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News on IDB Funding -- this is now on it's own page to clean up the site a bit.

Oil Sands Upgraders May Make a Comeback Amid Pipeline Crisis

Oil Sands Upgraders May Make a Comeback Amid Pipeline Crisis

Alberta’s government’s C$1 billion dollar pledge ($780 million) will help support the construction of smaller and cheaper varieties of upgraders. The so-called partial upgraders would process the sticky oil just enough so that it can flow freely through pipelines without adding ultra-light condensate. The government expects that as many as five private investors will infuse about C$5 billion in the sector.


Interest in building full upgraders dwindled prior to the 2014 downturn in oil prices amid soaring costs and as the U.S. fracking boom sent a surge of light oil onto the market, depressing prices for similar synthetic crude. The older versions were refinery-sized plants that would cost billions of dollars to build today. The partial upgraders are cheaper, and would produce a grade that’s easier to refine and transport without the need for more-expensive diluent.

“Partial upgrading does part of the job and gets part of the benefit,” Kent Fellows, a research associate at the School of Public Policy and one of the report’s authors. “Its a much-less intensive process and a much less costly process.”

Since partial upgrading would reduce or eliminate the need for the condensate that makes up about a third of the heavy oil-sands crude, it would free up pipeline space and produce a grade of oil that’s easier to refine and more valuable than the heavy grades produced currently, Fellows said.

Continued: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-03-12/oil-sands-upgraders-may-make-a-comeback-amid-pipeline-crises?utm_source=yahoo&utm_medium=bd&utm_campaign=headline&cmpId=yhoo.headline&yptr=yahoo