For GKAS711...(Should MWE ship propane to Europe via Great Lakes?)
HI, GKAS711: I am taking the liberty of starting a new subject making sure 1. You see this and 2. That others on the board appreciate what IMO an important question you asked. What GKAS 711 asked is whether MWE could go North with propane and ship it to Europe..My answer is that IMO I think MWE could do it nicely. I've been wondering about this since visiting Rochester NY on Lake Ontario last year. What is needed ,of course, is a pipeline going preferably to Lake Ontario. Mariner West goes to Lake Erie area, but the Welland Canal between Lakes Erie and Ontario has width/depth limitations that might make it tough on ship size. also Mariner West is too small to handle shipments to both Sarnia/Nova and Europe. Our new KMP friends,however, have a big pipe line that if the KMP/MWE JV scores will carry up to 400,000 barrels/day of natural gas liquids south from Ohio to TX or Louisiana. The natural gas liquids would replace natural gas now flowing north but no longer needed due to all the Utica/ Marcellus Gas. Now,might that pipeline north of Ohio be empty,too? good question. If you look at a KMP pipeline map, the pipeline goes by Lake Ontario. Were KMP/MWE to put in Ontario Lakeside refrigeration one would think that propane could be loaded on ships nicely for Europe. Can the newly acquired MWE RR be used for this,too? Possibly to supplement the pipeline action...but 400,000 barrel capacity pipelines can fill a lot of ships!! So, great Question, GKAS711, and I hope my answer makes sense!!
I see no advantage. Frozen waterways, shipping the product past Montreal and Quebec in the winter, and the lack of size of great lakes vessals vs. Ocean vessels on the surface makes it seem impracticable to me. The Eastern solution is to ship it to Philly and on to Europe. The Mariner East. project. Philly's refiners have expansion in mind to take care of this market. The Baken oil comes East by rail. I never asked why they don't ship it by Great Lakes Tanker. The new line or lines to Philly are going to be expensive but doable. I would say trying to build a propane line to Rochester or Buffalo thru anti drilling NY would be challenging to say the least.