Source: Facebook

One major oil-exporting Middle Eastern country may already be feeling the pressure from Canada’s Trans Mountain Expansion as the pipeline nears completion. 

In an interview with Bloomberg News, Rystad Energy analyst Susan Bell said that the heavy crude produced by Alberta has a very similar profile to Iraq’s Bashar Heavy crude. 

“When you look at the yield profile of that crude oil, the distillation profile of that crude oil, it’s very similar to Canadian heavy — so it’s very substitutable,” said Bell.

When faced with the prospect of directly receiving Canadian oil instead of importing Iraq’s crude over a long distance, western U.S. refineries would likely choose the more convenient option. 

Additionally, the Canadian pipeline will open up more access to the Asian market via the Pacific. 

The pipeline is set to deliver 890,000 barrels of oil a day to Vancouver’s coast where it will be loaded on to tankers to be sold overseas, nearly tripling Alberta’s exports. 

According to Alberta Premier Danielle Smith, the pipeline will be ready for operation this May despite a long history of delays and regulatory troubles. 

Nations might also prefer to import Canadian oil due to Canada’s stability and environmental regulations. 

Companies like MEG Energy have already requisitioned 2.1 million barrels in advance of the pipeline’s official launch. 

In its last operational update, Trans Mountain explained that it was finishing the final stages of regulatory approval with the Canada Energy Regulator.

“To complete the Expansion Project, there are several remaining steps including obtaining outstanding approvals from the Canada Energy Regulator,” the company wrote. 

“With the appropriate approvals and completion of remaining construction activity, Trans Mountain will commence transporting crude oil on the expanded system. The Commencement Date for commercial operation of the expanded system will be May 1, 2024. Trans Mountain anticipates providing service for all contracted volumes in the month of May.”