Harper Builds Oil Link With China After Obama Keystone ‘Slap’

Theophilos Argitis and Jeremy van Loon

Prime Minister Stephen Harper is gaining support among Canadians for his plan to ship oilsands crude to China after President Barack Obama rejected TransCanada Corp. (TRP)’s $7 billion Keystone XL pipeline to the U.S. Gulf Coast.

Harper will meet President Hu Jintao in China next month, when he may tout Enbridge Inc.’s proposed Northern Gateway pipeline that would let crude flow to Asia from Alberta’s oilsands via a Canadian port.

“The Keystone decision was a slap in the face to Canada and it’s making Canadians rethink the relationship,” said Jack Mintz, head of the School of Public Policy at the University of Calgary. “Harper probably wants to put out a sign that we’re open for business for Asia.”

Harper is pushing energy exports to Asia to reduce the country’s reliance on the U.S. and make Canada a global energy “superpower.” Tapping markets in Asia may raise the price received by Canadian producers by $13.60 a barrel by 2030, according to a University of Calgary study. About 99 percent of Canada’s crude exports go the U.S…

…Harper expressed his “profound disappointment” Jan. 19 after the U.S. rejected Keystone, telling Obama that Canada will “continue to work to diversify its energy exports,” according to details provided by Harper’s office…

The entire article is at Bloomberg.

RelatedCongress Pushes Keystone XL.

…What is forgotten in the debate over Keystone XL is building a pipeline like this isn’t new. It would join the thousands of miles pipe that already crisscross the country. As Rob Port at Say Anything writes, “We already have pipelines like the Keystone XL in the United States. This would be an expansion of existing infrastructure.”

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