China Has Its Eye On Canada's Oil
While the U.S. dithers with concerns about "dirty oil" from Alberta's rich tar sands, energy-hungry China makes Ottawa an offer it might not refuse. Memo to Washington: Pipelines can run west as well as south.
When President Obama pledged to wean us off foreign oil, we hoped he didn't mean our friendly ally to the north, Canada. Granted, it doesn't have beaches like Rio, where we're helping the Brazilians drill offshore, but we had hopes nonetheless.
Together, the U.S. and Canada have enough oil and natural gas locked up in shale formations, tar sands, Alaska, the Canadian Arctic and the Outer Continental Shelf to make OPEC pound sand. But we won't drill for ours and apparently, we don't want Canada's.
With more than 170 billion barrels, Alberta has the world's third-largest oil reserves, behind only Saudi Arabia and Venezuela and ahead of Russia and Iran. Daily production of 1.5 million barrels from the oil sands is expected to nearly triple to 3.7 million by 2025. The only question is, will this crude be flowing south to U.S. refineries or west for export to China?
At issue is the Keystone XL pipeline, parts of which have already been built, that would bring Alberta oil to Texas Gulf Coast refineries. The pipeline also could transport oil extracted from shale formations in the Rocky Mountain West.