The oilsands industry is going to be demanding more pipelines across Western Canada in the next decade, even if three proposed projects get built, the head of Kinder Morgan Canada predicts.
Kinder Morgan president Ian Anderson told the Vancouver Board of Trade on Thursday that the North American market for Canadian oilsands crude is drying up as U.S. production rises, and producers in Alberta will soon be looking to move their product across B.C. and out of ports on the West Coast.
"Where's the market? You look to the bottom right — it's China. They're going to double their imports of crude oil over the next 10 years," Anderson told the business luncheon.
The three major projects already proposed include the Kinder Morgan proposal to triple the capacity of its Trans Mountain Pipeline, which runs from Edmonton to Burnaby, B.C., to take advantage of that growth in Asia.
The other two projects are the controversial Northern Gateway pipeline proposal, which would also move Alberta crude to the West Coast, and the equally controversial Keystone XL proposal, which would move Canadian oil to the Gulf of Mexico.
"By the middle of the next decade it will be, 'Where next?'" —Ian Anderson, Kinder Morgan president
But Anderson says even if those projects go ahead, it won't take long before all three of those pipelines are running at full capacity.
"If all three of those are completed, we're still on the trajectory where by the middle of the next decade it will be, 'Where next?' and 'What's the next access?' because we'll start running out of pipeline space."
Anderson said he understands the point of view of those opposed to pipelines, but says they will put about $30 billion into government coffers.
Kinder Morgan Energy Partners has an interest in or operates 74,000 kilometres of pipelines and 180 terminals.