January 24, 2008 at 2:24 am #3823
ConocoPhillips buys stake in Canadian oil pipeline
By Jeffrey Tomich
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH Wednesday 01/23/2008
ConocoPhillips, the nation’s second-largest oil refiner, exercised an option to buy half of a $5.2 billion crude-oil pipeline that will link Canada’s oil-rich tar sands with the Wood River refinery in Roxana and oil terminals in the central U.S.
Houston-based ConocoPhillips agreed in November 2005 to ship oil on TransCanada Corp.’s Keystone pipeline. That agreement also gave the oil company a right to buy a 50 percent stake in the project. Terms weren’t disclosed.
The pipeline investment is the latest signal of the importance of Canadian oil to ConocoPhillips. In October 2006, the company announced a partnership with Canadian oil producer EnCana Corp., giving up stakes in its Wood River and Borger, Texas, refineries for an interest in two heavy oil projects in northeast Alberta.
ConocoPhillips Chief Executive Jim Mulva said the Keystone pipeline “will play a significant role in integrating ConocoPhillips’ upstream and downstream assets and ensure market access for growing Canadian production.”
The 2,100-mile Keystone pipeline will be able to deliver 590,000 barrels of oil a day from Hardisty, Alberta, to Wood River and oil terminals in Illinois and Oklahoma. Oil shipments are expected to begin in late 2009, Calgary-based TransCanada said.
Since the project was announced in 2005, its cost has more than doubled from $2.1 billion to $5.2 billion. The cost increase reflects higher prices for steel pipe as well as a decision to increase the pipeline’s capacity and extend it to an oil terminal at Cushing, Okla.
ConocoPhillips and EnCana plan a two-phased expansion of the Wood River refinery over the next six years to increase the plant’s capacity to process heavy oil.
The first phase would increase capacity to 370,000 barrels a day from 306,000 and cost about $1.9 billion, the companies have said. The state of Illinois issued an air permit for the expansion, but a coalition of environmental groups have appealed the decision to the U.S. Environmental Appeals Board.
The proposed second phase of the Wood River expansion would cost $2 billion and increase refining capacity by an additional 100,000 barrels a day. If completed, the refinery would be capable of processing entirely heavy Canadian crude oil, spokeswoman Melissa Erker said.
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January 24, 2008 at 2:29 am #7086
Here is update on COP Woodriver Refinery & Coker expansion – as COP ties up ownership in pipeline for moving Canadian Bitumen crude from its EnCana partner to the Woodriver refinery. The $5.2 Billion TransCanada Keystone pipeline will start moving its 590 MBD in 2009 from Hardisty to Woodriver & other oil terminals in Illinois & Oklahoma. Part reason the TransCanada project cost doubled was the increase in volume & extending it to Cushing, Oklahoma – a major US crude transfer terminal.
COP already has its state air permit for Woodriver expansion – but article also mentions a coalition of enviromental groups trying to block the expansion & appeal to the U.S. Environmental board. I think it is time for US Refining industry to stop paying “greenmail” to these environmental thugs and demand that permits meeting all the Federal, State and industry standards not be overthrown or stalled by NIMBY special interest groups whose only purpose is to stop ANY development of US based industry which is done at the expense of all US citizens.
These groups themselves have shabby track record on spending their extracted blackmail funds to improve air emissions which is often spent instead on pet area projects their own agencies have not funded.
The Refining industry has been thrown into an fuel crisis because these groups have blocked ALL expansions so successfully that no new refineries have been allowed to be built in the last 25 years even though the US has been forced to rely on gasoline imports to meet demand.
Not satisfied with blocking new construction, and overloading any existing plant expansions with heavy emissions limitations and additional technology expenditures – they are moving into blocking any new fossil fuel additions within the US unless their blackmail funds are paid. Two new grassroots refineries have been locked in battle by these groups for the last 2 years in two of the 13 states that have no refining capacity – even though all federal & state agencies and residents welcome the additions.
I believe these environmental groups should first be required to prove that all of the foreign sourced refineries supplying imported gasoline & fuels into the US have a superior emissions level & record to the US refinery addition or expansion that they are trying to block as a minimum. Even better would be for the Federal government to set these filings aside for the frivolous lawsuits that they are, and to start upholding the permits that have already been issued.
It is time to stop appeasement and expose them as the agents for the $3/gal price on gasoline, greenmail thugs that they are, and seek legislation to offer the same right of eminent domain over-ride that other critical services like water, sewer & power to be able to service the public at large over the special interest of a few. This industry is in crisis the youngest refinery is over 32 years old, the average age on most refineries varies between 60-100 years old! We not only have 13 states without any refineries – we have 11 states with less than 2 refineries that do not meet their states demand. Over 60% of the US refining assets are located in 3 states – California, Texas & Louisiana and Hurricanes Rita & Katrina show what a huge risk allowing this trend of elimination & concentration to continue is.
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