Canadian Natural Resources Ltd., owner of the Horizon oil sands project, expects the spread between Brent crude and West Texas Intermediate to collapse as the reversed Seaway pipeline is completed and expanded.
The spread should be equal to about the $4-a-barrel cost of cost of shipping on the line once its expansion and twinning is completed in 2013, Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. President Steve Laut said at an investor presentation in Calgary.
“This is good news for all North American oil producers,” Laut said. By 2013 the expanded Seaway pipeline and the addition of the Cushing Marketlink pipeline will ease a glut of oil now trapped at the Cushing, Oklahoma, hub, he said.
Enbridge Inc. and Enterprise Products Partners LP may start shipping on the first phase of the Seaway line tomorrow. The 500-mile (805-kilometer) will now move oil to the U.S. Gulf Coast from Cushing. TransCanada Corp. has proposed the Cushing Marketlink, which would carry crude to Port Arthur, Texas, from the Oklahoma hub.
Canadian Natural’s Horizon project is capable of producing about 110,000 barrels a day of refinery-ready crude from oil-laden sand mined in northeastern Alberta.
U.S. Gulf Coast refineries could boost their ability to process heavier Canadian crudes by 1 million barrels daily if they had access to the lower-cost oil through new pipelines, Canadian Natural Vice President Bill Peterson said in a separate presentation.