Pembina Institute

Challenges to exporting Canadian oilsands crude overseas

An overview of significant short-term barriers and market uncertainties facing Canadian oilsands exports

Challenges to exporting Canadian oilsands crude overseas

Published Feb. 24, 2012

By Nathan Lemphers

There are several barriers that make exporting Canadian oilsands to overseas markets (and most notably Asian markets) a challenging prospect in the near future.

This briefing note discusses the most likely options to transport oilsands beyond the American Midwest, where the export market is currently saturated with oilsands exports and new Bakken shale oil production. These options include additional pipelines to the West (Enbridge Northern Gateway and Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain) and to the East (Enbridge Trailbreaker), as well as rail transport.

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