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Oil Sands Upgraders May Make a Comeback Amid Pipeline Crisis

  • Alberta pledges C$1 billion of support for partial upgrading
  • Partial upgraders seen freeing up space on clogged pipelines
Views Of Fort McMurray As Canadian Stocks Rise A 2nd Day After Oil Climbed

Photographer: Ben Nelms/Bloomberg

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Turning Canada’s heavy oil sands into a more marketable kind of crude is making a comeback, or rather half a comeback.

Alberta’s government’s C$1 billion dollar pledge ($780 million) will help support the construction of smaller and cheaper varieties of upgraders. The so-called partial upgraders would process the sticky oil just enough so that it can flow freely through pipelines without adding ultra-light condensate. The government expects that as many as five private investors will infuse about C$5 billion in the sector.