Cenovus tanker

Cenovus tanker at the Burnaby TMX facility. Courtesy Trans Mountain

Cenovus has sold its first oil to the Irving refinery in New Brunswick – but now it has to take the long way round to get there.

The company announced Canada Day is first shipment had been loaded onto tanker Cabo de Hornos in the Trans Mountain loading area in Burnaby, and was on its way.

But instead of flowing along an Energy East pipeline which was kiboshed, the oil will have to be sailed down the Western seaboard, through the Panama Canal, and up the Eastern Seaboard to New Brunswick, a distance of 11,900 km.

“We were pleased with the economics of this transaction and excited to work with another strong Canadian company like Irving Oil,” said Keith Chiasson, Cenovus Energy Executive Vice-President, Downstream.

“This is a one-off shipment for now, but we think there’s tremendous potential for more oil from Western Canada to make its way east, expanding our customer base here at home. It’s truly a Canadian success story.”

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Alberta Energy Minister Sonya Savage applauded the move.

“This is great news and important for Alberta producers and Canadian refineries. Alberta companies will always find innovative ways to get things done …. but it would have been much simpler if Energy East was built rather than suffocated by an onerous review process,” she said.

Instead of rail cars, in April the company has applied to the Canadian Transportation Agency for permission to use foreign oil tankers to transport Canadian crude from Burnaby to its refinery in St. John.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard

News Editor & Calgary Bureau Chief

Dave Naylor is News Editor & Calgary Bureau Chief of the Western Standard based in the Calgary Headquarters. He served as City Editor of the Calgary Sun & covered Alberta news for nearly 40 years.

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