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Dynamics of Fossil Fuel Movement

General discussions of the systemic, societal and civilisational effects of depletion.

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Dynamics of Fossil Fuel Movement

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Tue 15 Apr 2014, 12:59:13

We’ll see if this new thread has legs. The subject matters tends to jump from one thread to another so it might be easier to focus in this one spot. It won’t just cover movements overseas but also those closer to home. Such as shift has happened with Canadian production making it to Texas refineries now instead of being trapped in the mid-continent region. And Eagle Ford Shale production escaping from S Texas to eastern Canadian refineries. And Canadian oil making its way via rail to Washington state where it can be sent down the coast of CA (and overseas) via tankers. And, of course, the potential for Alberta production to eventually escape from Canada’s east coast to overseas markets. And the fact that the KSA is now retaining 600,000 bopd of formerly exported oil for its new refinery JV with China. And the fact that the US has increased its export of coal by more than 3000% in recent years. Then there’s the movement of NG as LNG from US ports which is still insignificant compared to amount of domestic NG being shipped via pipelines to Mexico and Canada. And the developing stories about certain EU countries trying to alter the flow pattern of the NG they buy from Russia that currently move through the Ukraine. And then there’s this latest story about a potential shift of one traditional movement of energy from the south to the north: NG. This ties with a story posted a while back about industries dependent upon energy very gradually moving from the northern US states (and a few EU countries) to the southern states. There won’t be huge changes in a just a few years. But over a decade or two distribution of fossil fuels, both domestic and foreign, may look very different then today. So in general not so much about peaks or how much is left in the ground but who has access to what's left and the dynamics of that control.

So here’s a story few would have paid attention to: Antero Subscribes 100% Kinder Morgan's Broad Run Projects. I left out the boring tech details and offer just the red meat:

“The results of the Broad Run open season demonstrate that demand for clean, efficient natural gas is continuing to drive production growth in the Marcellus, Utica and other shale resource plays, and that our assets are well positioned to serve those plays. The capacity subscribed in this open season also underscores continued growth in Gulf Coast consumption markets and the need for more supply for processing, fractionation and liquefaction, and other end uses in the area.”

{IOW maybe someday those Yankees can retaliate with a similar bumper sticker: “Let the rebels sweat in the dark”. LOL}
Last edited by ROCKMAN on Tue 15 Apr 2014, 13:30:31, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Dynamics of Fossil Fuel Movement

Unread postby Timo » Tue 15 Apr 2014, 13:04:02

Ummmm................. [smilie=dontknow.gif] YES?
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Re: Dynamics of Fossil Fuel Movement

Unread postby Synapsid » Tue 15 Apr 2014, 17:35:42

ROCKMAN,

You're doing it again.

It isn't Canadian oil that's being railed to Washington state, it's Bakken oil that's being railed to Washington state. That Bakken oil is not being sent to California by tankers, but there are proposals for export terminals that would allow it to be. Those proposals are being met with fierce opposition from clean-living Washingtonians who live west of the Cascades and think only pure thoughts. The outcome of the struggle is yet to come.

Canadian oil does come into Washington state via a branch of the TransMountain pipeline from Alberta, and it goes to the refineries in Anacortes and at Cherry Point. Canadian oil is not, as far as I know, exported to anywhere from those refineries.

ROCKMAN, you have to face up to this unhealthy obsession, this desire to besmirch us clean-living Washingtonians who live west of the Cascades. Let it go. You'll be glad you did, really you will.
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Re: Dynamics of Fossil Fuel Movement

Unread postby Graeme » Tue 15 Apr 2014, 18:10:24

Yeah, I'd like to add to the "clean-living" theme here. As usual, ROCK conveniently forgets to include the consequences of the his oil movement "dynamic". It's absolute disaster for us all.

Just how many Sandy and Katrina "Pearl Harbours" does America have to endure before it will react and really fight climate change? It simply has to shut down the fossil fuel industry post haste like within a decade before the rest of humanity has to endure hell on Earth. It could start by stopping all subsidies, and rejecting Keystone XL. That would send a clear message to rest of the world that it has begun the fight. And since renewable growth is now unstoppable, why doesn't the government and the industry itself invest more in it like the Chinese? Hmmm....
Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe. H. G. Wells.
Fatih Birol's motto: leave oil before it leaves us.
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Re: Dynamics of Fossil Fuel Movement

Unread postby Synapsid » Tue 15 Apr 2014, 18:32:16

Graeme,

As I read it the new thread aims at keeping track of patterns of fossil-fuel movement. It isn't addressing how to deal with the consequences of using fossil fuels (other threads do that); it does supply one place to look to see where the various kinds of fossil fuels are going and where they're coming from--information that is presently scattered across several threads--and what sorts of implications arise from the dynamics of the trade in fossil fuels across the globe.
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Re: Dynamics of Fossil Fuel Movement

Unread postby Graeme » Tue 15 Apr 2014, 18:46:50

I would suggest that main dynamic in future is to keep fossil fuels in the ground. Period.
Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe. H. G. Wells.
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Re: Dynamics of Fossil Fuel Movement

Unread postby Oily Stuff » Tue 15 Apr 2014, 20:35:52

I have always found it interesting how oil is moved around the world. And our country. We are bottled up along the Gulf Coast at the moment and the rest of the country is still importing oil from foreign sources, for lack of infrastructure. It is a problem based on reality. The reality is that homo sapiens use 70% of 89,000,000 barrels of oil each day just to get around this 'ol world. To get toilet paper to the grocery store, create pecking boards for computers, go see grandma at Christmas, that sort of thing.

I have an idea for all you anti oil, lets leave the nasty stuff in the ground folks. Lets start a Plan B thread. I'll even give you folks 5 years to design the plan and get it implemented. Be realistic now, y'all.

I am all ears.
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Re: Dynamics of Fossil Fuel Movement

Unread postby Keith_McClary » Tue 15 Apr 2014, 20:58:24

ROCKMAN:
A quantitative measure of how much and how far we are moving oil would be to take the barrels/day x length for each section of pipeline and add them all up. Then we could make a chart to show how this quantity has changed historically. Have you seen anything like this?

Edit: Of course this is the same concept as ton-miles/year used in the rail/trucking industries. Does it have a name in the pipeline industry?
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Re: Dynamics of Fossil Fuel Movement

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Wed 16 Apr 2014, 10:50:00

Syn – Canadian oil has been shipped to Washington state for more than 40 years. And much more to come. From your own Seattle times: http://seattletimes.com/news/local/exxo ... eline.html

“As the population of Washington state grows, so does the demand for petroleum products. As that demand grows, so does the tanker traffic through the state's risky waterways. And as the traffic grows, so does the risk of an oil spill. There is an alternative.

Washington state doesn't have to import its crude oil by tanker. Instead, the state's refineries could be fed through an underused pipeline from Canada that is already in place. The pipeline, which crosses the border at Sumas in Whatcom County, was Washington's main source of oil in the early 1970s. Today, Washington can't buy much of the light crude oil it once got in abundance from Canada through the pipeline, because the supply is low. But there is a new and almost unlimited supply of another kind of oil, a very heavy and more expensive type called bitumen, which the Canadians would be more than happy to sell to the States.”

And the dynamics of Canadian oil moving through Washington state by rail. From your Association of Washington Tribes and the Coast Salish Gathering (AWT/CSG). The information on this site is for the exclusive use of tribal leaders, staff, and the invited guests of elected tribal leaders:

"Earlier this year, the Washington Department of Ecology published a map describing various crude oil-by-rail proposals in Washington and Oregon. Since then, Ecology officials have confirmed via email and telephone that the following volumes of crude oil-by-rail projected over the next few years are realistic. Total number of new train trips per year due to these unrefined oil-by-rail proposals exceed 5,000 transits per year! Each unit train of 100 cars each carries 3,000,000 gallons of crude oil (approximately 75,000 barrels)."

And one should remember that all that Canadian production being shipped out of Alberta to the US cross those rails that are moving oil from the Bakken to Washington State. So how difficult would it be to direct Alberta oil down those same rails that Bakken oil is moving? And did I catch a hint of “our Bakken oil ain’t as bad as Canadian oil”? From your own official “Washington State Government Website”:

"The Facility's principal purpose is to provide North American crude oil to U.S. refineries to offset or replace declining Alaska North Slope crude reserves, California crude production, and more expensive foreign crude-oil imports. The crude oil handled by and shipped through the facility will largely offset other sources of crude oil used by U.S. refineries that choose to source a portion of their crude through the Facility. In accordance with current federal law, crude oil extracted in the United States generally cannot be exported to foreign countries. The facility they refer to is a 360,000 bopd rail terminal at the port of Vancouver, WASHINTON STATE."

And note the plans to bring more Canadian oil in via tankers along your pristine coastline. And make note: this plan doesn’t require anyone’s approval to lay a new pipeline: just increase capacity of an existing line. From your Spokesman-Review: http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2013/d ... mean-many/

SEATTLE – The number of oil tankers in Washington state waters could increase almost sevenfold under a proposal by a Canadian pipeline company to expand the amount of crude oil it sends to the Pacific Coast. Kinder Morgan Canada filed a formal application with Canadian regulators earlier this month to expand its Trans Mountain pipeline that carries crude oil from Alberta’s oil sands to the Vancouver, B.C., area. Under the proposal, up to 34 tankers a month would be loaded with oil at a terminal outside Vancouver, then generally travel through Haro Strait east of San Juan Island and the Strait of Juan de Fuca for export to markets in Asia and the U.S. That’s up from about five tankers a month now.

{BTW about 12% of the oil consumed in CA comes along the Washington coast via tankers from Alaska.}

And for my buddy Graeme: “It could start by stopping all subsidies, and rejecting Keystone XL.” And that says it all: you are certainly free to keep your head in the sand and pretend these dynamics don’t exist. Such as the fact that the 600,000 bopd planned to be transported across the Canadian border by the northern section of Keystone XL has begun being delivered to Texas last January thru the southern leg of Keystone XL. You’ve consistently ignored this DYNAMIC every time I explained it to you. By pointing out these changing DYNAMICS I’m providing you with ammo to battle those changes. Why do you insist on ignoring them? We all see you sitting there right now saying oil won’t be moved to the west coast because that would be bad for the environment. And yet everyone here sees those dynamics UDERWAY today. Just saying burning fossil fuels is a bad idea obviously accomplishes nothing as indicated by the fact that the world is burning more fossil fuels today then every before in history. In some cases you almost seem to be providing cover for the fossil fuel industry. My motivations for not wanting the Canadian production to be shipped to the Gulf Coast have been made very clear. And so has yours. But I don’t let my personal desires to cloud my picture of what is going on.
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Re: Dynamics of Fossil Fuel Movement

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Wed 16 Apr 2014, 10:55:43

Keith - No I haven't. Complex solution because you need to amortize the capex cost and then add the operational costs. Same problem with the point I brought up elsewhere about the complex economics of the US exporting coal: the cost of the vessels, loading/unloading terminals, ship fuel, rail transport to the port terminals, etc. The one thing we can assume is that it isn't being down at a financial loss. So there has to be some max cost less than the ultimate value of that resource to the ultimate consumer. Same thing with your shipping analogy.
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Re: Dynamics of Fossil Fuel Movement

Unread postby Keith_McClary » Wed 16 Apr 2014, 11:40:23

ROCKMAN wrote:Keith - No I haven't. Complex solution because you need to amortize the capex cost and then add the operational costs. Same problem with the point I brought up elsewhere about the complex economics of the US exporting coal: the cost of the vessels, loading/unloading terminals, ship fuel, rail transport to the port terminals, etc. The one thing we can assume is that it isn't being down at a financial loss. So there has to be some max cost less than the ultimate value of that resource to the ultimate consumer. Same thing with your shipping analogy.
I'm not asking about economics, just how many ton-miles of product shipped. For example, if we knew that the trucking industry had booked X ton-miles of hauling lettuce and that Y tons of lettuce were marketed, then we could conclude that the average lettuce has been transported X/Y miles.

If we had the data for pipeline (and rail, etc.) barrel-miles shipped, we could do the same to find how far the average barrel is shipped. It would be interesting to have that number worldwide.
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Re: Dynamics of Fossil Fuel Movement

Unread postby Graeme » Wed 16 Apr 2014, 12:49:24

Hey ROCK buddy, I've pointed out to you that the oil dynamic can change quite rapidly. All it takes is a stroke from the Presidential pen.
Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe. H. G. Wells.
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Re: Dynamics of Fossil Fuel Movement

Unread postby copious.abundance » Wed 16 Apr 2014, 14:03:24

ROCKMAN wrote:And Canadian oil making its way via rail to Washington state where it can be sent down the coast of CA (and overseas) via tankers.

Washington is getting Bakken oil from ND, not Canadian oil. And they're headed to refineries near Bellingham and Anacortes, not going anywhere for export. I actually see these trains on my way to and from work.
Stuff for doomers to contemplate:
http://peakoil.com/forums/post1190117.html#p1190117
http://peakoil.com/forums/post1193930.html#p1193930
http://peakoil.com/forums/post1206767.html#p1206767
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Re: Dynamics of Fossil Fuel Movement

Unread postby copious.abundance » Wed 16 Apr 2014, 14:09:24

Crude Loves Rock’n’Rail – West Coast Destinations
As the crow flies the distance from North Dakota to Washington State makes the Northwest a closer refining center than the East Coast we discussed in our last episode. Given growing Bakken production and the large number of rail load terminals developed in North Dakota, shipments to Washington State refineries are no surprise. Tesoro made the first rail shipments of Bakken crude oil to their Anacortes, WA refinery during 2012. By the end of the year, Tesoro had built a dedicated receipt terminal at Anacortes to handle unit trains delivering 40 Mb/d. Other refineries in Washington have followed suit with plans for receiving terminals.
Stuff for doomers to contemplate:
http://peakoil.com/forums/post1190117.html#p1190117
http://peakoil.com/forums/post1193930.html#p1193930
http://peakoil.com/forums/post1206767.html#p1206767
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Re: Dynamics of Fossil Fuel Movement

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Wed 16 Apr 2014, 14:27:59

c-a: "Washington is getting Bakken oil from ND, not Canadian oil." Please pay attention otherwise you're wasting space here. As I wrote: "Today, Washington can't buy much of the light crude oil it once got in abundance from Canada through the pipeline, because the supply is low." Canadian oil has been shipped into Washington state for more than half a century. In operation since 1953, the Trans Mountain pipeline system (TMPL) transports both crude oil and refined products to the west coast. TMPL moves product from Edmonton, Alberta, to marketing terminals and refineries in the central British Columbia region, the Greater Vancouver area and the Puget Sound area in Washington state, as well as to other markets such as California. In operation since 1956, the Puget Sound pipeline system ships Canadian crude oil and condensates via the TMPL system from Abbotsford, British Columbia, for delivery to Washington State refineries.

It always amazes me how many folks assume they know what they are talking about when a 60 second web search can teach them that they really don't.
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Re: Dynamics of Fossil Fuel Movement

Unread postby copious.abundance » Wed 16 Apr 2014, 15:13:25

You said:
And Canadian oil making its way via rail to Washington state where it can be sent down the coast of CA (and overseas) via tankers.

But now you're saying it arrives in Washington state via pipeline (or tanker). That may be the case, but that's not what you originally said. You originally said it arrived via rail car. To my knowledge most, or even all, of the crude that arrives in Washington state these days via rail is coming from North Dakota, not Canada.
Stuff for doomers to contemplate:
http://peakoil.com/forums/post1190117.html#p1190117
http://peakoil.com/forums/post1193930.html#p1193930
http://peakoil.com/forums/post1206767.html#p1206767
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Re: Dynamics of Fossil Fuel Movement

Unread postby shortonoil » Wed 16 Apr 2014, 15:28:05

"Today, Washington can't buy much of the light crude oil it once got in abundance from Canada through the pipeline, because the supply is low."

Just like the US, Canadian conventional fields are in decline. The Washington refineries that were set up to handle light sweet, mainly out of Canada, have a supply problem. The Bakken with 40 API crude is the logical place to get it, and a lot cheaper than international Brent prices, for which they don't have the ports to handle. Even if I hadn't read several articles about rail shipment from the Bakken to Washington, I would have agree with ROCK.
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Re: Dynamics of Fossil Fuel Movement

Unread postby Synapsid » Wed 16 Apr 2014, 16:06:06

ROCKMAN,

"And Canadian oil making its way via rail to Washington state..." is what my post responds to. The sentence follows several others, each about something going on now. But Canadian oil isn't being railed into Washington state now. Bakken oil is.

That's all.

Of course Canadian oil could be sent into Washington by rail; wouldn't surprise me a bit. I don't know that there's much reason to do so what with the supply from the TransMountain pipeline, but there's no question it could be.

Related topic: This thread would be a good source for updating from time to time the Locking Up Oil article at Ron Patterson's site. Is that in the cards?
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Re: Dynamics of Fossil Fuel Movement

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Wed 16 Apr 2014, 16:36:22

I didn't say one way or the other how much Canadian oil was or wasn't coming into Washington State by rail. I was talking about the obvious dynamics of that possibility. They are shipping large volumes of Canadian oil via rail to the East and Gulf Coasts which are further away than Washington State. And every bbl of Alberta oil coming into the US today crosses those rail lines that head to the west coast. Only a blind man could see the potential change in the dynamics...which is what is was pointing out.

So let’s get back to what you said and how I responded. You said: "Washington is getting Bakken oil from ND, not Canadian oil." And I repeat: Canadian oil has been, and continues to be, shipped from Canada to Washington State for mor3 than 50 years. And I offer the possibility of that amount increasing by pipeline, rail car and sea borne tanker. In fact, given the nature of the fossil fuel business I think it would be absurd to not consider it very likely.

But let's get to a more meaningful question: exactly what difference does it make whether it Canadian or N Dakota oil that is being shipped by whatever means into Washington State? And Washington State has been shipping oil out of its ports for decades so again: does it make any practical difference if that oil came from Canada or N. Dakota? The discussion seems to have degenerated to a series of potential "got ya's" over trivial in not totally irrelevant points.

The only purpose of this thread is to point out the evolution of the movement and control dynamics of oil/NG. And if someone thinks a serious transformation of these dynamics isn’t well under way they aren’t paying very close attention to the world we’re living in IMHO. It’s not the purpose here to pass judgment on the whether these changes are good or bad. I’ll leave that up to Graeme LOL.
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Re: Dynamics of Fossil Fuel Movement

Unread postby Synapsid » Wed 16 Apr 2014, 17:04:54

ROCKMAN,

Synapsid said "It isn't Canadian oil that's being railed to Washington state. It's Bakken oil that's being railed to Washington state."

"railed" is the operative term here; it's the reason for my response.

I then mentioned that Washington state does indeed receive Canadian oil, by the TransMountain pipeline.

I don't disagree that there are changes in the dynamic that will occur--I didn't address anything about the dynamic now or in the future. All I did was point out that Canadian oil isn't being brought into the state by rail (though Bakken oil is.) Really.

How 'bout Locking Up Oil? That's a great resource, and this thread could be the first posting spot for material on the way to updating LUO. Is that likely?
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