U.S. - Canada Pipeline Fight

Published: Nov. 19, 2019 at 9:22 PM CST
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One of the biggest challenges facing Bakken producers is infrastructure and the growing need to improve it. Oil leaders say upgrading the technology is critical to matching the demand.

It's no secret that North Dakota's oilfield infrastructure is struggling to keep up. Still, some of the largest oil and gas companies continue to ramp up demand. Some are even changing countries and becoming American companies.

State Department of Mineral Resources director Lynn Helms says Canada and the United States' relationship is becoming more strained. Not because of tariffs, but in the oil fields. It's affecting production and transportation.

"It's anticipated that the natural gas transmission pipeline is gonna be completely filled with U.S. natural gas and there will be no room in the Northern Border Pipeline for Canadian gas at all," Helms said.

Canada is NOT unaware of the threats. They've already begun diverting oil and gas through other channels. One company has even moved their headquarters from Canada to the U.S.

One of the largest oil companies in Canada, Encana, announced on Halloween that they will be moving their headquarters from Calgary to the States to get a spot in the pipeline.

"You see the companies who can shifting their operations to the U.S. Permian or Eagle Ford or Bakken production, and you see a declining interest in Canadian oil sands production," Helms said.

The market isn't just putting pressure on North Dakota to expand. The state's response is, in turn, putting Canada against the States, and even Canadian provinces against each other in order to build what they need.

The year that stands out for producers in 2025. That's when projections say that the pipeline will be completely filled. Experts say that will force the state and its companies to upgrade and expand.