With domestic production of oil dramatically increasing, one might ask whether there is still a need for Canadian oil sands in the United States. According to the IHS CERA report “Future Markets for Canadian Oil Sands,” Canada will remain an important supplier of crude oil to the U.S., particularly to Gulf Coast refineries. The report predicts that increased production from tight reservoirs like North Dakota’s Bakken would replace up to one third of American oil imports. Canada will help meet the remainder and Gulf Coast refineries, which are already designed to process heavy crudes, are the natural market for Canada’s oil sands.
The situation is a winning proposition for American consumers, who will see increased production of light crude oil from newly commercially viable “tight” reservoirs like the Bakken and the jobs and economic benefits that go along with it. Meanwhile, Canada’s oil sands could continue to replace declining imports of heavy crude oil from Venezuela and Mexico as supplies for our state of the art Gulf Coast refineries. Canada and the U.S. enjoy the world’s top trading partnership; the Canadian Energy Research Institute (CERI) estimates that for every two jobs created in Canada’s oil sands, approximately one job is created in the United States. IHS CERA’s report confirms yet again that importing oil sands from Canada is a secure source of energy that comes with economic benefits for Americans.