Volatile Canadian crude prices - a growing challenge

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Report summary

For the second consecutive winter, volatile crude prices wreaked havoc on the Canadian upstream sector as transportation constraints impacted Canadian and North Dakota barrels travelling to southern demand centres. At times, Western Canadian Select (WCS) traded at as much as US$40/bbl below WTI. Following a similar price blowout in early-2012, we predicted that volatile Canadian prices were here to stay. The differential has since narrowed to US$25/bbl, as temporary pipeline issues have,

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    Volatile Canadian crude prices - a growing challenge

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Table of contents

Tables and charts

This report includes 11 images and tables including:


  • Where will the market access growth come from?
  • Market access growth - detailed list of critical projects


  • Potential bitumen production growth between 2012 and 2020 by company
  • WCS plummeted 35% between Sep and Dec 2012
  • WCS-WTI differential widened from $10 to over $30/bbl
  • Bitumen supply growth - mostly sanctioned projects
  • SCO production to benefit from debottlenecking work
  • Bitumen projects by point-forward B/E @40% discount
  • Bitumen projects by point-forward B/E @50% discount
  • Map: Critical export routes south and the key sources of North American crude production growth
  • Clearance on existing routes quickly erodes

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