Alberta oil discoveries, which have boosted Canada's natural resource assets by over three billion dollars in less than three years, are - among other things - rapidly changing the petroleum refinery face of the Prairie Provinces. During the next sixteen months more than $30,000,000 will be pored into construction of three major refineries on the Prairies, and expansion of at least on existing refinery.
Net result of the program will be addition of about 25,000 barrels daily to Prairie 'crude oil charging' capacity, to raise facilities for handling of various types of crude to over 107,000 barrels daily.
Biggest change will come at Edmonton, where two new major refineries will add some 11,000 barrels crude capacity to the 16,000-barrel capacity created by Edmonton's first refinery during the past two years. A new major 10,000-barrel capacity refinery near Winnipeg will triple the 5,200-barrel capacity of the present two smaller plants. In Regina a 3,000-barrel capacity addition to one refinery will swell the present 19,500-barrel capacity of two plants. At Calgary a small 500-barrel plant will be added to the present 16,500-barrel rating of two large refineries. There is a good prospect of other refinery projects coming up.
The program does not mean that the Prairie area will jump its consumption to over the 100,000 barrels daily level as soon as the refinery capacity goes beyond that point, as was assumed by one newsman recently. It does mean that the Prairies will, for the first time in more than a decade, have oil refining facilities not only adequate to meet current needs but also providing a cushion in capacity to meet emergencies.
In terms of crude oil, the Prairie area consumed in 1949 an average of over 65,000 barrels daily a demand about double that of a decade ago. The steady growth in mechanization of farms, steady increase in number of trucks and cars, the trend from coal to oil in industrial and railway demands, increasing use of asphalt's and road oils, have combined to give the Prairie Provinces one of the highest 'petroleum products consumption increase rates in the world. In from five to eight years - the actual time being desendent on a number of economic factors Prairie demand will roll past the 100,000 barrels daily level.
A prime effect of the current year's refinery program will be the 'backing out' of Ontario refined foreign oil from the Manitoba market. Winnipeg like Calgary, Edmonton, Regina and Moose Jaw is to become one of the west's major refining centers. As result, 'self sufficiency' in petroleum supply will be fully achieved by the Prairie Provinces.
IMPERIAL OIL LIMITED will start this spring, and complete in May 1951, a $10,000,000 refinery on the Red River, seven miles north of WINNIPEG. The plant will have a crude oil capacity of 10,000 barrels daily. Its cracking unit will have a 3,000 barrels capacity.
The plant will give Manitoba a refining capacity of 17,500 barrels daily. Other plants are NORTH STAR OIL LIMITED's ST. BONIFACE refinery, whose capacity was doubled in 1949 to 4,200 barrels daily (including 800 barrels cracking capacity); the east KILDONAN plant of RADIO OIL REFINERIES LIMITED, which has a 1,000 barrels daily capacity -for processing of distillates; and the BRANDON refinery of ANGLO CANADIAN OILS LIMITED (controlled by HOME OIL COMPANY of Calgary), which has a capacity of 2,300 barrels daily (including 1,100 barrels cracking capacity).
In Saskatchewan, during the current year, SASKATCHEWAN FEDERATED COOPERATIVES LIMITED intends to add 3,000 barrels daily to capacity of its REGINA refinery, boosting it to 5,500 barrels. The plant is now capable of handling 2,500 barrels daily, including cracking capacity of 1,000 barrels.
During 1949 Saskatchewan's refining capacity was boosted by HIWAY REFINERIES LIMITED, which stepped up its SASKATOON plant from 400 barrels daily to 2,000 barrels, including a 500 barrel cracking unit. The new plant, placed 'on stream' recently, is being supplied with 39 API gravity light Oil from Leduc, plus 800 barrels daily of Lloydminster 15 API gravity heavy crude.
Early in 1949 MOOSE JAW REFINERIES LIMITED completed its first plant, a 1,200 barrels daily capacity unit at MOOSE JAW, for skimming of Lloydminster heavy crude.
The 1950 program will raise Saskatchewan's refining capacity to around 34,300 barrels daily. Largest plant in the province (and biggest on the Prairies) is IMPERIAL OIL LIMITED's REGINA refinery, with crude oil capacity of 17,000 barrels daily (including 9,000 barrels cracking). BRITISH AMERICAN OIL COMPANY LIMITED has a MOOSE JAW refinery with crude capacity 5,500 barrels daily (including 2,000 barrels cracking).
There are three small skimming plants in Saskatchewan, including: HIWAY REFINERIES LIMITED, MOOSE JAW, 300 barrels capacity; HIWAY REFINERIES LIMITED, ROSETOWN, 400 barrels capacity; NORTHERN PETROLEUM CORPORATION LIMITED, KAMSACK, 300 barrels capacity. At LONE ROCK, FRANCO OILS LIMITED has just completed a 2,000 barrels daily capacity Petreco unit for dehydrating and desalting Lloydminister Lone Rock heavy crude.
In Alberta, during the next year, two major refineries are slated for building in the, southeast EDMONTON area, in the vicinity of the province's largest single refinery that built by IMPERIAL OIL LIMITED in 194849. The Imperial plant has a crude oil capacity of 16,000 barrels daily, including 6,000 barrels cracking capacity.
One new plant will be built by BRITISH AMERICAN OIL COMPANY LIMITED. Tenders are being reviewed and as soon as weather permits, the actual construction will commence, and should be completed 'within a year. Initial capacity will be about 2,000,000 barrels yearly (5,500 barrels daily) but ample space has been taken to allow for expansion.
BA has purchased 160 acres for the site, covering NE ¼ Section 5 5323W4TH, on the EdmontonElk Island Highway, IT' miles cast and slightly north of Imperial's refinery, and directly north of the terminal for the Interprovincial Pipe Line. West boundary is one mile from the North Saskatchewan River and easements giving access to the river have, been obtained from the intervening landowners.
McCOLLFRONTENCAC OIL COMPANY LIETITED also plans an EDMONTON refinery, of about the same initial capacity as the BA unit. A site has reportedly been selected a short distance east of the Imperial plant, and tenders for construction are being reviewed. Completion of construction is anticipated during the next year. More details on this project McColl's first refinery in Western Canada should be available shortly.
SUPREME REFINERIES LIMITED, a local firm, is now building a small refinery of 500-barrel capacity in the Past CALGARY area. This unit is slated for completion within a few months.