Imperial Oil & BP’s Beaufort Sea Plans, Total’s JV Gets Capital Infusion: Energy Business Review

TD Economics represents one of two large banks that say increased pipeline capacity is badly needed to transport Canadian oil to market, explaining in a Monday report that, “Canada’s oil industry is facing a serious challenge to its long-term growth. Current oil production in Western Canada coupled with significant gains in U.S. domestic production have led the industry to bump up against capacity constraints in existing pipelines and refineries.” Out of available options, TD says that expansion of the West Coast-to-Asia pipeline flow is the most economically feasible due of its shorter shipping distance and access to lucrative Pacific Rim markets. Shipping crude to West Coast ports would cost approximately $3 per barrel, compared to $5 to Montreal through the reversal of an existing Enbridge (NYSE:ENB) pipeline, and $7 to the Gulf Coast via projects TransCanada Corporation’s (NYSE:TRP) Keystone XL.

Lucas Energy (AMEX:LEI) reported Tuesday that its $22 million senior secured promissory note due to Nordic Oil USA I is past due and consequently has brought a lawsuit against Lucas to seek repayment of the note and a judicial foreclosure of the properties purchased from Nordic.

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Early-stage joint drilling plans for the Beaufort Sea have been described by Imperial Oil (AMEX:IMO) and its joint-venture partner, BP. The company’s spokesperson Pius Rolheiser said that, “No investment decisions have been made. These are the plans that we’re currently assessing and we wanted to share them as early as possible with the communities of the Beaufort.” The plans include one or more exploration wells in two leases around 125 kilometres northwest of Tuktoyaktuk in depths that range from 60 to 1,500 metres.

Total (NYSE:TOT) and Saudi Aramco will double the capital of their oil refinery joint venture, Saudi Aramco Total Refinery and Petrochemicals Company, at Jubail to $1.90 billion as a part of the planned financing. The capital increase will be made through a cash injection by the shareholders in the first-quarter, said a statement on the Saudi bourse website.

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