Canada's oil sands will face unprecedented opportunities and
massive challenges in 2013 as billions of dollars hang in the
balance, the Financial Post reports.
Limited access to foreign markets, infrastructure and labour
constraints, and decreasing demand from the United States threaten
the $4.93-trillion in revenues that the Canadian Energy Research
Institute projects in a best-case scenario over the next 25 years,
primarily by selling oil to Asian markets.
The Petroleum Human Resources Council of Canada says the
industry will need to fill 9,500 jobs in the next three years, but
anticipates that up to 36% of those positions will not be
Western Canadian oil producers, unable to reach Pacific Rim or
eastern seaboard markets, are slowing down a number of projects as
the industry battles with regulators north and south of the border
over infrastructure development, the Post reports.
"There are a lot of investors and companies in Canada that have
decided to put oil sands development on hold because they are not
able to get it to markets, but more importantly they are not
getting a good enough price," Pierre Fournier, a geopolitical
analyst at National Bank Financial, told the Financial Post.
Both Suncor Energy Inc (SU.TO). and Canadian Natural Resources
Ltd. (CNQ.TO) pulled back on growth in 2012. Suncor will reduce
spending by nearly $1-billion in 2013, according to a budget
released earlier this month. TransCanada Corp.s (TRP.TO) Keystone
XL pipeline, which was denied the permit it needed to cross the
U.S. border earlier this year, would provide access to U.S. Gulf
Coast refineries if the U.S. State Department approves it next
Given the climate of uncertainty, many oil sands developers are
breaking up large projects into smaller, more manageable stages to
control risk, the Post reports.
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