Keystone pipeline: Five years later, a changed energy dynamic
The Keystone pipeline was first proposed five years ago. A lot has changed since then and the Canadian economy is starting to ponder a future that's less coupled to the US energy market, Graeber writes. TransCanada, with its domestic pipeline proposal, is already hedging its bets on the Keystone pipeline.
Canadian Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver said last week it was time to add more diversity to an energy sector that relies almost exclusively on the United States. New drilling technologies for shale have translated to major gains in U.S. oil and natural gas production, which itself translates to a U.S. economy that relies less on imports to meet its energy demands. That's forced Oliver to stand up and take notice. He told the audience at an energy conference in New York his country has the resources necessary to help meet the growing energy demands across the world. Five years after TransCanada first proposed its Keystone XL oil pipeline, Oliver's comments suggest North American market dynamics may be different for Canada.Skip to next paragraph
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"Canada has the resources in place to meet its own needs and the growing energy demands of global markets," he said. "We are aggressively working to enhance Canada’s position as a stable, secure and environmentally responsible energy supplier to North America and the world." (Related Article: Canada Ramps up Pipeline Plans)
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Back home in Calgary, he said diversity in the Canadian export market was necessary because virtually all of its oil and natural gas exports head to the United States. Production momentum there, he said, means Canada's influence as an energy partner is starting to wane.
The U.S. Energy Department said in its short-term market report crude oil net imports for the fourth quarter of the year should be 13 percent less than the same period in 2012. The forecast for fourth quarter 2014 imports is 5.95 million barrels per day, or nearly 25 percent less than fourth quarter 2012. The report said U.S. total crude oil production, meanwhile, should average 8.4 million bpd next year. A similar scenario is envisioned for natural gas, which the United States is preparing to export in the form of liquefied natural gas.