Steel Business Briefing
Pipeline Boom Needed in North America, Experts Say

Friday, September 23, 2011

North American oil production is booming, but pipeline constraints may end up tempering the near-term flow, Steel Business Briefing learns.

”Producers are making a heck of a lot of money in gas liquids and crude oil plays, Bentek Energy managing director Russell Braziel said Thursday at the Platts annual pipeline and development conference in Houston. “(But) it’s going to take a lot of years and a lot of dollars to get the crude oil markets back in equilibrium.”

By 2016, North American oil production is likely to exceed all-time highs reached in the 1970s. That would put daily US oil production around 7.65m barrels per day, up 2m bbl/day from current daily production. Canada would likewise experience an increase from 3m bbl/day to about 4m bbl/day.

But, despite almost $6bn in proposed pipeline projects, future capacity is likely to be tight, particularly on north-south lines shuttling crude to Gulf-region refineries, Braziel said.

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