"Oil (CL-FT83.26-3.27-3.78%) exports have become the new byword for both Ottawa and the oil patch. But what if crude could move to Asia without building huge, expensive and controversial new pipelines to the West Coast?
What if, instead of feeding China through Northern Gateway, Canada sent oil across the Pacific through TransCanada Corp.’s (TRP-T42.02-0.31-0.73%) proposed Keystone XL line to Texas?
The idea of exporting Canadian crude through the U.S. is highly charged, especially if it involves Keystone XL, a pipe that has already dredged up all manner of protest.
But it could solve a lot of problems for Canadian oil traders and companies seeking other markets -- and it’s gaining currency among market observers, who say it’s a natural consequence of the extraordinary surge of light oil production in the U.S. Plays like the Bakken and the Eagleford are now pumping more than a million barrels a day of new crude into the U.S. system. The problem is, it’s light crude, and the markets it’s hitting -- in the Midwest, and the Gulf Coast -- don’t need or want it.
Instead, Midwestern refineries have spent billions to upgrade so they can process heavy oil sands crude. Refineries in the Gulf Coast, where Keystone XL would run, are already configured to run heavier crudes from Mexico and Venezuela."
Via Dennis Richards