Big Oil Shifting More Focus to Canada

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire -01/09/12)- The oil and gas sector is set to play a big political role this election year as President Obama must decide whether or not to approve the controversial Keystone Pipeline which would send tar sands crude from Alberta to Texas. Originally, The Obama administration announced said that it would delay a final decision in order to complete additional environmental studies. However Republicans in Congress are seeking to force Obama's hand as the pipeline has become a cause for Republican presidential candidates. Five Star Equities examines the outlook for companies in the Oil and Gas sector and provides equity research on Suncor Energy, Inc. (NYSE: SU.TO - News) (TSX: SU.TO - News) and BP PLC (NYSE: BP - News) (LSE: BP - News). Access to the full company reports can be found at:

Last week at his annual "State of American Energy" speech, American Petroleum Institute head Jack Gerard proclaimed that President Obama faces "huge political consequences" if he does not approve the proposed 1,700-mile Keystone XI pipeline that would link Alberta's oil stands to refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast. The Obama administration must decide by February 21 to accept or deny a permit for the project.

The American Petroleum Institute believes that the potential for the project to create jobs, both in construction and in refineries and chemical plants that would use the oil brought from Canada, means that a decision by the Obama administration to deny a permit would be politically damaging.

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The Keystone Pipeline is not the only pipeline causing headlines in Canada. Earlier this month Reuters reported that a quintet of Canada's largest oil sands producers have contributed money and signed shipping deals in support of Enbridge Inc's Northern Gateway pipeline to the Pacific Coast.

The pipeline would move 525,000 barrels of Alberta crude a day to a port at Kitimat, British Columbia, where it could be shipped in large volumes on tankers to Asia for the first time.

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