Energy companies preparing for life without the Keystone XL pipeline

posted at 8:41 pm on September 5, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

The Obama administration has managed to dither and delay to a truly amazing degree on the still-pending approval of the Keystone XL pipeline, the TransCanada project that was supposed to transport upwards of 800,000 barrels of heavy crude a day from Canada, as well as oil from the North Dakota shale fields, to U.S. refineries in the Gulf Coast. Their most recent estimate kicked the relatively innocuous project’s decision date back to early 2014, and if they make even that arbitrary deadline, I’ll be shocked. As the Obama administration has attempted to downplay it, the issue has only ballooned in public notic as the eco-radical contingent looking to kill the pipeline is fighting an entirely symbolic and misguided battle against the oil-and-gas industry — but meanwhile, the oil-and-gas industry is busy actually being a productive player in society and creating wealth in the economy.

Energy companies have long since tired of watching the Obama administration pretend that they’re sincerely still debating the merits of the project, and if the eco-radicals want to crush Keystone, then fine — let them have their completely hollow victory. The WSJ reports that U.S. oil refiners are increasingly doubting that the Keystone pipeline will ever be built — and that they don’t particularly care anymore. Full steam ahead, boys:

“Keystone XL has been back-burnered for so long that any relevant parties have been able to make plans as though the project never even existed in the first place,” says Sam Margolin, an analyst at Cowen & Co. …

But refiners are moving ahead with other plans. Valero Energy Corp. had signed to receive oil from Keystone XL when the project was first announced…

But it says it no longer considers the pipeline critical to its business. The company is now expanding rail terminals at its refineries in Benicia, Calif.; St. James, La.; and Quebec to receive more crude oil shipments, including heavy Canadian crude. Part of the reason is the long wait for Keystone. “If we just sat around and waited for Washington, we’d never get anything done,” Valero spokesman Bill Day said. …

Nearly 200,000 rail cars in Canada carried crude oil or fuel during the first seven months of 2013, up 20% from the year before, according to the latest data from the American Association of Railroads.

Enbridge, TransCanada’s cross-town rival, plans to spend $2.4 billion to expand several pipelines in its Lakehead system by 2014. Such an expansion would bring 1.2 million barrels a day of crude oil from Canada and North Dakota to the Midwest…

Groups of so-called environmentalist zealots have made it their business to depict the Keystone pipeline as something novel and very dangerous, but in reality, it will be a lot like the thousands of miles of pipelines already crisscrossing the United States — and what’s more, the U.S. is shortly going to need even more pipeline and a whole lotta’ infrastructure updates to cope with the still-burgeoning oil-and-gas boom. The eco-radicals’ ostensible main objection to the project is the Canadian oil sands that the project will help transport, but Canada and energy companies have now exasperatedly told them many times that they will find a way to develop their resources with or without Keystone — and lo and behold, they are.

The Obama administration has no problem approving other oil-transporting pipelines — it’s just all the negative attention and importance placed on Keystone by the well-monied and Democratic-donating eco-lobby holding up the State Department’s decision. The pipeline is still a very worthy project, but if the Obama administration is going to fall into their usual habit of inducing uncertainty and regulatory hindrance, energy companies will gladly proceed without them.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Thanks, ecofreaks and demorats, nothing like butchering your own economy in favor of…whatever it is you fools are parading around now.

Bishop on September 5, 2013 at 8:44 PM

It makes so much more sense to be dependant on foreign oil.

ctmom on September 5, 2013 at 8:44 PM

Because you know why?

We definitely, positively need to rely MORE on the Middle East for the oil that fuels our economy and lives…

…which is absolutely, positively reason enough to fire some Tomahawk missiles across Assad’s bow…

…or something.

Resist We Much on September 5, 2013 at 8:46 PM

Imagine a world without energy.

Wait…we don’t have to imagine. Just look at North Korea.

BobMbx on September 5, 2013 at 8:46 PM

The irony here is that all of these trains are going to be far worse for the environment and public safety than the pipeline would be.

Mark1971 on September 5, 2013 at 8:47 PM

The US has about 250,000 miles of pipelines currently in existence, but let’s shut down this 1,700 mile pipeline because it crosses an aquifer that already has miles of pipe stretching across it.

That’ll stop Canada from exporting their oil to China.

You just watch! I’ll betcha the 3,000% decrease in your health insurance premiums you will enjoy every year.

Resist We Much on September 5, 2013 at 8:49 PM

The incredible idiocy of this administration never ceases to amaze.

AZCoyote on September 5, 2013 at 8:51 PM

The irony here is that all of these trains are going to be far worse for the environment and public safety than the pipeline would be.

Mark1971 on September 5, 2013 at 8:47 PM

Makes you wonder if perhaps one of the largest railroads was owned by a huge obama supporter.

oceansidecon on September 5, 2013 at 8:58 PM

I wonder how much money Enbridge do ated to Team SCOAMT.

Steve Eggleston on September 5, 2013 at 9:00 PM

Makes you wonder if perhaps one of the largest railroads was owned by a huge obama supporter.

oceansidecon on September 5, 2013 at 8:58 PM

Lol this was my first thought: that the energy companies had figured out a way to survive without either Keystone XL *or* BNSF.

For all the bellyaching the Left does about so-called “evil corporations”, they sure do loves them some corporate cronies.

/SMH

Wanderlust on September 5, 2013 at 9:03 PM

0Oil, need to get around to that one. Just a bunch of empty pictures. Shouldn’t have too many hours in it. ; )

Bmore on September 5, 2013 at 9:06 PM

Makes you wonder if perhaps one of the largest railroads was owned by a huge obama supporter.

oceansidecon on September 5, 2013 at 8:58 PM

Wonder no more. One of the big beneficiaries of Obama’s refusal to approve the Keystone pipeline is his big supporter/contributor, billionaire investor Warren Buffett.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-01-23/buffett-s-burlington-northern-among-winners-in-obama-rejection-of-pipeline.html

But that’s probably just a coincidence . . . right? ;)

AZCoyote on September 5, 2013 at 9:14 PM

It’s all about Warren Buffett and his trains……

bubbafromkc on September 5, 2013 at 9:16 PM

The incredible idiocy of this administration never ceases to amaze.

AZCoyote on September 5, 2013 at 8:51 PM

Never mistake fanaticism for idiocy.Their anti-technology “green” campaign is one of the few things this lot is doing right, by their POV. Probably because they have so much “outside help” from Sierra Club, Greenpeace, Earth First!, Earth Liberation front, etc.

The eco-Nazis know what they want. And they’ve had a lot of practice, going back to Malthus, Muir and Thoreau.

The irony here is that all of these trains are going to be far worse for the environment and public safety than the pipeline would be.

Mark1971 on September 5, 2013 at 8:47 PM

Makes you wonder if perhaps one of the largest railroads was owned by a huge obama supporter.

oceansidecon on September 5, 2013 at 8:58 PM

Just wait till the eco-Nazis start derailing those trains to cause “eco-disasters” they can use to campaign for bans on any transport or use of oil, anywhere in the U.S.

Remember, The Ends Justify the Means. And if your end is the erasure of civilization and the extermination of nine-tenths of the human race, a couple of rails prized up is a cheap way to start.

clear ether

eon

eon on September 5, 2013 at 9:17 PM

eon on September 5, 2013 at 9:17 PM

So far, Alwhore has been happy to fake his dire iceberg predictions in the movie, “An Inconvenient Truth” by bogarting iceberg FX footage from the fictional movie, “The Day After Tomorrow”.

Based on your comment, eon, I hope Alwhore hasn’t read the book, “State of Fear” by the late Michael Crichton…’cause if he has, then look out lol.

Wanderlust on September 5, 2013 at 9:22 PM

o/t

Old & Busted:

‘Think of an economy where people could be an artist or a photographer or a writer without worrying about keeping their day job in order to have health insurance.’

- Nancy Pelosi, 2010

New Hotness:

REPORT: Artists, photographers, writers to lose coverage under Obamacare…

Can’t. Make. It. Up.

Resist We Much on September 5, 2013 at 9:23 PM

Warren Buffet and his railroads are also behind the efforts against fracking. Natural gas producers use pipelines instead of trains.

obladioblada on September 5, 2013 at 9:27 PM

Energy companies preparing for life without the Keystone XL pipeline

Smart move. Obama will never approve Keystone and the Republicans refuse to truly fight to win against the Democrats on anything important.

RJL on September 5, 2013 at 9:30 PM

But that’s probably just a coincidence . . . right? ;)

AZCoyote on September 5, 2013 at 9:14 PM

Must be. Warren Buffett is only about the “little guy”…. or gal in the case of his oppressed secretary who pays such a huge tax rate.

oceansidecon on September 5, 2013 at 9:34 PM

Warren Buffet and his railroads are also behind the efforts against fracking. Natural gas producers use pipelines instead of trains.

obladioblada on September 5, 2013 at 9:27 PM

All roads lead to Omaha.

oceansidecon on September 5, 2013 at 9:36 PM

Dear middle America,

Screw you!

With love,

“The well-monied and Democratic-donating eco-lobby”

Charlemagne on September 5, 2013 at 9:44 PM

who benefits from this?
the railroads, including Warren Buffett
I wonder how much of this is enviro-stuff vs crony capitalism.

oil is moving by rail instead of by pipeline

phillypolitics on September 5, 2013 at 9:47 PM

How much in campaign contributions are the dems milking from the naive ecofreaks?Keep stalling and begging for more money to stop that evil pipeline.

docflash on September 5, 2013 at 10:15 PM

The Keystone people should create a new stock offering at a special price and offer it exclusively to the slovenly Warren Buffett. Presto, new pipeline. That’s how things get done in the REB’s America.

slickwillie2001 on September 5, 2013 at 10:19 PM

Just wait till the eco-Nazis start derailing those trains to cause “eco-disasters” they can use to campaign for bans on any transport or use of oil, anywhere in the U.S.

Remember, The Ends Justify the Means. And if your end is the erasure of civilization and the extermination of nine-tenths of the human race, a couple of rails prized up is a cheap way to start.

clear ether

eon

eon on September 5, 2013 at 9:17 PM

We stopped the pipeline sabotage in Iraq with drones that fired missiles at the saboteurs. We could stop it here if we just give Obama permission to use drones to kill people domestically that are labelled terrorists– NAH, I like the TEA Party types too much.

KW64 on September 5, 2013 at 10:28 PM

If we just sat around and waited for Washington, we’d never get anything done

The guy is such a huge jerkoff…that he’d do what he does best…choke his chicken on every damn decision that needs immediate attention…I’d like to see the XL up Moocheles 60″ BBA. Where it’d fit.

This guy…is the worst damn thing that’s ever happened to this Republic. By the time he gets done..No one will bother with us. And Hillary? Fuggeddaboudid!

They’ve got her number.

Twana on September 5, 2013 at 10:58 PM

Enbridge has long ago had passed all the requirements to enable it to enlarge this line which was supposed to happen BEFORE Keystone XL was to be originally started.

Here is the kicker, Midwest refineries are already converted (after Billions of dollars per refinery has been invested in new process units to enable them to use Canadian crude) and they are already receiving Canadian crude without this. This connects with Capline which is an existing pipeline constructed to pump 1.2 million barrels per day to IL from St. James, LA which is connected to LOOP (Louisiana Offshore Oil Port) the only supertanker port in the Continental U.S. This is out in the Gulf of Mexico.

Capline has not been reversed due it supplies needed light sweet crude to a Marathon refinery in Kentucky from the Gulf Coast be it tanker or offshore production.

Kermit on September 6, 2013 at 12:21 AM

Rail transport is much more expensive than pipeline and cannot handle the same volume, that is why Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugs was outdated when it was written.

Kermit on September 6, 2013 at 12:22 AM

We can’t deprive the Muslims of (part of) their oil money. How will they then pay for conquering the West?

Antivenin on September 6, 2013 at 1:45 AM

And Warren Buffet wins again. It’s his trains that are going to be transporting, and spilling, the oil. This is more of Obama’s pure cronyism.

{^_^}

herself on September 6, 2013 at 4:33 AM

Rail transport is much more expensive than pipeline and cannot handle the same volume, that is why Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged was outdated when it was written.

Kermit on September 6, 2013 at 12:22 AM

Rand would agree with you regarding POL transport. Of course, so far nobody has figured out how to deliver grain, machinery, or other non-liquid materials through a pipe.

For them, rail is the most cost-effective overland delivery system, even today. It becomes even more so every time fuel prices go up; more ton-miles per gallon of fuel expended than road or air transport.

Rail and ship (sea transport) come out about even, assuming the ships are designed properly. Containerized cargo vessels of today are a few orders of magnitude more cost-efficient than the Liberty or Victory ships of WW 2.

Those were the best we could build at the time. We’ve improved the techne’ since then, thanks to the lessons we learned about handling and moving cargo with those ships.

cheers

eon

eon on September 6, 2013 at 8:06 AM

This is what people voted for; this is what people will get. Many try to claim that this isn’t the Obama they voted for, but this is exactly the Obama they voted for.

claudius on September 6, 2013 at 8:33 AM

The irony here is that all of these trains are going to be far worse for the environment and public safety than the pipeline would be.

Mark1971 on September 5, 2013 at 8:47 PM

Which is why the EPA will not let them move over the rails for very long. The goal is to cripple the US and BO is doing a fine job. The evrio freaks are just another tool he is using. They are the very definition of useful idiots and BO knows this all to well.

Dr. Frank Enstine on September 6, 2013 at 9:20 AM

This is what people voted for; this is what people will get. Many try to claim that this isn’t the Obama they voted for, but this is exactly the Obama they voted for.

claudius on September 6, 2013 at 8:33 AM

Bo is not the BO they voted for. His is a mirror that reflects back the desires of the weak minded. He gets up there and says “blah, blah, mumble, blah, mumble” and every pro-abortion person hears that he supports them. Every gay hears that he supports them. Every illegal hears that he supports them. Every pedo hears that he supports them. I’m sure you get the point. Everyone hears exactly what they most desire. When they see the results of what he is doing they realize he isn’t the person they voted for but, that’s alright because he will just get out there and do some more mumbling and everyone will be thrilled that the “old” BO is back.

Dr. Frank Enstine on September 6, 2013 at 9:27 AM

Obama is also looking to Canada to be a willing coalition member in Syria. They should tell him to buzz off.

Buy Danish on September 6, 2013 at 9:53 AM