EnSys Energy
Informing key decisions in the global oil industry

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Keystone XL – Assessment Series

Clients:  U.S Department of Energy (Office of Policy and International Affairs) & U.S Department of State

Years: 2010 – 2014

EnSys has undertaken a series of analyses to support the Departments of Energy and State on issues relating to the Keystone XL pipeline.  In 2010, EnSys conducted an evaluation of the impacts on U.S. and global refining, trade, and oil markets of the Keystone XL pipeline project to bring additional Canadian crudes, including oil sands, into the United States. For this first study (“Keystone XL Assessment”) EnSys employed its WORLD model to address the potential impact on refining activities, crude slates, investments, margins and CO2 emissions, crude and product trade, and import dependency and supply costs under several pipeline scenarios centered on constructing or not constructing Keystone XL and/or other potential key pipeline. The model provided integrated analysis and projection of the global petroleum industry, combining top-down scenarios for projected oil price/supply and demand over the next 20 years with bottom-up detail on crude oils, biofuels, NGLs, refining operations, CO2 emissions and costs, transportation, product demand and quality.

In a 2011 “No Expansion Update”, EnSys was asked to examine in more depth a scenario where the Keystone XL pipeline and other major projects do not go ahead. In this study, EnSys and marine specialist Navigistics prepared a detailed evaluation of the potential for modifications to existing pipelines plus new rail, barge and tanker routes to ship western Canadian crude in the absence of major pipeline expansions. What this analysis projected – major growth in crude-by-rail plus extensive use of existing pipelines and rights of way as the basis for expansion – is to a large degree what has played out in the market.

In a third study performed at the end of 2013, EnSys was requested to examine petroleum market changes since the 2011 Final EIS and whether these altered the original conclusions. Changes took into account increases in domestic crude oil production, decreases in expected demand, and changes in infrastructure, particularly the increase in oil transport by rail.  Again, this was a WORLD–based study that examined a range of scenarios.  Incorporated as an appendix volume in the Department of State FSEIS, this market analysis provided quantitative projections of crude flows, refining and market impacts across Reference, High Resource, Low/No Net Imports and High Latin American Supply scenarios.

Links: 2013/14 Update

2011 Update

2010 Assessment

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