Markham on Energy

More Alberta refining, upgrading of heavy crude oil is never going to be economic, but partial upgrading might be

More Alberta refining, upgrading of heavy crude oil is never going to be economic, but partial upgrading might be

Full upgrading is a bust, new refineries are too risky, and converting existing refineries is constrained by US shale oil supplies Albertans should stop pining for more refining and upgrading of Alberta oil sands bitumen and heavy crude oil, judging by the conclusions of a new study from IHS MarkIt. The economics simply don’t work. […]

By November 28, 2017 0 Comments Read More →
Electric semi-truck may finally turn me into a Tesla fan-boi

Electric semi-truck may finally turn me into a Tesla fan-boi

Tesla electric semi-truck lowers operating costs by 20%, has superior torque for hauling loads up steep grades While I respect Elon Musk, I’ve never been a fan-boi. Why? Because of the hype. The man has enough giddy middle-aged tech nerds who swoon at his every Tweet. And don’t get me started on all the Bloomberg […]

By November 26, 2017 3 Comments Read More →
Well drillers association misses target by a country mile with tax, regulatory criticisms

Well drillers association misses target by a country mile with tax, regulatory criticisms

New study reveals property taxes, pipeline capacity biggest challenges to oil and gas industry, not “regulatory uncertainty” or environmental levies The Canadian well drillers have released their 2018 drilling forecast, which reflects a steady as she goes state of affairs while prices hover around $50 WTI and the oil patch slowly gets back to work […]

By November 23, 2017 0 Comments Read More →
The intellectual bankruptcy of supply-side environmentalism

The intellectual bankruptcy of supply-side environmentalism

Is it time to switch to demand-side environmentalism, focus more on developing technologies to displace oil? Thanks, TransCanada. A 5,000 barrel leak of crude oil in South Dakota has the usual outrage machine – the Bill McKibbens and Greenpeaces of the world – demanding the project be scrapped. Which raises an interesting question: has pipeline […]

By November 22, 2017 1 Comments Read More →
Podcast: Plunging oil sands production costs explained, with Kevin Birn of IHS MarkIt

Podcast: Plunging oil sands production costs explained, with Kevin Birn of IHS MarkIt

In situ cash operating costs now $7-8/b, set to drop another 20-30% over next decade My guest on this Markham On Energy podcast is someone I interview regularly about the Alberta oil sands, especially to explain the economics of an industry that is difficult for outsiders to understand.┬áKevin Birn is the IHS MarkIt director of […]

By November 20, 2017 1 Comments Read More →
‘The era of oil is not yet over’ says IEA, but is it time for a new Alberta oil strategy?

‘The era of oil is not yet over’ says IEA, but is it time for a new Alberta oil strategy?

Partially upgrading every barrel of oil sands bitumen could make Alberta much more competitive in US markets Oil’s not going anywhere in a hurry, according to the International Energy Agency in its new World Energy Outlook. Not even widespread adoption of electric vehicles puts a dent in oil consumption before 2040. But the big news […]

By November 15, 2017 3 Comments Read More →
‘Lower forever’ oil prices mean Alberta needs to quickly rein in budget deficits – Part 1

‘Lower forever’ oil prices mean Alberta needs to quickly rein in budget deficits – Part 1

MacKinnon/Mintz prescription for balanced budget: constrain public sector wages, reduce healthcare costs, lower business taxes Sooner or later, an Alberta government will have to grapple with the effect of “lower forever” oil prices – to quote Shell CEO Ben van Beurden – on the province’s treasury. A new report from the School of Public Policy […]

By November 14, 2017 1 Comments Read More →
De-carbonized natural gas goal of next ARCTIC technology challenge

De-carbonized natural gas goal of next ARCTIC technology challenge

$500,000 in funding available for combined Challenge Sprint and Field Testing Natural gas is already the cleanest fossil fuel, but a new competition aims to “de-carbonize” Canada’s gas supply even further, possibly helping the country meet its Paris Climate Accord commitments. In this podcast, I interview Neil Huff of the Foresight Cleantech Accelerator Centre and […]

By November 12, 2017 1 Comments Read More →
Westridge Terminal fence is not ‘militarized’ but it is being deliberately politicized

Westridge Terminal fence is not ‘militarized’ but it is being deliberately politicized

Flap over Westridge Terminal fence just another talking point for rage-fueled anti-pipeline Vancouver political narrative Twitter is aflutter this morning with news that Kinder Morgan has erected a fence around its Westridge Terminal in Burnaby while workers construct a three-berth dock complex as part of the Trans Mountain Expansion project. Activists are shocked – shocked! […]

By November 11, 2017 0 Comments Read More →
How can Notley sell Trans Mountain Expansion when her pipeline job numbers are wrong?

How can Notley sell Trans Mountain Expansion when her pipeline job numbers are wrong?

“Half of those 15,000 jobs would be directly in construction, the rest would be indirect and induced impact.” – Michael Burt Alberta Premier Rachel Notley announced Tuesday that she is embarking on a “cross-country tour” to convince Canadians that Kinder Morgan’s West Coast project must be completed, despite ferocious opposition from opponents. But the announcement […]