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Exporting raw bitumen from the province - a bad thing?

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  • Exporting raw bitumen from the province - a bad thing?

    Mod EDIT

    This was a double post, so I'll take advantage of this to explain that this thread was split from a Dinning thread. This was due to the fact that the bitumen comment is actually a hot topic in Alberta.

  • #2
    So far all I am decided on is I won't be voting for anyone who not immediatly legislate that exporting raw bitumen from the province as illegal.
    You dig it out here, you refine it here. Anyone who won't support legislating that is selling the future of the Province.

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    • #3
      many people have commented on that and the concensus is--that just might cause a trade war between two countries. It is a little bit bigger than an Alberta issue. This is the country of Canada Vs. US issue.
      I personally have no objections to the refineries being here, but one of the current problems is the lack of work force to build and operate them here and at the same time the lack of work force to build housing, roads, schools, hospitals, etc to support the work force building the upgraders. can this small obstacle be removed in the next 5 years?

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      • #4
        Its either that or we basically become a giant sand box. The difference between a Syncrude and simple extraction plant is LIGHT YEARS. No only in capital investment, but legacies in good jobs, continued expansions, new research initiatives, the list goes on and on. What is the legacy of exporting raw bitumen? A big hole in the ground, slowly being filled back up.
        I think it would be possible to come up with a plan that includes staging of the projects when they approved. That way it would be possible to stop a cyclical building goldrush/slowdown and keep 2-3 mega-projects always underconstruction. There is a downside to the Oil Companies that there may be a holding period of 5 years, as it is there can already be delays of 2-3 years, but it would actually provide them with a better assurance that materials, engineering and labour would be availible.
        Its a matter of telling the Oil companies that they are no longer going to drive the schedule, that we are going to have what is best for the People of the this Province.

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        • #5
          I'm drinking what DanC is selling.

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          • #6
            The biggest issue I have is the fact that the oil companies only 1% royalty on the bitumen until the capital costs are paid off, then they pay the going rate. I hope that only the capital investment in Alberta, which would be the extraction plant, is included in this arrangement and not the the upgrader built in the U.S.
            Other than that it is free trade and they have been exporting bitumen for some time, just not on this scale
            “Canada is the only country in the world that knows how to live without an identity,”-Marshall McLuhan

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            • #7
              Do not forget that if all the oil companies do is export the raw bitumen, that is actually 30-40% cheaper than a refined barrel of oil, and as far as I know, that means a 30-40% reduction in the final royalties taken for each barrel of oil produced in the province.

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              • #8
                Regardless of whether or not the bitumen is upgraded before it is exported they only pay a royalty on the bitumen. It is like paying a stumpage fee on lumber. You do not pay a royalty on a finished piece of furniture.
                “Canada is the only country in the world that knows how to live without an identity,”-Marshall McLuhan

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                • #9
                  I don't know if there are any leaders who have the guts to stand up to the Encanas of the world. Exporting bitumen only benefits the oil head offices (Calgary) and in the process gives American refineries more control over our resources. People forget that refineries create more than gasoline for our vehicles and to me that means lost opportunities for Alberta, especially north of Calgary.

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