Message from the editor
Canada desperately needs additional pipeline capacity.
With the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers forecasting oilsands output to double to 3.2 million barrels a day by 2020, the issue couldn’t be more urgent. But that’s only part of the problem. What’s coming out of the oilsands region competes with oil—a lot of oil—from the Bakken play in North Dakota for limited space on already-congested pipelines, and that’s putting downward pressure on the price of Canadian crude.
Getting product to market, however, is proving to be far more difficult than getting product out of the ground. And a series of high-profile oil spills over the past two years hasn’t helped.
Oscar Wilde once said, “The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about.” Had he been around for this summer’s report on the 2010 Enbridge Inc. pipeline spill in Michigan he probably would have kept his mouth shut. Having the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board say that Enbridge handled the spill like the Keystone Kops is hardly a ringing endorsement.
At this point the fate of Northern Gateway, which would carry Alberta bitumen through British Columbia to the West Coast, is bleak. That’s a shame because what we need most is access to Asian markets.
The fate of the Keystone XL project, which would carry product south to Cushing, Okla., is another matter, though one likely to be settled in the voting booth in November. Assuming the U.S. economy remains in the doldrums, Republicans are sure to continue the argument that the project will create thousands of construction jobs at a time when the U.S. needs new jobs.
Unfortunately, time isn’t on Canada’s side. According to a recent report by Wood Mackenzie Limited, “Canadian crude potentially faces deep protracted discounts if pipeline projects stumble and new export routes are not secured.”
In the articles ahead, we look at pipeline construction as well as a number of other energy-related projects and issues. We also talk to Alberta’s new energy minister, Ken Hughes.
And speaking of energy, we’re putting a lot of energy into the planning of our annual Alberta Construction Magazine Top Projects Awards issue and this year’s luncheon and awards ceremony.
There are three dates you should make a note of: October 1, November 1 and December 4.
Here’s what you should know: Nominations for 2012 submissions may be made at albertaconstructionmagazine.com/topprojects. You can do everything online, including submitting photo(s) for each project. But remember, the deadline is end of the day October 1, so the sooner you submit, the less stressed out you’ll be.
Now in terms of the gala luncheon and awards ceremony, which we’ve been planning with our premier sponsor KPMG, please make a note that it will be held at the Derrick Golf and Winter Club on December 4 in Edmonton. (The event rotates between Calgary and Edmonton.) You can order tickets by going to the same web address and, if you do so before November 1, you qualify for the early bird discount.
Hope to see you there. And in the meantime, keep those nominations coming!