There are lots of conflicting reports on the oil and gas industry. Every week produces a new headline declaring it to be the best of times or the worst of times for the industry as a whole. The market is already glutted or the market just can’t get enough. However, paying attention to what is going on in Canada might provide some clues to the future of oil-sands, diesel and crude production.
So what’s going on in Canada? The Canadian government funded the nation’s first new refinery in thirty years just a few years ago. North American output of crude is surging and people are eyeing the diesel market warily. Barrel prices have fluctuated wildly from $50-100 and back again. The new refinery will be able to process 80,000 barrels a day of diluted bitumen by the end of the summer and is located close to the world’s third largest crude reserve.
Working with bitumen is a specialized process. When extracted from oil sand, bitumen is so thick it is practically syrupy, and has to be blended or upgraded into synthetic oil in order to be processed. Having the right equipment is critical to turning a profit in an industry with such a wildly unpredictable marketplace, and Komax is proud to provide products that serve the oil-sands industry. Our desuperheaters utilize technology not currently replicated on the market to ensure that cooling happens almost instantly and there are no extensive downstream pipe lay length requirements to get the job done. Our products are lined with Teflon and Kynar to handle tough ingredients like acid mixing without corroding expensive equipment. Our inline steam heaters are able to heat slurry without sludging at nearly 100% efficiency.
Long term, diesel is probably going to rise, given that vehicles using the fuel are set to increase over the next four years. Many are actually predicting a diesel shortage, which is good news financially for oil-sands production. World demand is predicted to rise to as much as 1.5 million barrels a day.