Instead of pipelines, build refineries here

Bonne idée pour les provinces de l’Ouest.

Pour le Québec un peu plus difficile, notre matière est plutôt des métaux durs, donc, le coût de transformation va être dispendieux, si on tente de les exporter dans les pays émergents qui ont une forte croissance, car le coût de la main-d'œuvre est nettement moins cher dans ces pays.

Au moins, si les provinces de l’ouest deviennent plus riches, ils critiqueront moins la péréquation.

Extrait de : Instead of pipelines, build refineries here, By Susan McArthur, Financial Post, Nov 4, 2011

$100-billion ­investment needed over 20 years

The continuing controversy in the U.S. surrounding TransCanada’s proposed Keystone pipeline may just be the best thing that ever happened to Canada. Perhaps it will force us to finally just say no to being hewers of wood and drawers of water. While Keystone’s success is important, it’s time Canada comes of age and starts to transform more of its resources into value-added products at home.

When it comes to our oil resources, this is no small undertaking. The price tag to build the infrastructure and refining complex scaled for our vast oil reserves could be as much as $100-billion and could take 20 years.

·         we have the resources,

·         the natural proximity to ports,

·         rail infrastructure and voracious customers south of the border and within 36 hours of our export terminals.

All it takes is vision, capital, know-how, tenacity and chutzpah.
And a big bold plan.

We don’t need to look very far for vision.

Northwest Red Water Partnership (NRWP) is a perfect example. Founded by Ian Macgregor’s Northwest Upgrading and in partnership with Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. and the Alberta government, NRWP is the first new refinery to be built in North America in 30 years. The $15-billion project is the stuff legends are made of. Alberta decided it wanted its share of the higher, less-volatile margins that come from converting bitumen to refined products. NWRP won the government’s tender and as a result a new refinery is being built at home, which will process a portion of Alberta’s royalty production.

Alberta and CNRL have committed a total of 50,000 barrels a day to the project for the first of three phases. The returns to the province are enormous — jobs, taxes and a share in the refining margins, which to date have accrued to large multinational oil companies (i.e. not Canadians). If Phase 1 of the refinery had been in operation last year, the province would have raked in an additional $500-million on its royalties.

A refining complex in Canada would also be better for the environment. Refined products are roughly half the volume of raw bitumen and Canadian environmental standards are the highest in the world. The NRWP refinery will be the first refinery in the world with an integrated CO2 solution.

Canada is awash in capital. Our pension funds are scouring the planet for long-term yield-generating assets to offset their liabilities. We are investing our retirement funds all over the world. For example, the $150-billion Canada Pension Plan portfolio has only 14% invested in Canadian equity. Approximately 40% of CPP’s portfolio is invested in foreign equities and the balance in debt, real estate and infrastructure, a large portion of which is offshore. CPP, along with the other large Canadian pension funds, have invested in foreign infrastructure projects partly due to a lack of opportunities at home.

Canada is the new hot spot for educated professionals. We have so much to offer with respect to lifestyle, security and opportunity. We can develop an entire generation of professional expertise around oil-refining processes. We can set the agenda re R&D for greener, cleaner refining practices and become a global leader in energy. All of this made in Canada.

As for chutzpah … well, we are Canadians, after all. We built the railways and discovered insulin. What’s a mere $100-billion, 20-year plan to keep investment, jobs and control over our resources at home? Plan B for our oil resources shouldn’t be exporting bitumen barrels to China versus the U.S. Gulf Coast. It should be exporting value-added petroleum products to the world.