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CALGARY – David Black’s plan to build a $22-billion refinery on the coast of British Columbia has long been derided as a pipe dream. But Black believes that given the recent government moves affecting the Keystone XL and Northern Gateway pipelines his proposed refinery is the best option for Albertan oil exports.
Moreover, Black said in an interview he won’t need a pipeline to build and operate his proposed 550,000 barrel-per-day Kitimat Clean refinery on the north coast of B.C., for which he expects to file applications for federal and provincial regulatory approvals by Christmas.
“You’re going to have to focus on what it takes to get a West Coast exit for your oil, and God knows a West Coast exit is far more lucrative than a southern or an eastern exit,” said Black, the owner of Kitimat Clean Ltd. and the Black Press Group Ltd. newspaper chain.
Major oilsands producers have been unwilling to sign contracts with Kitimat Clean because, Black said, their executives didn’t know if the project would ever be built. And Kitimat Clean hasn’t been able to get financing without signed contracts with major oilsands producers.
Producers have had their hopes of new export pipelines dashed in the past two weeks, but Black said he was hopeful they will now take another look at his refinery proposal.
On Nov. 13, U.S. President Barack Obama rejected TransCanada Corp.’s application to build the Keystone XL pipeline after years of regulatory delays.
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