Well, it finally happened. After several years of assessing the possible development of a large, integrated propane dehydrogenation (PDH) plant and polypropylene (PP) upgrader unit, a joint venture of Canada’s Pembina Pipeline and Kuwait’s Petrochemical Industries Co. (PIC) earlier this week announced a final investment decision (FID) for the multibillion-dollar project in Alberta’s Industrial Heartland. The new PDH/PP complex won’t come online until 2023, but when it does, it will provide yet another new outlet for Western Canadian propane, which has been selling at a significant discount in recent years. Today, we discuss Pembina and PIC’s long-awaited PDH/PP project, Inter Pipeline’s development of a similar project nearby, Western Canadian propane export plans — and what they all mean for propane prices.
With Western Canadian oil sands bitumen output increasing rapidly, producers need more diluent to blend with their production so that it can flow to market in pipelines. That means delivering diluent to remote locations as far as 250 miles northwest of Edmonton. Smaller oil sands projects typically get their diluent delivered by rail or truck but pipeline infrastructure is being built out for larger projects as their production comes online. Inter Pipeline (IPL) diluent delivery volumes on their Polaris pipeline at the end of 2013 were just 20 Mb/d. By 2017 that volume could be to 1.2 MMb/d. Today we detail IPL and Plains build out plans.
Rapid growth of heavy oil sands crude production in Alberta is prompting considerable expansion of storage and pipeline infrastructure at Edmonton and Hardisty. Less well publicized is the growth in conventional Canadian crude oil production – in many cases using horizontal drilling technology. In Saskatchewan, crude volume passing though the Kerrobert hub is increasing and a large rail-loading terminal is planned to open there in 2015 to supplement existing takeaway capacity on the Enbridge Mainline. Today we conclude our analysis of Canadian storage hubs, focusing on Kerrobert.