Keystone Aftermath Arrives: Canada Pledges To Sell Oil To Asia, As US Becomes Source Of "Uncertainty"

Tyler Durden's picture

America's loss is China's gain. In the aftermath of the Keystone XL fiasco, which will see not only a number of jobs "uncreated" but a natural source of crude lost, Canada is already planning next steps. Which will benefit Shanghai directly and immediately. As Bloomberg reports, "Prime Minister Stephen Harper, in a telephone call yesterday, told Obama “Canada will continue to work to diversify its energy exports,” according to details provided by Harper’s office. Canadian Natural Resource Minister Joe Oliver said relying less on the U.S. would help strengthen the country’s “financial security.” The “decision by the Obama administration underlines the importance of diversifying and expanding our markets, including the growing Asian market,” Oliver told reporters in Ottawa." Ironically, it is diversifying away from the US, with its ever soaring, politically-predicated uncertainty, that is a source of stability and diversification. But it is not only crude. Wonder why no jobs are being created? Wonder why despite record low mortgage rates there is no bottom in sight for housing? Simple - nobody can plan one month, let alone one year ahead for any US-based venture or business. The political risk is simply too great - whether it is contract law (see GM and Chrysler) or simple solvency (see record high levels of cash hoarded by companies), it is there, and as long as it is there, there will be no hiring, no capex spending, no growth, and no real improvement in the economy, the real economy, not that defined by where the Russell 2000 closes on any given day.

More from the Keystone XL aftermath:

Harper “expressed his profound disappointment with the news,” according to the statement, which added that Obama told Harper the rejection was not based on the project’s merit and that the company is free to re-apply.


Canada this month began hearings on a proposed pipeline by Enbridge Inc. to move crude from Alberta’s oil sands to British Columbia’s coast, where it could be shipped to Asian markets.


Environmentalists and Canadian opposition lawmakers welcomed the Obama administration’s decision. Megan Leslie, a lawmaker for the opposition New Democratic Party, said the Keystone pipeline project was harmful to Canada’s energy security.


“What I’m opposed to is continuing the unchecked expansion of the oil sands,” Leslie said by telephone.


Enbridge (ENB)’s pipeline may now become the new flashpoint between Harper and the opposition. Harper has said building the capacity to sell the country’s oil to Asian markets is in the national interest, and the government will review regulatory- approval rules for new energy projects so they can be done more quickly. Harper has also said he will look more closely into complaints that “foreign money” is being used to overload the regulatory process.

Then there are those who have pointed out that in recent years the equity risk premium has soared to multi-year highs. There is a reason for that. It is called: America.

Yesterday’s rejection “certainly introduces new uncertainties into the economic relationship,” said David Pumphrey, deputy director of the energy and national security program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. “This is a cornerstone of economic development for the country.”

And as pertains to this story, it is a good thing that the American Strategic Petroleum Reserve is safe and untapped for every eventuality. Oh wait...

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roygbiv's picture

Yah, but you forget that for some reason Zero Hedge has recently turned into the Drudgereport (but with added comments!)

roygbiv's picture

And another thing... Newt does something as damaging as this (tying up the country with impeachment proceedings), but all we here about all day long is who Clinton stuck his dick in.


There - fixed it for you.

sabra1's picture

remember his pledge for more clean coal plants? instead he's closed conventional coal plants!

Lord Koos's picture

Bush began the loan guarantees to Solyndra in 2007.

DosZap's picture

Lord Koos,

Bush began the loan guarantees to Solyndra in 2007.

I guess they got kickbacks also??, along with the 4 or 5 others Obama has funded with our tax dollars, some not even in the US?.

Chief KnocAHoma's picture

Bush did it. Bush did it. Everyone who disagrees with anything is a racist.

This is all we ever hear from you turds. You guys really need to find another defense.

monoloco's picture

A couple of points: The Canadian oil will be exported whether it goes through the US or not. The Canadians are reeking absolute environmental havoc in Northern Alberta, the extraction consumes enormous amounts of energy and water, the only source of energy more ridiculous is ethanol production. 

Prairie Fire's picture

Fucking idiot moron.

I live in Alberta. I've seen Fort Mac before and after, from start up to where it's at today with the entire world knocking on our door to get into these fields. Absolute environmental havoc hey? Go fuck yourself you greenpissing, communist mouthbreathing occupy scumfuck. When was the last time you fished for trout on the Athabasca river? I was there last summer.

What part of Canada are you in? I have a funny feeling you're another typical easterner, more than happy to take the equilization payments that Alberta and Saskatchewan pay out to you--and then biting the hand that feeds you.

What do you think keeps Ontario and Quebec operating? Who (or better, what) pays for every single promise that the Canadian government makes--is it the bloated civil service? Unionized auto manufacturing? Where the fuck do you think all that capital comes from.

Take the handouts we Albertans give you and SHUT THE FUCK UP.

monoloco's picture

If you Canaliens want to export your fucking dirty oil why don't you run a pipeline to Vancouver? We don't need to be a party to your environmental disaster for a few short term jobs.

NumNutt's picture

He got into that office for one reason and one reason only, and it had nothing to do with his job experience.. Draw you own conclusions.  man Nov 5 2012 cannot get here soon enough.

LetThemEatRand's picture

Not that I would ever support Obama on anything because he is a tool, but why do so many here who disbelieve everything the government and big oil say in other contexts so readily agree that this pipeline a good deal for the American or Canadian people because government and big oil say so?  The U.S. EXPORTS much of its OWN oil.    And the idea that the U.S. economy is going down the tubes because of too much regulation is just laughable.  The problem is that we've outsourced our industrial base and the oligarchs have raped our treasury.  And did anyone notice that our oil based economy requires trillions in military spending to keep the Middle East under our domain?  But okay.  Let's regulate even less and give the oligarchs even more and continue to make oil our primary source of energy and then everything will be hunky dory.  We just need more of the same.

Teamtc321's picture

Middle East Oil or Canadian Oil?

Pick your car and pick your lane. 

Chief KnocAHoma's picture

Here is a news flash for you - when a viable alternative to oil is available to the free market - it will flourish - until then we got to run this economy on the best possible proven energy source.

And your argument about having a huge military to secure the oil in the ME is a great reason to by from the Canucks. They don't hate us. They FUCKING LOVE US!

BobPaulson's picture

I'll admit I laughed when I read this, but I like the individuals I meet in the US generally about as much as the fellow Canadians I meet, it's their system I'm not in love with.

Try going to Cuba where you know at the resort NONE of the jackass ignorant guys at the pool are Americans and you lose that comforting assurance to yourself that any fat loudmouth you see is from the US ... but is a Canadian. That humbled me a little.

ucsbcanuck's picture


- Don't admit you've been to an all-inclusive in Cuba on ZH! 

- The fat loudmouths are generally Quebecois trailer trash

- Canadians are just as ignorant of the US as Americans are of Canada. 

- Because we fortunately avoided the GFC, Canadians now have an oh-so-superior attitude compared to the US. This extends to saying things like "Americans are stupid" from their iPhone on Facebook. Or from their Intel-powered Dell laptop on Twitter.


Flakmeister's picture

Here is a newsflash for you...

There is no viable liquid alternative to oil....

For shits and giggles, try answering this:

if all the NG produced by the US could be converted into oil on a BTU basis, would the US still be a net importer or exporter of oil and roughly at what level?? 

(Putting aside for now the fact that the US is still an net importer of NG)

Learn some chemistry and thermodynamics and get back to us....


BTW, Canadians don't love the US, they tolerate it and that tolerance is wearing out....


And since you have a dildo up your ass about Solyndra, where were you when this was going on?? I did not hear a word. Fuckin' hypocrite...

Posted earlier:

Do you remember mandated cellulosic ethanol targets under GWB? Where was the outrage when the companies backed by the Feds then went tits up? Hell, at least solar panels are a demonstrated technology....

U.S. Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman, who steered a $76 million federal grant to Range, said that “by relying on American ingenuity and on American farmers for fuel, we will enhance our nation’s energy and economic security.”


The U.S. Department of Agriculture followed up with an $80 million loan guarantee. Georgia officials pledged $6.2 million. Treutlen County, one of the state’s poorest, offered 20 years worth of tax abatements and 97 acres in its industrial park.



Chief KnocAHoma's picture

I certainly agree there is huge potential in Natural Gas and it will most likely be the fuel that America is using in 2050. In the mean time, as long as anyone is willing to sell us oil for paper... I laugh every time I type that... let's stick with that program.

When that trade dynamic halts... then we will have a lot of nat gas to drive or economy.

There... I just removed the dildo from my ass and stuck it in your wife's mouth. Be sure to kiss her good night for me.

Flakmeister's picture

As I thought, you are too fucking ignorant to figure out that NG ain't gonna save anyone... I thought I would give you a clue as to how to figure that out....

You do know what a BTU is?

Chief KnocAHoma's picture

Who died and made you Stephen Hawking?

Flakmeister's picture

I am sorry if you were born an ignorant fool and have chosen to remain one...

Why don't you take some time and do some independent research on the fossil fuel paradigm...I have only been studying it and learning for years....

Learn the difference between a barrel of NGL, Tapis, Brent and WTI, what EROEI means, the difference between Kerogen, bitumen and crude.... What wet gas, MRC wells, water cuts, permeability, porosity, anticline mean... 

It is after all. what makes the world go round, so to speak....


LetThemEatRand's picture

Chief KnocAHoma:  "Here is a news flash for you - when a viable alternative to oil is available to the free market - it will flourish - until then we got to run this economy on the best possible proven energy source."

And here is a news flash for you. If you included in the price of each gallon of gasoline the cost of all the wars and aircraft carriers waiting for wars that are needed to keep the oil flowing, burning hundred dollar bills would suddenly become economically viable and everyone would start buying cars that run on wadded up hundred dollar bills.  So long as the public is too fucking stupid to realize the true cost of each gallon, oil will seem relatively cheaper than every other alternative and will continue to rule.  The oligarchs just love the fact that most people -- like you -- fail to account for the true cost of the energy they consume and defend the oligarchs and their rigged system where they get to keep the profits and we get to pay for the military.  

Evil Bugeyes's picture

Since Canadian oil doesn't require any aircraft carriers and US blood, it is actually much cheaper than Middle Eastern oil.

Flakmeister is a neocon sock puppet.

Flakmeister's picture

And you are a fool....

I'd love to stick around and beat your head in with a tire iron (metaphorically speaking) but I have an appointment...

Why don't you write a treatise on the Bakken and when I get back, I'll critique it, 'kay?

Chief KnocAHoma's picture

You are SO superior!

What's wrong? Why all the anger and condescesion? Cann't get it up anymore?

LetThemEatRand's picture

Any oil executive could no doubt fill pages with useless data points about the need to run the world on oil and any of them could drop a shitload of oil jargon and none of it would make me believe a fucking word they say.  Tobacco companies published studies for decades that cigarettes cause no harm to humans and are not addictive.  It was all a lie, but 4 out of 5 doctors still recommended Camels.  The fool is anyone who believes the propaganda of these fuckers whose entire existence requires the status quo.   We should wean ourselves from the black gold not because it is easy, but because it is hard.  Or we could just maintain the status quo.   

Flakmeister's picture

Have we ever discussed the Export Land Model?

Thats the one I use to scare the children at night after the lights are out...


LetThemEatRand's picture

Really?  Did you make it to your narcissist anonymous class on time? 

Flakmeister's picture

Its funny... when someone who actually has spent time learning stuff and has been trying to steer the wayward masses at ZH for nigh on two years about our oil situation calls people out, it's narcissism.... But when someone here spouts off some dubious bullshit or readily falsifiable crap, its BAU....

Go figger...

Has it ever occured to you that these people that think Peak Oil is a nothing burger need the equivalent of being hit over the head to see anything...

Its not arrogance when you are right, if someone is a poster boy for DK, they deserve to have their self esteem shredded when they spout nonsense....Maybe, just maybe, it will teach them not to have such strong opionions about stuff they know nothing about..

And you might agree that asshats acting on the basis of false knowledge is at the root of a lot of our problems,....


Prairie Fire's picture

You're correct that buying our oil doesn't require an aircraft carrier.

But you're wrong about Flak--he's absolutley correct when he says flow rates are the dilemma.

Open your fucking ears jackass.

LetThemEatRand's picture

Did you happen to notice the contemporaneous article on ZH about the aircraft carriers near Iran?   Do you remember the Iraq war?  Do you remember Libya?  Do you recall how many of the 9/11 hijackers were from Saudia Arabia and how that didn't fucking matter because they are our BFF?  What the fuck do you mean that we don't need aircraft carriers for our oil?  Open your fucking eyes, assclown.

LetThemEatRand's picture

Here's ultra-liberal Forbes on a related subject:

"HOUSTON -- This month Iraq will finalize contracts with the likes of ExxonMobilRoyal Dutch Shell and BP to develop some of its biggest oil fields. These giants are among the world's last remaining pockets of so-called "easy oil." They don't require ultradeep drilling or innovative production techniques, just the application of Big Oil know-how. No wonder the oil companies agreed to develop Iraq's fields without even getting an ownership stake in the fields and collecting as little as $1.15 per barrel recovered.

Given the size of Iraq's undeveloped giants there are no technical reasons why within 10 years the country can't supplant both Iran and Russia to become the world's No. 2 oil producer after Saudi Arabia. No wonder Iraq holds three of the top 10 fields of the future."

No aircraft carriers needed?  

Lord Koos's picture

The pipeline isn't to bring oil to US consumers -- it's to bring it to a port refinery so that it can be shipped elsewhere.  Wake up people.

LetThemEatRand's picture

Your comment does not compute.  It conflicts with the oil company propaganda that pipeline good, no pipeline bad.

Arcturus's picture

The US does export much of its own oil. Why? Why did Obama just flush away so many potential jobs not only building and maintaining the pipeline but also jobs in refineries and workers in the port cities?

The results of Obama's decisions if done by another nation would be considered an act of war.

Flakmeister's picture

Beg pardon????

The US NET imports are roughly 9 mmbpd.... that is roughly the equivalent of all Canadian, Mexican, Iraqi and Irani oil production combined....

Arcturus's picture

The U.S. exported more oil-based fuels than it imported in the first nine months of this year, making it likely that 2011 will be the first time since 1949 that the nation is a net exporter of such goods, primarily diesel.

That's not all. The U.S. has reversed another decades-long trend. It began producing more crude oil in 2008 than the year before and accelerated that upswing 3% in the first nine months of this year compared with the same period in 2010. That production has helped reduce U.S. imports of crude oil by about 10% since 2006.


Data released last week by the U.S. Energy Information Administration shows that the U.S. sent abroad 753.4 million barrels of gasoline, diesel and other oil-based fuels in the first nine months of 2011, while taking in only 689.4 million barrels.
Flakmeister's picture

Umm... ok, take another  hit off the crack pipe...

Do you understand that the US is a net importer of crude oil?

It imports on a net basis, about ~9 million barrels of crude per day. From your figures, it has net exports of 0.23 million barrels a day of refined products. In otherwords, 2.6% of the total feedstock imported....

Breaking down the imports, Do you think that imports are down because production is up or that demand has dropped?

Turns out that 84% of the drop in imports is due to a drop in demand...

Relative to its peak oil production in ~1970, where does the US stand in relative terms? Do you know?

Its about 50%.... yep, its a fucking Renaissance in the Oil patch....

LetThemEatRand's picture

Your inability to understand the basic point is astounding.  The U.S. imports more oil and gas than it exports, but the fact that it exports at all is the point.  The oil/gas go wherever the highest bidder is found and wherever the most profit can be made.  Oil tankers hang out off ports waiting for the price to reach the right point. Gas is burned off at the platform.  The Canada to U.S. pipeline is a giant red herring designed for suckers like you.  Bravo for falling hook, line and sinker.  Now please entertain us all with some more oil-related jargon from your Google searches.

Flakmeister's picture

Buddy.... you are really missing the boat on this one, in fact, I don't think you have a clue about where I really stand on things....

Why don't you go bait the RP supporters and leave oil to the experts...

Where have I ever said that Keystone XL should go through? So quit with the strawmen...

And no shit, it goes to the highest bidder, its funny how that pisses of a number of "free marketers" that live in Red states that have oil.... they would like some of that gubbmint subsidy cheese...


RichardP's picture

Why did Obama just flush away so many potential jobs not only building and maintaining the pipeline but also jobs in refineries and workers in the port cities?

He didn't.  Yet.

The President was required to make a choice on the project within a short period of time by the legislation that extended the workplace deductions through the Christmas recess.  He told the Canadian organization involved that he did not have enough time to properly evaluate the project by that deadline.  He asked the Canadian organization to resubmit their proposal and he would give it the proper attention it required.  The organization responded that they would resubmit their proposal.

This deal is way far from dead.

Kyle Reese's picture

I've never heard of any major leaks from the Alaska pipeline made many years ago. Why so much concern now? I don't get it. Slot different that drilling miles under the Ocean. Pipelines over land are elementary in comparison. Does Obama have so little confidence in American engineering but it's ok for him to occasionally launch a drone strike and miss to kill some civilians.

Hmm...'s picture

Just because you haven't heard about a leak doesn't mean that there wasn't a leak.

there was the Prudhoe Bay spill in 2006 that spilled something like 250k to 300k barrels or so.  (done by BP).  For comparison, Exxon Valdez was about 250k-750k barrels.  perhaps you don't call that major, but the people there did.

then last year there was a minor spill (again by BP) while they were still on probation.

not to forget that there was the minor Yellowstone River  spill (only like 1,000 barrels or so).

Now go look at where the proposed pipe goes.  Right through one of the largest freshwater sources in the world.  (Ogalalla aquifer).

what's more important.  Oil, or potable water?

How many barrels of oil do you think is acceptable in your drinking water?  Just wondering.

is there really an absoulte hurry to ram a pipeline that will carry the worst of the worst oil (which means the pipeline will be more likely to burst than a regular pipeline), through important ecological areas? 

Of course, the Koch brother want this pipeline really badly... and Keystone has had no problem trying to eminent domain tons of people for their precious pipeline.

I'm not for or against Keystone but I am against the silliness to say that our Jobs problem is because Keystone might not happen exactly as the Koch brothers want.

Or do you all trust them?  they did such a bang up job with the BP gulf oil spill and Exxon Valdez and Prudhoe bay. 

ZH, champion of the disenfranchised and marginalized billionaire oil tycoons, defender against people who in their sense of evil might want their water source free of an oil pipeline.

SystemsGuy's picture


Well said. Additional points to consider - the oil pipeline would have "added" those jobs for the time it would take to build the pipeline, then these would be gone (and it's debatable whether the numbers being thrown around were anywhere close to being accurate). Nor are the tar sands inexhaustable - there were questions about whether the tar sands would be sustaining ten years from now (ESPECIALLY if oil prices drop dramatically, as there are some indications they might).

The reality was that this was a bad project, poorly studied, likely to have significant negative economic and environmental consequences, all for an oil supply of questionable value. 

Kyle Reese's picture

Maybe you missed the fact that I said " pipeline leaks"

monoloco's picture

Why do so many people seem to think that the use of eminent domain to build a pipeline so that oil companies can make a profit exporting N. American oil overseas is a good idea?  I thought that zerohedgers were more of a libertarian crowd than that.

Jack Burton's picture

Well said LetThemEatRand! Too many people refuse to ask the hard questions. They buy what big oil serves up without question as if big oil has our interests at heart. You put your finger on many of the real problems America faces.

I laugh at people who say the Green Movement in America is too powerful.

Ha! What a joke. Look at mountain top coal mining, look at oil and gas fracking, look at sulfide mining. Just a few examples where industry is totally free to do as they please. Yet they still complain they are over regulated. Look at the Gulf Oil spill, the deep water drilling is all back going on again, so where is all this terrible regulation?

I believe some energy interests with great power killed this pipeline deal [which pipeline I have no problems with]. I only need to nail down who and why. Somebody doesn't like Tar Sands oil and they are IN the ENERGY business.

Kyle Reese's picture

I would think moving product by pipeline is much safer and evironmentally friendly than all the trucks driving around full of oil.

Fedaykinx's picture

it is.  it's also far more environmentally friendly than running the fleet of soot spewing bunker fuel burning tankers it's going to take to get all of that canadian crude to asia.