In a new report, Calgary energy investment bank Peters & Co. said oil sands assets worth $17-billion are for sale today formally and informally — about the same value as oil sands assets sold over the entire last decade.
The interesting theme: The big sellers appear to be U.S. companies looking to get out, while the buyers seem to be national oil companies (NOCs) — such as those from China — looking to get in.
The theme may reflect the rise and attractiveness of tight oil in the United States and pipeline bottlenecks that are depressing prices of oil produced in Canada.
2. Calgary Herald – Suncor Energy Inc. expects crude from its Fort Hills oilsands mine to start flowing a year later than previously thought and says ever-growing production from places like North Dakota is a challenge to the economics of its Voyageur upgrader.
Those two projects, as well as the Joslyn mine, are part of a $1.75-billion joint venture Suncor inked with French energy giant Total SA in 2010. The partners are undertaking a review of those three projects in an effort to drive down costs.
3. Edmonton Journal – Husky Energy Inc. says the first phase of its Sunrise oilsands project is about half complete and so far there haven’t been any concerns about costs or schedules missing their targets.
The $2.5 billion, 60,000-barrel-per-day project, part of a joint venture with BP PLC, is slated to start up in 2014.
4. Sunshine Oilsands Ltd. is a Calgary based “public” company, listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange since March 1, 2012. Sunshine is focused on the development of its significant holdings of oil sands leases in the Athabasca oil sands region. The company owns and controls 100% of 467,969 hectares of oil sands leases (including our Oil Sands Leases and our PNG Licenses) (approximately 1,200,000 acres of oil sands leases), equivalent to approximately 7% of the total Oil Sands Leases granted in the Athabasca region.
The question is dividing energy analysts who are split on whether or not shale and other predominantly North American “unconventional” supply like Canadian oil sands will be enough to comfortably meet an increase in global fuel demand led by emerging markets to 2020.
Back in 2004, as commodity markets began their long ascent and crude waved farewell to $ 20 a barrel, no-one came close to predicting oil would swiftly top $ 100.
The lesson has not been lost on oil forecasters. Normally focused on a year or two ahead, a debate has started about where prices are heading over the next eight years to the end of the decade.
A request by Reuters for forecasts of 2020 prices drew 20 responses from consultants, banks and energy analysts. The poll produced a mean average of $ 118 a barrel for North Sea Brent, suggesting little change from the current level around $ 110.
But only five of the 20 are actually predicting prices anywhere near the mean average.
The real story is in the division between the two camps. Setting aside the demand side of the debate, the argument about supply is simple.
One camp argues that the upside from shale oil supplies will be more than enough to meet demand growth. The other disputes that, saying the likely impact from shale is being exaggerated.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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