Editor, The Times:
Recently an item came up on the “net.” An item that should have spread joy and celebration in the oilpatch.
The best and possibly the only truly good news for a long time. It appears that a new refinery in Edmonton is now able to process Athabasca tar. You know there were two new refineries built with much opposition from Right to Left.
The Alberta NDP opposed it, but then turned around when in power and helped finish it. In fact, Rachel Notley was talking about putting out tender for another refinery or at least a couple of upgrades to add value to that virtually worthless Alberta Sludge.
There’s the tar itself good for road asphalt. There are elements in the discard that I’m told is good for building batteries, the power of the future. But, none of this is available if this heated corrosive stuff is pushed down a pipe to tidewater on the faint hope that it will gain some value.
Very unlikely. What queried my waggish friend, what are they going to do it with it, dump it on the beach? One has to remember there were two new refineries that were constructed in Alberta in the last number of years.
They are “state of the art” with carbon capture and all the bells and whistles for the 21 century and now with one or possibly both geared to process Alberta tar that’s the best news so far.
There should be trumpets sounding from high. This is, I repeat, this is the best news from the oilpatch and years. But, refining oil in Alberta is not what those useless “petrothugs” in Calgary want. They want to draw their ridiculous salaries and push unrefined Alberta tar down the pipe to tidewater.
And with Jason Kenney more interested in suppressing dissent and right in the pockets of the aforementioned Calgary oil thugs, nothing much is going to change.
Despite what Elizebeth May says, oil is not dead. With the shipping industry getting rid of bulk and clearing the air with refined oil, there’ll be a need far into the future.
However, given the policies of Jason Kenney the Athabasca oilsand could well be dead.