The controversial Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project just got delayed for an indefinite period after the federal Canadian government announced it would buy it from Kinder Morgan for $3.5 billion and seek other investors to take it on.
This basically means that the bulk of Canadian heavy crude production from Alberta will continue to go into U.S. refineries at a substantial discount to the West Texas Intermediate (WTI) benchmark—the result of pipeline and rail car capacity bottlenecks.
The amount of heavy crude from Canada could increase if the U.S. imposes more sanctions on Venezuela after the re-election of Nicolas Maduro for another term as president. Washington has already condemned the election results but with other things on President Trump’s mind, namely the North Korea issue, any new moves with regard to Venezuela will have to wait.
Benchmark Western Canadian Select was trading at a discount of more than US$26 per barrel at the end of May. That sort of discount, according to PM Trudeau, is costing Canada about C$14 billion annually; but it seems that options are limited in the face of tough opposition from the British Columbia government to the expansion project, which ultimately led to Kinder Morgan’s decision to drop the project.
Deals, Mergers & Acquisitions
• Mubadala Petroleum has agreed to acquire, jointly with Russia’s sovereign wealth fund, a 49% interest in Gazprom Neft-Vostok, a subsidiary…