Could Western Canadian pipeline projects substantially hurt US Midwest refiners?

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Report summary

Today, the three surviving proposals to increase West Canadian takeaway capacity are Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain Expansion (TMX), TransCanada's Keystone XL pipeline (KXL), and Enbridge's Line 3 Expansion. In total, these pipes represent approximately 1.5 million b/d of additional takeaway capacity. Western Canadian production, while forecast to increase, will likely be outstripped by takeaway capacity should all three pipelines come online. This poses the questions: how would the construction of these pipelines and the level of pipeline committed volumes affect the future WTI-WCS differential? What would be the potential financial exposure of heavy refiners in Western Canada and the US Midcontinent to a narrowing differential?

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