THUNDER BAY – BUSINESS – Greg Rickford, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, today delivered remarks during a ceremony in Freeport, Texas, marking the completion of the Seaway and Flanagan South Pipelines. Minister Rickford attended the ceremony with Jim Prentice, Premier of Alberta.
Following the meeting, Premier Prentice said, “My time in Texas provided me with the opportunity to meet with oil and gas executives in Houston who have companies that operate in Alberta. I also attended the opening of the Flanagan South and Seaway Twin pipelines in Freeport. While in Houston, I was able to discuss the current economic situation and the effect of lower oil prices on the Alberta economy. I also discussed Alberta’s desire to continue to improve our competitiveness while making strides in the development of cleaner technologies for oil and gas production. My discussions also centered on the current financial realities facing the energy sector and how we can continue to work together as Canadians and Americans to achieve North American energy security.”
“This morning, at the Flanagan South and Seaway Twin opening, I saw first-hand how these new pipelines will help bring significant benefit to Alberta and its oil producers. The completion of these pipelines creates the first large-volume, direct link of Canadian crude to the U.S. Gulf Coast where North America’s largest concentration of heavy oil refineries is located. The pipeline network will provide jobs, economic growth and energy security to North America. It is another important link in the world’s most successful energy partnership, and increased energy trade will benefit Canadians and Americans alike.
“In the next few weeks, I will travel back to the U.S. to share Alberta’s progress on responsible resource development and the steps we are taking to produce and transport oil as safely, sustainably and responsibly as possible.”
“Our government welcomes today’s latest milestone contributing to already historic volumes of Canadian energy being supplied to the United States. Indeed, both Canada and the United States have dramatically reduced oil imports from offshore, while our oil imports from each other are at record highs. Projects like these contribute to North American energy security and economic growth in both countries,” stated Minister Greg Rickford, the federal Minister of Natural Resources.
Minister Rickford highlighted the importance of working together to enhance North American energy security and its benefits for our respective economies and global competitiveness. These pipelines will have the ability to move approximately 600,000 barrels per day into the Gulf coast, from Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, North Dakota and Montana.
It is estimated the completion of these pipelines is expected to help double the amount of Canadian oil supplied to the United States Gulf Coast each day — from just over 200,000 barrels per day currently, to more than 400,000 barrels per day during the next year. The Canadian heavy oil moving through these pipelines is expected to help replace heavy oil currently imported by the U.S. from Venezuela and the Middle East.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates that the U.S. will need to import almost 8 million barrels of oil per day by 2040 – up from 7.5 million barrels today. Late last year, Canadian oil exports to the U.S. were estimated to have surpassed 3 million barrels per day for the first time ever, more than Saudi Arabia and Venezuela combined.
The recently reversed Seaway Pipeline runs from Cushing, Illinois to Freeport, Texas. The new Flanagan South Pipeline, which has recently come into service, runs from Pontiac, Illinois to Cushing, Oklahoma. Minister Rickford noted in his speech today that it has been one year since the southern link of the Keystone XL pipeline has been in service.