Texas buys up Canadian Oil/Gas pipelines

Canada is fast becoming the economic battleground between China and the US. Yesterdy, Kinder Morgan announced a $7 billion takeover bid of Terasen Gas of British Columbia. Terasen is a major pipeline operator into the oil and gas fields of Northern BC and Alberta and is active in the Oil Sands.

(Audio Podcast Available)

It is also a Natural Gas provider for BC (me).

You can bet this is a move to secure American controlled access to the Alberta Oil Sands…

Canadian companies are, predictably, happy to accomodate either China or the US. A few state-owned companies have already made some purchases, here’s an article from the SF Chronicles which is presented as a bit of a wakeup call to Americans who may think that Canadian Oil is American Oil.

The Oil sands won’t be seriously developed anytime soon. It’s still simply too expensive. People have to understand that when these oil sands are finally tapped there is absolutely no chance that the price of oil will come down.. a high price is neeeded just for Big Oil to “afford” the price of extraction. And in reality, the production output of the Oil Sands will not be significant enough to satisfy the worlds growing daily consumption of oil… which means prices will only go higher.

As an aside, British Columbia has vast untapped oil and gas reserves (20 billion barrels of crude in one of the fields) off the coast. There has been a moratorium on oil and gas exploration for the past 30 years to protect the fragile ecosystems in these near coastal regions. Moresby Island in The Haida Gwai (Queen Charlotte Islands) is a World Heritage Site and the fishing, while under threat, is still good. Public support for lifting the moratorium is still very low but it has been growing, and the government, both Federal and Provincial has been salivating at the thought of more oil and gas revenue.

As a result, I expect the moratorium to be lifted sometime in the next 2-5 years and exploration and developed.

It seems as though, as Saudi Arabia and the other producers of historic oil reserves decline, Canada is set to become an even bigger player in the world oil markets. This is no doubt good for Canada, but only in the short term.

I fear that because Canada is blessed with such vast, untapped, oil reserves it will be far too slow to pursue and implement alternative energy sources. Canada has a very modern and robust economy, a progressive and highly skilled population, some of the best researchers in the world, vast natural resources and so much more. We have all the tools to take a run at developing the Next Big Thing.

In the History of the Human race there have only been two fuels to power society. For the first thousands of years it was wood. Then with the Industrial Revolution came Coal and Oil. Now, only a couple centuries later, we are on the verge of the 3rd Great Transition of the Human Race.

This task is simply too mammoth and too widespread for one company or consortium or conglomerate to tackle. Our destiny can not be allowed to be controlled by elite shareholders.

We must all have a stake in determining our future and we must all be willing to pay for it. Much like the Apollo program, only governments have the ability to fund initiatives like the one we require.

It is time the Canadians and the Canadian government stand up and make their presence felt on this Earth. We must seize this opportunity to implement a new energy source. We must use not only our own dollars, but also the dollars generated directly from the Hydrocarbon economy itself. As prices rise more and more money could be put away to fund the future initiative.

Maybe this is just my crazy idea, but I think it can be done. I think Canada and Canadians can do it. I think our Political parties are missing an opportunity to capture the incredible energy and optimism that every Canadian possesses.

Cheers.

Chris

2 thoughts on “Texas buys up Canadian Oil/Gas pipelines”

  1. Chris,

    It is striking that everyone is trying to ensure their access to Canadian oil sands even though as you say the time may not have arrived. I didn’t know about the offshore oil and gas in B.C. Since this should be recoverable at a lower cost, it may have an impact sooner, although the environmental implications do have to be carefully thought out. Canada’s influence in the world will certainly go up if its importance as an energy supplier increases.

    “I fear that because Canada is blessed with such vast, untapped, oil reserves it will be far too slow to pursue and implement alternative energy sources. Canada has a very modern and robust economy, a progressive and highly skilled population, some of the best researchers in the world, vast natural resources and so much more. We have all the tools to take a run at developing the Next Big Thing.”

    This month’s National Geographic has an interesting update on alternative sources, which are gaining ground in Europe. If energy rises in price and stays high, I think alternative sources will become more attractive and more North Americans will turn to them. I’m not sure how public investment would help but European countries are already making these investments and we might learn from them what works.

    How much interest is there where you live in alternative energy? Is wind or tidal energy practical for electrical generation?

  2. Hi David,

    Ya, the Offshore reserves in BC are fairly substantial.. the best information is probably the BC Gov website.

    The reserves were tough to tap by old-time standards back in the 60s and 70s… but now technology has come far enough that they are reachable. There is still a lot of backlash against it though, people are very enviro-conscious in BC, even people (loggers, fisherman, other natural resource industry workers) who you might think wouldn’t be. I think people here have seen what happens when you screw with nature in the East so they don’t want that to happen here too.

    As for Alternatives. BC Hydro was doing some world class R&D a few years back in tidal and micro-hydro power. But since the “Liberals” took office BC Hydro has been split in two and their research seems to have gone nowhere.

    There is also of course Ballard Power System, makers of Hydrogen fuel cells… they’re based in Burnaby, BC… and there is lots of research happening at UBC and SFU into alternatives.

    That’s why I think all the ingredients are here.. I think if the government actually came up with a plan that people could get behind, British COlumbians and Canadians in general would get behind it 100%

Comments are closed.