Europe: You know, maybe we were a little hasty about pooh-poohing Canada’s oil sands…

posted at 1:21 pm on May 9, 2014 by Erika Johnsen

The Keystone XL pipeline proposal is just as politically charged as ever, but practically speaking, the project is getting less and less relevant by the day. Canada would still very much like to get the pipeline started if they can, since terrestrial pipelines are the safest, cleanest, most cost-effective way to get the job of shipping done, but as everyone who doesn’t have their head determinedly stuck in the [oil] sand has already acknowledged, that oil is going to find its way to market one way or another — and if it’s not via pipeline or railroad to our refineries in the Gulf, then Canada will build out their own pipelines and railroads to the coasts for shipment by sea.

Canada has generally been thinking about Asia as the prime foreign market to buy up their oil sands, but the last few months of Russian aggression on the continent have started to affect Europeans’ previously high-minded feelings on the matter. Their overly expensive and failed green schemes combined with decreasing stability from their traditional energy partner has them feeling a bit more humble about the oil sands whose advances they once rejected, via the Financial Post:

As Europe reels from Moscow’s belligerence and utter dependence on its oil and gas supplies, the Harper government is positioning itself as a reliable partner ready to offer energy security to the continent.

Eager to diversify their energy resources, European countries are also warming up to Ottawa and softening their tough stance on the oil sands as they look to reduce their dependence on Russia’s oil and gas supplies.

The European Union has previously deemed the oil sands as one of the dirtiest forms of oil and its proposed Fuel Quality Fuel Directive would effectively make Canadian crude unwelcome in European refineries. But Russia’s latest aggressive moves in Ukraine have compelled the continent to take another look at Alberta crude.

“I feel better about it now than perhaps we have at any point in time,” Mr. Rickford said. “It was a very positive signal from the G7 energy ministers I met with. My discussion with European Union Council Representatives again [gave] a strong signal that this was moving in the right direction for Canada.”

Canada’s plans to build liquefied natural gas projects and crude oil pipelines from west to east was received with “enthusiasm” by his G7 counterparts, he added.

Whatever they ultimately decide to do, it would take a few years for both Canada and Europe to build the requisite infrastructure for shipping and receiving any petroleum products — but it sounds like Europe’s baronial green ideals are finding reality a little more difficult to contend with than they’d like.


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Schadenfreude!

fred5678 on May 9, 2014 at 1:27 PM

Obama promising to bomb Canada for laying down the pipe in 5.. 4.. 3..

Rix on May 9, 2014 at 1:29 PM

American Lefties before: “We need to be more like Europe!”

American Lefties now: “We need to be less like Europe!”

Bishop on May 9, 2014 at 1:30 PM

Don’t worry, environazies. The oil from the Keystone pipeline won’t cause pollution or cancer if it’s burned in other countries. That only happens in the USA.

The Rogue Tomato on May 9, 2014 at 1:33 PM

GAZPROM will increase it’s funding of green environazies…

the_nile on May 9, 2014 at 1:35 PM

How does that saying go? It is remarkable how the prospect of a hanging can focus the mind.

butch on May 9, 2014 at 1:43 PM

Obama: “I am once again disappointed by the world”

BobMbx on May 9, 2014 at 1:47 PM

it sounds like Europe’s baronial green ideals are finding reality a little more difficult to contend with than they’d like

….but of course………..JugEars “is ahead of his time!”….MSM.

KOOLAID2 on May 9, 2014 at 1:49 PM

As an Albertan I’d rather we sell to our friends to the south than to the Chinese.

Selling to Europe to screw that KGB officer is almost as good though.

Alberta_Patriot on May 9, 2014 at 1:50 PM

How many people have dies because of Fukushima?

pat on May 9, 2014 at 1:50 PM

Europeans do bow to reality eventually; I’m not sure our own lefties ever will.

Fenris on May 9, 2014 at 1:54 PM

Europe always there when they need you.

jukin3 on May 9, 2014 at 2:02 PM

How many people have dies because of Fukushima?

pat on May 9, 2014 at 1:50 PM

Exactly one, so far. A worker and Fukushima Daichi was killed in a blast caused by a build up of hydrogen gas. Two workers at Fukushima Daini were killed when the tsunami hit, by that was the tsunami, not the power plant.

There are at this time exactly ZERO confirmed casualties due to radiation from Fukushima.

Alberta_Patriot on May 9, 2014 at 2:08 PM

I want to be a fly on the wall when BoldNebraska (Nebraska’s very own environazis) has to watch as Canada announces the abandonment of the Keystone in favor of building an east-west pipeline to supply Europe and China. There’s going to be a whole lot of heads exploding because they believe with all their very shriveled little hearts and souls that if Keystone isn’t built, all that “dirty” tar sand oil will stay in the ground.

catsandbooks on May 9, 2014 at 2:26 PM

I’m really liking this idea of the Canadians shipping their oil to Europe.

Think about who it would piss off :

The Russians
The Chinese
The Venezuelans
The Saudis
The Iranians
The Nigerians
Obama and his crony capitalists.
All Gore and the climate change fanatics.
The enviro-wackos.

Who would it benefit?
Northern Europeans and Canadians.

When you think about it, it’s a politically incorrect Grand Slam.

MichaelGabriel on May 9, 2014 at 2:48 PM

Kin Barky’s plan has always been to delay so long that Canada goes to their own coasts to get the dirty oil to eager customers and screw the USA.

jukin3 on May 9, 2014 at 2:52 PM

I’m really liking this idea of the Canadians shipping their oil to Europe.

Think about who it would piss off :

The Russians
The Chinese
The Venezuelans
The Saudis
The Iranians
The Nigerians
Obama and his crony capitalists.
All Gore and the climate change fanatics.
The enviro-wackos.

Who would it benefit?
Northern Europeans and Canadians.

When you think about it, it’s a politically incorrect Grand Slam.

MichaelGabriel on May 9, 2014 at 2:48 PM

Yeah, assuming the Europeans actually follow through with it and it’s not just grand standing and talk.

jimver on May 9, 2014 at 3:23 PM

Canada, ship it east. MG has it right. If ya cain’t piss off everybody, you just ain’t tryin’.

vnvet on May 9, 2014 at 3:23 PM

Canada’s plans to build liquefied natural gas projects and crude oil pipelines from west to east was received with “enthusiasm” by his G7 counterparts, he added.

Whatever they ultimately decide to do, it would take a few years for both Canada and Europe to build the requisite infrastructure for shipping and receiving any petroleum products — but it sounds like Europe’s baronial green ideals are finding reality a little more difficult to contend with than they’d like.

Several years ago, before the Marcellus Shale started producing lots of natural gas, there were several projects to build LNG terminals along the US east coast to IMPORT natural gas from Trinidad, which were scuttled by the blue-green powers that be in New Jersey, New York, CT, and MA, including former CT Attorney General and now Senator Dick Blumenthal.

Canada had no such scruples and built a huge LNG terminal along the coast of New Brunswick. Guess who will be selling natural gas to starving Europeans when Putin closes the spigot?

Steve Z on May 9, 2014 at 3:30 PM

I’m thinking that the Europeans just said… “Necessity is a mother.”

Apologizes to whomever first said, “Necessity is the mother of invention.”

WestTexasBirdDog on May 9, 2014 at 3:45 PM

Other than LNG receiving terminals, the infrastructure already exists.

jimver on May 9, 2014 at 3:23 PM

Mostly Venezuela since that is the same type of crude oil. Mobil, now ExxonMobil, developed bitumen reserves in Venezuela along with an upgrader and the product of such upgraded crude is shipped to Europe. However, Chavez seized all of it.

Kermit on May 9, 2014 at 3:56 PM

The Keystone Pipeline and fracking in North Dakota are national security issues.

If Dear Leader had the cojones, he could knock Putin to his knees by undercutting the price Putin is selling energy to the EU. With a little push and shove, the Europeans would jump at the chance. I’m convinced of that.

Shortly after, Putin would cave.

NavyMustang on May 9, 2014 at 3:56 PM

Comedy gold.

KMC1 on May 9, 2014 at 4:03 PM

How many people have dies because of Fukushima?

pat on May 9, 2014 at 1:50 PM

Chicago’s deaths per hour rate exceeds total deaths at Fukishima.

BobMbx on May 9, 2014 at 4:15 PM

NavyMustang on May 9, 2014 at 3:56 PM

Bakken? Bakken is pissant compared to Permian Basin in Texas which is now able to produce 3 million BPD.

By law we cannot export any crude oil except from California and Alaska.

Kermit on May 9, 2014 at 4:22 PM

I love it when Karma runs over their dogma.

Tinker on May 9, 2014 at 4:33 PM

Bakken? Bakken is pissant compared to Permian Basin in Texas which is now able to produce 3 million BPD.

By law we cannot export any crude oil except from California and Alaska.

Kermit on May 9, 2014 at 4:22 PM

Sounds like an opening for the production of shale oil in California. It is not like they do not have the basins for it; but do they have th brains?

KW64 on May 9, 2014 at 4:41 PM

During the Cold War the pipelines to Europe blew up before completion in the largest explosion the world had seen up to that time.

It is a pity that after the end of the Cold War someone revealed that the CIA was involved with the explosion, because another ‘accident’ would remove the leverage the Russians have on the EU and Ukraine.

Maybe there is a reason that countries hold the release of some information for 50 years.

davod on May 9, 2014 at 4:46 PM

PS: largest explosion should read largest non-nuclear explosion.

Sorry

davod on May 9, 2014 at 5:02 PM

Sounds like an opening for the production of shale oil in California. It is not like they do not have the basins for it; but do they have th brains?
KW64 on May 9, 2014 at 4:41 PM

We have the shale, and billions of bbl’s of oil (and gas), but not a brain in sight.
In fact, the City of Beverly Hills, which was built on an existing oil field a hundred-years ago, is in the process of banning frakking, and demanding the cessation of all oil recovery within city-limits at a cost of multiple millions of Dollars in tax money to the City, and the schools (did you know that Beverly Hills HS has its very own oil well on campus?).
Fools to the right, fools to the left, fools as far as one can see.

Another Drew on May 9, 2014 at 6:43 PM

Who would it benefit?
Northern Europeans and Canadians.

When you think about it, it’s a politically incorrect Grand Slam.

MichaelGabriel on May 9, 2014 at 2:48 PM

One minor quibble: I can’t imagine the Norwegians would welcome the competition, as they are a major oil exporting nation (more supply generally leads to lower prices, which producers/sellers don’t like). Otherwise, I like your list and wish to subscribe to your newsletter! ;-)

xNavigator on May 10, 2014 at 12:01 AM

Think about who it would piss off :

The Russians
The Chinese
The Venezuelans
The Saudis
The Iranians
The Nigerians
Obama and his crony capitalists.
All Gore and the climate change fanatics.
The enviro-wackos.

Who would it benefit?
Northern Europeans and Canadians.

When you think about it, it’s a politically incorrect Grand Slam.

MichaelGabriel on May 9, 2014 at 2:48 PM

Don’t miss Libya. Remember Al Gore and Occidental Petroleum’s Armand Hammer’s oil deals. Mr. Carbon tax made a lot of money off of oil games.

Don L on May 10, 2014 at 8:36 AM

Anyone else get the feeling that the rest of the world is starting to pick over our carcass?

Fundamental transformation, indeed.

Lance Corvette on May 10, 2014 at 11:07 AM

Liberals and Democrats are short sighted.

Perspicacious on May 10, 2014 at 10:20 PM