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Keystone XL Coming Soon to a Coker Near You


Ok, Coker people! We are one and one half baby steps closer to bringing the black gold from Canada to the thirsty cokers on the gulf coast. The US House approved the bill to allow the Keystone XL pipeline through (link 1 below). The senate appears poised to do something similar (link 2 below). There are more details in the articles below. But the President is still threatening a veto (link 3 below). The longer we wait, the more creative people will be to find a home for this oil. The Canadians are talking about pipelines going west to British Columbia (onward to China) and east to Nova Scotia (onward to Euro and beyond). Canadian oil along with shale oil is clogging up the rail system. Other creative ways of getting these oils to the gulf plants are emerging (link 4 below). When will the politicians and everyone else realize that this oil will get used whether they like it or not?  It is just a matter of whether it will be our businesses (refinery and coker) that will benefit or will the money (oil) flow elsewhere?  Sure, Canada could build more infrastructure to refine this product.  I’m for that too.  But that takes time.  The steel is on the ground in the USGC refinery megasystem.  It is about time to start using it.

 “US House overwhelmingly approves bill for Keystone XL oil pipeline” – Penn Energy
“Senate Democrats look to tweak bill on Keystone XL oil pipeline” – Penn Energy
“Obama asks Republicans to work as team but differences emerge” – Reuters
“Higher volumes of Canadian oil flowing to U.S. Gulf Coast” – Reuters

The pipeline is almost fully built.  Here is a photo of them laying pipe from 2009!  The line will be completed before you know it once the government gets out of the way.

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Posted by: Evan Hyde

Evan Hyde is the director of field services for He previously was president of C2 Nano Technology where they researched surface treatments to combat fouling & corrosion issues in cokers & other petrochemical process units. He was a Senior Engineering Advisor for Becht Engineering Co., Inc. and has consulted on processing improvement and reliability initiatives for coking clients around the world. Prior to joining Becht, Evan worked for ExxonMobil Research and Engineering, as a process engineer, with assignments in research, and troubleshooting for heavy oil upgrading equipment. He holds a B.S. of Chemical Engineering from Pennsylvania State University.