SPECIAL REPORT: Markets evolving for oil sands bitumen, synthetic crude

As Canadian oil sands production increases, producers are adopting varied strategies in marketing the bitumen blends and synthetic crude oil (SCO). Some producers seek to minimize capital cost and accept a low price and possible market risk with bitumen production. Others are willing to invest in upgrading or refining of bitumen to add value and perhaps reduce market risk.Bitumen produced from oil sands generally is available to the market as a diluted bitumen blend or SCO. The supplies of both diluted bitumen and SCO are increasing and forecasts show this trend continuing (Fig. 1) Click here to enlarge imageTraditional markets have included Canada and the northern tier of the US, but so...

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