Pipeline pictured: The Keystone XL infographic

Confused about the political machinations surrounding the Keystone XL pipeline, or baffled by talk of crude oil discount rates, Oklahoma bottlenecks and Texas Gulf refining capacities?

The graphic designers at Visual Capitalist have put together an infographic that seeks to present a crash course on the Keystone XL pipeline.

Starting with the problem of landlocked Alberta oilsands crude, the graphic explains the three options available to getting the product to market: a pipeline to the West Coast, building more refineries in Alberta, or the proposed two-phase extension to the existing Keystone pipeline which currently runs from Hardisty, Alberta to Cushing, Oklahoma.

Along with some compelling visuals, readers may be tantalized by the following facts:

  • By eliminating the $30/barrel discount Canadian oil producers sell their oil in the US compared to the price of West Texas Intermediate crude, Canada would boost its GDP by $131 billion between 2016 and 2030. (the differential between WTI and Western Canada Select crude oil has narrowed and is now sitting at $19/barrel)
  • ¬†forgetting about pipelines and refining the oil in Alberta would cost, according to one estimate, $100 billion over 20 years.
  • the Ogalalla aquifer centred in Nebraska and straddling five other US states, over which the pipeline would run, is the source of groundwater for 20% of agricultural production in the US.

Infographic courtesy of www.visualcapitalist.com.

The Keystone XL Pipeline: A Crash Course Infographic