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Alberta’s oil on the cusp of new era as export routes emerge

The oil sands’ pipeline bottleneck is starting to ease. But cost inflation remains a problem

Environmentalists opposing Keystone XL (KXL) thought if they stopped the pipeline they would kill off the oil sands. Instead, the opposite is happening. Thanks to the delay in getting the pipeline approved, alternative export routes out of the oil sands are emerging. By 2020, the takeaway capacity from Alberta could more than double, underpinning steady growth in output from the play. This will have implications for oil markets beyond North America. Alberta’s land-locked oil sands, already the biggest single supplier to US, will offer another source of oil for import-needy countries in Europe and Asia. Meanwhile, when the US government signs off on KXL - possibly before the mid-term election

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