northern Alberta.

Never mind the environmental impact of such a mine two questions I have to ask of Jason Kenney if he would listen, but he will not as he is too angry with the Federal Government to be coherent.

  1. How long would it take for this mine to make a profit when the current price for bitumen is less than $20 per barrel and that does not take into consideration the cost of shipping to the USA.

“Condensate, a type of light oil often used to dilute bitumen, was selling for about US$63 per barrel in Edmonton on Thursday, which means the bitumen part of a WCS barrel composed of 30 to 40 per cent diluent was actually fetching between negative 11 cents US and negative 28 cents US per barrel”  .Jason Franson/The Canadian Press2

2 How will Teck get that DILBIT to market if the current and future pipelines will be plugged with the existing production? 

The upshot to me is that bitumen is already overpriced because of the cost of transportation and refining into a product that could loosely be called oil, and thus any company investing in such production really must be desparate to find tax write-offs or for federal and provincial handouts in order to profit.

In today’s climate of concern about the environment one has to wonder what goes on in the mind of anyone seriously considering such a venture and more importantly the mind of a political leader who banks on that craziness for his own success. Kenney has clearly shown that the laws do not apply to him as open blackmail of BC is in his pocket ready to be used, and it is everyone else’s fault that Alberta finds itself in the current financial predicament. It was not the NDP as much as the conservative governments since Peter Lougheed that have failed the people of Alberta, and blustering as Kenney does will not solve the problem.  Look at the people of Alberta; a resilient bunch of people who have been conned into thinking that oil and bitumen is all they have. 

 Really?

Not the Alberta I lived and worked in in the 70s And 80s.

Scheer’s statements in the House of Commons on the radical activists shutting down investment in Canada is of course typical Conservative smoke screen to hide the fact that Harper hamstrung Alberta and probably Saskatchewan as well with his “all eggs in one basket” approach to the economy for Canada. The fall in real oil prices did not help bitumen either and now there is so much interchange in our media calling bitumen oil (such a fictitious an untrue thing to do)

Jeremy

Pipelines, Albertan tar and NAFTA

Premiere Rachel Notley of Alberta.

13th January 2018

 I was cruising CPAC the other day and I came across your address to the Economic Club of Canada from 21 November 2017 concerning amongst other things the need for pipelines from the Alberta tar sands to tidewater.

 You said and I quote:

 “…..we need to be able to sell that energy from that energy industry to more than just one client.

Right now, all our energy infrastructure is built for export to the United States.  They are a monopoly buyer.”

 I will not argue with that at all, but there is a catch to what you are saying.

 I am referring to NAFTA, and in particular Article 605 which I quote below:

 

NAFTA

Article 605: Other Export Measures

Subject to Annex 605, a Party may adopt or maintain a restriction otherwise justified under Articles XI:2(a) or XX(g), (i) or (j) of the GATT with respect to the export of an energy or basic petrochemical good to the territory of another Party, only if:

  1. a)the restriction does not reduce the proportion of the total export shipments of the specific energy or basic petrochemical good made available to that other Party relative to the total supply of that good of the Party maintaining the restriction as compared to the proportion prevailing in the most recent 36month period for which data are available prior to the imposition of the measure, or in such other representative period on which the Parties may agree;

 

From this, it is clear from what you are saying that we are exporting 100% of the bitumen from the Alberta tar sands to the US and we cannot reduce that percentage without the approval of the US.  As long as that Article of NAFTA, or indeed NAFTA itself, remain in effect there is no way that even a “barrel” of tar can be shipped anywhere except to the United States, which in essence owns 100% of your tar.

It is also clear that you are suggesting that the disputed Kinder Morgan pipeline to Burnaby is to transport that diluted tar intended for export by super oil tankers to, amongst others, China.

Clearly, Minister Freeland, to whom I have written numerous times on this very Article 605 with absolutely no response, chooses to ignore this important NAFTA  article even if it must be clear to her that we have a serious problem.

What both of you are suggesting is that a claim in front of a quasi-legal trade tribunal is of no importance to you as the people of Canada will be happy to pay the millions in lost profit which the US importers of this Canadian tar will claim against us as soon as you ship so much as one kilogram of tar somewhere else.

Perhaps you have a way around this?

If so I would be very pleased to hear it.

What I personally hope is that President Trump does actually go ahead and cancel NAFTA and you can then at least contemplate exporting your tar elsewhere in the world and, I would suggest, through a port in Alaska.

Incidentally the concept that supertankers do not get into trouble, never accepted by the coastal people here in BC, is under a black cloud of smoke right now as there is one on fire in the China Seas after a collision, and there is no way that any spill of diluted bitumen in either the Vancouver Harbour, Georgia Strait or the Strait of Juna Fuca can be cleaned up any more than was that mess in Michigan. 

It is unfortunate that in your desire to make things better again for Alberta, you should choose to trample over British Columbians in the same way our original settlers did to the then long-time inhabitants of what we now call Canada. 

Strange how history repeats itself isn’t it Ms Notley?

Jeremy Arney

 

Ps,

We are a long way from this and getting further away each day

 

When the Landscape is Quiet Again.

Governor Arthur A. Link, October 11th, 1973.

We do not want to halt progress; we do not plan to be selfish and say North Dakota will not share its energy resources. We simply want to ensure the most efficient and environmentally sound method of utilizing our precious coal and water resources for the benefit of the broadest number of people possible.

And when we are through with that and the landscape is quiet again, when the draglines, the blasting rigs, the power shovels and the huge gondolas cease to rip and roar and when the last bulldozer has pushed the spoil pile into place and the last patch of barren earth has been seeded to grass or grain, let those who follow and repopulate the land be able to say, our grandparents did their job well. The land is as good and in some cases, better than before.

Only if they can say this, will we be worthy of the rich heritage of our land and its resources.”