British Columbia Turns Down Tar Sands Pipeline to the Pacific Coast
British Columbia(BC) has just rejected a proposed Alberta Tar Sands pipeline to the Pacific that was to be "Plan B" if the USA rejects the Keystone Pipeline. BC can be overruled by the Canadian Federal Government,but this is considered unlikely. We're Keystone to be turned down, the big winner would be RR tankcar shipments to the Gulf Coast from Alberta...and here we have GEL announcing a big expansion of its' Natchez crude oil RR unloadingg facility where Alberta crude will be transferred to GEL barges for delivery to Gulf Coast refineries. The unit trains that Natchez will handle carry something like 60-70,000 barrels of crude/train. Ten or twelve trains/day equals the Keystone pipeline. Natchez might handle one or two trains/day ,but I'm sure that more facilities could be built by GEL and others. Amazing how RR torpedoed the Kinder Morgan Energy pipeline between Texas and California and now RR tankcars could replace Keystone. GEL is clearly in the right place at the right time!
To get both pipelines nailed in the same week is amazing! Another neat thing about the Natchez operation is that it is being built to load the empty tankcars with light weight diluent hydrocarbons for the trip back to Alberta. You cannot pump the Heavy Alberta Tar Sands Crude called "bitumen" without a diluent or thinner to help move the bitumen through the Keystone pipeline or even move it in rail cars. The combination of diluent and bitumen is called dilbit. Even if the Keystone is built diluent has to be shipped to Alberta somehow as there is no diluent to be found in the tar sands. Big amounts of diluent are in the Texas oilfields. So, GEL has this big advantage,too. Can load the barges with diluent and go to Natchez. Unload diluent in Natchez and pick up dilbit to return to Gulf Coast refineries. Unload dilbit from RR tankcars and load RR tankcars with diluent. Beautiful!!