Canadian refiners increasingly shunning overseas crude oil imports

|By:, SA News Editor

Crude oil imports to eastern Canada already have been cut by more than one third from a year ago, and Valero Energy (VLO) and Suncor (SU) are poised to use only North American crude in eastern Canada by 2015, further displacing overseas imports and possibly helping to bring domestic prices to an equilibrium with international levels.

SU’s Montreal refinery will reach that point in 2015 and VLO’s Quebec City plant by the end of this year; Enbridge (ENB) plans to start a pipeline late this year allowing oil to flow to Montreal from fields in North Dakota and Alberta, further reducing higher-priced supplies from Europe and Africa.

“Within a very short period of time, there won’t be any barrels coming into eastern Canada from overseas," says John Auers of industry consultant Tuner, Mason & Co.