2014 May 30

The Master Resource Report 2014-05-30

Total pulls the plug on tar sands project

Due to the continued escalation of industry costs Total has stopped its Joslyn tar sands operation in Alberta, Canada. The $11 billion price tag cannot be supported by today’s oil prices around $100 per barrel.

“We are still in the cycle within this industry where cost inflation in general is going much faster than price adjustments. We know that there is a rebalancing that needs to be done.”

The Globe and Mail article however made it clear that some project expansions will continue either because they are beyond the point of no return or they are less expensive additions to existing operations.

US natural gas exports to Mexico

US natural gas exports to Mexico have doubled since 2009 and are expected to continue growing at least thru the end of the decade. This graph is from Thursday’s Today In Energy posted by the EIA. It shows what the Mexican energy ministry thinks their country’s imports will look like over the 15 years from 2012. Note that the LNG imports will flat line since the price of Pacific Basin LNG is expected to remain at a multiple of US sourced natural gas. This means other than domestic Mexican production there is little to hold back the demand for US natural gas.

Forecast Mexican nat gas imports from US

Click image for larger view


Note: Currently clients and advisors at Ravenna Capital Management hold positions in Total.