Oil Sands News

26 Sep 2019

Canadian company ships solid oil sands bitumen to China

© Igor Groshev / Adobe Stock

A Canadian company has loaded a test cargo of solid bitumen onto a vessel destined for a refinery in China, the latest effort by the energy industry to avoid congested export pipelines and find new ways to export more oil sands crude.Calgary, Alberta-based Melius Energy loaded 130 barrels of neat bitumen, similar in consistency to a hockey puck, onto a 20-foot shipping container in Edmonton, Alberta, and transported it by rail to the Port of Prince Rupert in northern British Columbia.

26 Aug 2019

GeoLOGIC Acquires TOP Analysis

Image: geoLOGIC systems

Canada's geoLOGIC systems announced that it has purchased TOP Analysis, a provider of Canadian thermal oilsands critical information & competitive intelligence through  an easy to use SaaS platform available to all disciplines."TOP Analysis is regarded as an industry standard for data  associated with thermal projects and all oil & gas regulatory information by engineers, geologists and other technical professionals. TOP Analysis enabled clients to be competitive in a market where the ability to make timely development decisions can make or break a company…

24 Feb 2019

Oil and Gas Projects to Triple in 2019

Map: Rystad Energy

A surge in final investment decisions (FIDs) this year on new petroleum projects worldwide could see sanctioned volumes of oil and gas – excluding shale and tight oil and gas prospects – nearly triple compared to last year’s tally.The collective volumes could swell past 46 billion barrels of oil equivalent (boe), according to research conducted by Rystad Energy.“We expect global FID volumes in 2019 to triple over last year, and 2019’s megaproject awards could lead to billions of subcontracting dollars in coming years…

20 Sep 2018

Answering the Call for Environmental Answers

The RDC project team poses on USCGC Hollyhock after completion of the offshore mitigation system prototype test.  From left to right, LT Charles Clark, Alexander Balsley, and Coast Guard Academy Cadet 2/c Valerie Hines.)

The Coast Guard has developed two separate mitigation system prototypes specifically designed for inland and offshore environments and tested them in the Kalamazoo River and Lake Huron.Whenever there is a need for oil, there will always be a risk of oil spills. This is no less true for bituminous sands, commonly known as oil sands or tar sands. Oil sands are mostly found in Alberta, Canada, and comprised of bitumen, sand, clay and water. They are typically viscous, with a texture similar to peanut butter.

22 Jan 2018

Group Ocean Orders Two Damen Workboats

Multi Cat 1205 (Image: Damen)

Dutch based Damen Shipyards Group said it has signed a contract with Canada’s Group Ocean for the delivery of two new workboats that will provide dredging support services at an oil sands project in northern Canada. The new vessels, both Modular Multi Cats 1205, are made of standard, container-sized units that enable easy transport. The versatile Multi Cat workboat used in many sectors for operations such as towing and anchor-handling, dive support, marine engineering, offshore energy operations and for dredging and dredging support.

28 Nov 2017

ExxonMobil's Canada Offshore Project Produces First Oil

Photo: ExxonMobil Canada

The Hebron oil project off the coast of eastern Canada has produced its first oil, operator Exxon Mobil said on Tuesday, in a boost to Atlantic Canada's output after years of weak crude prices. At its peak Hebron will produce up to 150,000 barrels per day (bpd), Exxon said. It will help Atlantic Canada offshore production climb 44 percent to 307,000 bpd by 2024, according to estimates from the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers. The platform is located 200 miles (350 kilometres) off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador in depths of 300 feet (92 metres) and the oil field…

22 Aug 2017

Total Overtakes Shell in North Sea Production

File Image: a typical offshore North Sea installation (Credit: Craig International)

Majors still control three quarter of output; even after $10 bln of deals, private equity still plays only modest role. French oil major Total has overtaken rival Royal Dutch Shell to become the second-largest producer in the North Sea with its acquisition of Maersk's Norwegian and UK producing assets. The $7.45 billion deal by Total was welcomed by the market, with analysts saying it helped the French company rebalance its portfolio by adding assets in developed countries after going for projects in riskier places such as Iran and Russia.

09 Feb 2017

Trump, Trudeau to Discuss Trade on Monday

President Donald Trump will host Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Monday, the White House said on Thursday, a meeting in which trade and a major crude oil pipeline are likely to be on the agenda. The meeting will be the first for the two men since Trump won last November's election. "President Trump and Prime Minister Trudeau look forward to a constructive conversation on strengthening the relationship between our two nations," the White House said in a statement. Canada sends 75 percent of its exports to the United States and is keen to avoid becoming the target of protectionist measures. Trump wants to renegotiate the trilateral NAFTA trade pact with Canada and Mexico, which he says has been disastrous for American workers.

21 Nov 2016

Canada Oil Sands Asia Export Dream Faces Port Bottleneck

The bullish view for Suncor Energy Inc (SU.TO), Cenovus Energy Inc (CVE.TO) and other Canadian energy producers calls for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau by next month to approve a major pipeline expansion to the west coast, boosting sales of land-locked oil sands crude to Asia. But a growing number of shipping brokers and physical oil traders warn that any new influx of oil will hit a bottleneck in Vancouver, because of the port's inability to accept the megaships that dominate oil trade globally. This bottleneck marks one of the more under appreciated hurdles facing Canadian oil sands crude being shipped from its busiest port of Vancouver, these shipping brokers say. Middle Eastern producers already ship oil ship to Asia far more cheaply, thanks to the bigger vessels they employ. And U.S.

03 Jun 2016

New Colombian Crude Whets Appetite of US Refiners

The United States has started to import small batches of Colombia's Puerto Bahia heavy crude, an unusual development that underscores at least a temporary shift in the type of heavy oil flowing into U.S. refineries. Typically, U.S. refineries have received their heavy oil from Canada, Venezuela and Mexico. But shipments of those grades have been limited by Canada wildfires, and slipping output in Mexico and Venezuela. The first shipment of the Colombian heavy crude arrived at Lake Charles, Louisiana in February co-loaded with Vasconia crude for refiner Phillips 66, followed by a 260,000-barrel cargo in March for the same customer, according to sources and data available from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

18 May 2016

Canadian Oil Exports Drop, Supply Hunt on Amid Wildfires

In a sign the massive Alberta wildfire is taking a toll on oil transport, Canadian crude exports to the United States dropped 12 percent last week, while another blend of Canadian sweet crude oil rallied as concerns grow about supply. Overall, trading in Canadian crude was quiet, as the second half of the month is generally inactive. Hot and dry weather and strong winds were expected to push the wildfire burning near Fort McMurray, Alberta eastward on Wednesday, continuing to threaten facilities and work camps in Canada's prized oil sands. With the fire projected to grow further, producers are starting to scramble for needed oil supply.

04 May 2016

Oil Turns Lower after US Crude Build

A bigger-than-expected build in U.S. crude inventories to fresh record highs pushed oil markets lower on Wednesday after an early rally over concerns about production cuts in Canada's oil sands region due to a wildfire. U.S. crude stocks, which have been setting record highs since January, grew 2.8 million barrels last week, government data showed, about a million barrels more than analysts' expectations. Gasoline stocks also posted a surprise increase. The data overshadowed concerns over evacuations in the Canadian province of Alberta, where a wildfire raged unchecked through the Canadian city of Fort McMurray in the heart of the country's oil sands region, prompting some companies, including Suncor Energy and Royal Dutch Shell, to cut back production.

03 Feb 2016

Twin Dredgers for Canadian Oil Sands

Photo: Damen

Damen Shipyards Group has completed a construction contract comprising two electric-powered Cutter Suction Dredgers (CSD) for the Canadian oil sands industry. With both vessels built in Canada, the contract marks the close cooperation between Damen and Aecon, Canada’s largest publicly traded infrastructure development and construction company. Two newly-built Damen CSDs have commenced operations in Northern Alberta, Canada. The two 40.64-meter-long vessels perform dredging duties in oil sands tailings ponds.

26 Jan 2016

Oil Rises Towards $31 on Hopes of Deal

Oil rose on Tuesday to above $31 a barrel on hopes that OPEC and non-OPEC producers were inching closer to a deal to reduce output in the face of one of the biggest supply gluts in decades. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries is making renewed calls for rival producers to cut supply alongside its members, but Russia, seen as key to any deal, has so far refused to cooperate. Iraqi Oil Minister Adel Abdel Mahdi said on Tuesday he saw "some flexibility" for a deal, an idea has been repeatedly mooted and dismissed for over a year. Brent crude was up $1.02 at $31.52 a barrel by 11:05 a.m. EST (1605 GMT), rebounding from a decline earlier in the session. On Jan. 20, Brent reached as low as $27.10, its lowest since November 2003. U.S.

07 Jan 2016

Oil Options Lurch Closer to $20 Goldman Doomsday Forecast

When U.S. investment bank Goldman Sachs said last year that oil could fall as low as $20 per barrel, it assigned a fairly low probability to that scenario. Fast-forward five months and in some parts of the world the forecast has already proved correct. Canadian physical crude has been selling this week at below $20 per barrel, less than it costs to extract and transport. Traders in the options market, meanwhile, are taking protection against prices falling below $25. The developments reflect growing concerns that a market already awash in too much oil is now suffering the double-whammy of a sharp slowdown in U.S. and Chinese demand.

14 Nov 2015

Canada PM Tells Minister to Modernize Energy Regulator

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Pierre James Trudeau

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau instructed his natural resources minister to "modernize" Canada's independent pipeline regulator, said a letter released on Friday that gave details on the newly elected leader's environmental plans. Trudeau asked Natural Resources Minister James Carr to ensure the Calgary-based National Energy Board (NEB) has a balanced representation from across the country, as well as sufficient expertise in environmental science, community development and indigenous traditional knowledge.

13 Nov 2015

Canada to Ban Oil Tankers on Northern BC Coast

Photo: Transport Canada

Canada will push ahead with a moratorium on oil tanker traffic along the northern coast of British Columbia, effectively slamming the door on a controversial pipeline project that was already facing massive development hurdles. In a letter released on Friday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau instructed Transport Minister Marc Garneau to work with numerous other ministries to "formalize" the ban on oil tanker traffic, a Liberal campaign promise ahead of the federal elections last month.

01 Oct 2015

New Risks Moving Crude Oil by Rail

The rapidly changing landscape of crude oil exploration and drilling in the US and Canada, together with economic considerations, logistical issues related to pipeline transport, and the availability of new types of crude oils, including Bakken crude and various forms of bitumen, have resulted in a very sudden and dramatic increase in the transport of crude oil by railroad. “Unit trains” containing 100 or more tank cars are transporting crude oil through regions that have not previously experienced this type of rail transport, and there are significant concerns about safety.

30 Aug 2015

Syncrude Uncertain about Plant Fire Affecting Production

Syncrude's Mildred Lake plant Photo Syncrude

The operator of Canada's largest synthetic crude project said on Saturday it is investigating the causes of an early morning fire at an upgrading plant. Firefighters extinguished the blaze, at Syncrude Canada's Mildred Lake upgrading complex in northern Alberta, and no one was injured, said company spokesman Will Gibson in a phone interview. The fire broke out a few hours after the province's energy regulator announced it was shutting in 95 pipelines operated by Nexen, one of the partners in the project, because of safety issues identified following a large oil-related spill in July.

15 Aug 2015

Alberta Panel to Review Climate-change Policy

Environment Minister Shannon Phillips

The Canadian province of Alberta, the biggest source of U.S. oil imports, announced the members of its climate change policy review panel on Friday, part of its pledge to implement new rules on greenhouse gas reductions. Environment Minister Shannon Phillips said the panel would offer recommendations to the government by early November, ahead of a key United Nations climate change conference in Paris in December, but did not say when new GHG targets are likely to come into effect.

09 Aug 2015

Alberta Investigating Bird Deaths at Oil Sands Site

Blue herons dying

Alberta's energy regulator said on Saturday it is investigating reports that about 30 blue herons have died at a Syncrude Canada oil sands mine site in the northern part of the Canadian province. The Alberta Energy Regulator said it sent investigators to the Syncrude Canada Mildred Lake site, which is about 40 km (25 miles) north of Fort McMurray. In 2010, Syncrude was fined C$3 million ($2.29 million) for negligence in the 2008 deaths of 1,600 ducks in a toxic waste pond, a case that fueled international concern about the environmental impact of developing Canada's oil sands.

16 Jun 2015

Arctic Drilling Protest Get Star Power from Jane Fonda and Rachel McAdams

Image courtesy: Greenpeace

Actors Jane Fonda and Rachel McAdams added their star power to protest against Shell’s plan to drill for oil in the Arctic. Both are opposed to Shell drilling in the Arctic. The duo made public appearance at a Greenpeace rally in Vancouver, Canada, on Saturday to protest against oil sands development, tanker traffic and Arctic drilling. Roughly 5,500 people attended the Toast the Coast event at Jericho beach on Saturday. The gathering celebrated the beauty of B.C.'s oceans, and opposed Arctic oil drilling, coastal pipelines, and the use of oil tankers.

03 Jun 2015

AAL Expands into Prince Rupert

AAL Brisbane in Prince Rupert

AAL, one of the world’s leading global breakbulk, project cargo and heavy lift shipping operators, has strengthened its foothold in the oil rich mining region of Northern Alberta, by expanding its popular ‘Pacific Service’ liner route to include the British Columbia Port of Prince Rupert. Its inaugural sailing into the Canadian port on May 10 2015 was with a cargo of process units for a major new oil sands project in Alberta. The Port of Prince Rupert, with its newly established road and rail links…

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