The value of Canadian oil has been blossoming thanks to intense demand from refineries around the country seeking to buy the advantaged crude oil and make more profit.
Canadian oil has routinely sold far cheaper than many other types of crude oils and is highly sought after for this reason. Back in December, Canadian oils were selling anywhere from $35-$45/bbl under West Texas Intermediate oil or as much as $50-$60 under Brent crude. Obviously, refineries around the country are trying to buy as much of the cheaper crude as possible, but the obvious trickle down is that as demand has risen for Canadian oil, so has the price.
Recently, Canadian oils stand just $15-$20 under the value of West Texas Intermediate crude, a sharp rise since earlier this year. Canadian oil is so hot in demand that it has driven price up considerably. The same holds true with Bakken crude from North Dakota, where output has soared in just the last few years. Empty rail cars to ship the oil are about as hard to find as a Chicago Cubs World Series win in the last 100 years.
All of this means one thing- Canadian crude and Bakken crude, while still advantaged, are seeing their prices soar as refineries target these oils for their refineries. And quietly in recent years refineries have been upgraded to be able to process the heavier lower quality crudes as well, so many refineries are well positioned for this. Even now, BP is putting finishing touches on a refinery upgrade that will allow its Whiting, Indiana refinery to process gobs and gobs more of Canadian crude, putting that refinery in an excellent economic position.
Now, for all those Keystone XL pipeline cheerleaders, what do you think will happen if you build a refinery to the south and let even more refineries get their hands in the cookie jar?