Douglas A.

Grandt

PO Box 6603
Lincoln, NE 68506
(510) 432-1452
March 19, 2015

Senator Lisa Murkowski, Chairman
Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources
709 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
Re: Oil Refining - Considering future eventualities versus the myopia of the present
Dear Chairman Murkowski,
What is ENERGY INDEPENDENCE, really? With Saudi Arabia’s decision to keep the flow of
oil high to retain market share, they have hijacked the world with a flood of oil at reduced price,
some say with the explicit intention of destroying the economics of unconventional deposits of
shale oil and tarsands. Do they intend to extract all of their resources—before the end of oil?
The March 1, 2015 edition of Washinton Specter raises the issue squarely front and center:
Late 21st-century graduate students of business studying the growing problem of stranded
assets will almost certainly focus on the history of Canada’s Athabasca Oil Sand (aka tar
sands). The case studies they read will either describe the gradual abandonment of the
world’s largest reserve of bituminous crude or they will read about the tar sands’ miraculous
last-minute escape from becoming the world’s largest stranded asset. For either outcome,
the turning point they will look back on is just about now.
In some respects Alberta’s gigantic deposits of bitumen, a dense mixture of sand and heavy
crude oil, third in size only to the reserves of Saudi Arabia and Venezuela, were stranded
from the start by location. Situated in the heart of a vast boreal forest at the center of a very
large continent, they are hundreds of miles from the nearest refinery and thousands more
from navigable tidewater.
Of course, some of Alberta’s crude has made its way to market, but so much slower than it
could have, or was projected to, that producers, refiners, shippers, banks and other
investors in tar-sands development are beginning to wonder whether they have backed a
good play by investing over $160 billion to turn tar into oil.
So the economic stranding process has already begun. Five global energy giants—
Shell, Total, Suncor, Statoil and Occidental—have cut bait on major bitumen deposits in
Alberta, in which they had already invested billions. Suncor has just slashed another billion
dollars from its capital spending program and $800 million more from operating expenses.
And as oil prices slide lower, commercial and investment banks are reconsidering future
underwritings. An industry that recently envisioned doubling production over the next
20 years is now looking at something closer to the opposite, a halving of production
or worse in far fewer than 20 years.
Please ask refining CEOs and their Boards how they will behave as Corporate profits fail.
Sincerely yours,

Doug Grandt
answerthecall@mac.com

Douglas A. Grandt

PO Box 6603
Lincoln, NE 68506
(510) 432-1452
March 19, 2015

Senator Lamar Alexander
Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources
455 Dirksen Senate Office Building

Washington, DC 20510

Re: Oil Refining - Considering future eventualities versus the myopia of the present
Dear Senator Alexander,
What is ENERGY INDEPENDENCE, really? With Saudi Arabia’s decision to keep the flow of
oil high to retain market share, they have hijacked the world with a flood of oil at reduced price,
some say with the explicit intention of destroying the economics of unconventional deposits of
shale oil and tarsands. Do they intend to extract all of their resources—before the end of oil?
The March 1, 2015 edition of Washinton Specter raises the issue squarely front and center:
Late 21st-century graduate students of business studying the growing problem of stranded
assets will almost certainly focus on the history of Canada’s Athabasca Oil Sand (aka tar
sands). The case studies they read will either describe the gradual abandonment of the
world’s largest reserve of bituminous crude or they will read about the tar sands’ miraculous
last-minute escape from becoming the world’s largest stranded asset. For either outcome,
the turning point they will look back on is just about now.
In some respects Alberta’s gigantic deposits of bitumen, a dense mixture of sand and heavy
crude oil, third in size only to the reserves of Saudi Arabia and Venezuela, were stranded
from the start by location. Situated in the heart of a vast boreal forest at the center of a very
large continent, they are hundreds of miles from the nearest refinery and thousands more
from navigable tidewater.
Of course, some of Alberta’s crude has made its way to market, but so much slower than it
could have, or was projected to, that producers, refiners, shippers, banks and other
investors in tar-sands development are beginning to wonder whether they have backed a
good play by investing over $160 billion to turn tar into oil.
So the economic stranding process has already begun. Five global energy giants—
Shell, Total, Suncor, Statoil and Occidental—have cut bait on major bitumen deposits in
Alberta, in which they had already invested billions. Suncor has just slashed another billion
dollars from its capital spending program and $800 million more from operating expenses.
And as oil prices slide lower, commercial and investment banks are reconsidering future
underwritings. An industry that recently envisioned doubling production over the next
20 years is now looking at something closer to the opposite, a halving of production
or worse in far fewer than 20 years.
Please ask refining CEOs and their Boards how they will behave as Corporate profits fail.
Sincerely yours,

Doug Grandt
answerthecall@mac.com

Douglas A. Grandt

PO Box 6603
Lincoln, NE 68506
(510) 432-1452
March 19, 2015

Senator John Barrasso
Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources
307 Dirksen Senate Office Building

Washington, DC 20510

Re: Oil Refining - Considering future eventualities versus the myopia of the present
Dear Senator Barrasso,
What is ENERGY INDEPENDENCE, really? With Saudi Arabia’s decision to keep the flow of
oil high to retain market share, they have hijacked the world with a flood of oil at reduced price,
some say with the explicit intention of destroying the economics of unconventional deposits of
shale oil and tarsands. Do they intend to extract all of their resources—before the end of oil?
The March 1, 2015 edition of Washinton Specter raises the issue squarely front and center:
Late 21st-century graduate students of business studying the growing problem of stranded
assets will almost certainly focus on the history of Canada’s Athabasca Oil Sand (aka tar
sands). The case studies they read will either describe the gradual abandonment of the
world’s largest reserve of bituminous crude or they will read about the tar sands’ miraculous
last-minute escape from becoming the world’s largest stranded asset. For either outcome,
the turning point they will look back on is just about now.
In some respects Alberta’s gigantic deposits of bitumen, a dense mixture of sand and heavy
crude oil, third in size only to the reserves of Saudi Arabia and Venezuela, were stranded
from the start by location. Situated in the heart of a vast boreal forest at the center of a very
large continent, they are hundreds of miles from the nearest refinery and thousands more
from navigable tidewater.
Of course, some of Alberta’s crude has made its way to market, but so much slower than it
could have, or was projected to, that producers, refiners, shippers, banks and other
investors in tar-sands development are beginning to wonder whether they have backed a
good play by investing over $160 billion to turn tar into oil.
So the economic stranding process has already begun. Five global energy giants—
Shell, Total, Suncor, Statoil and Occidental—have cut bait on major bitumen deposits in
Alberta, in which they had already invested billions. Suncor has just slashed another billion
dollars from its capital spending program and $800 million more from operating expenses.
And as oil prices slide lower, commercial and investment banks are reconsidering future
underwritings. An industry that recently envisioned doubling production over the next
20 years is now looking at something closer to the opposite, a halving of production
or worse in far fewer than 20 years.
Please ask refining CEOs and their Boards how they will behave as Corporate profits fail.
Sincerely yours,

Doug Grandt
answerthecall@mac.com

Douglas A. Grandt

PO Box 6603
Lincoln, NE 68506
(510) 432-1452
March 19, 2015

Senator Shelley Capito
Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources
5 Russell Senate Office Building Courtyard

Washington, DC 20510

Re: Oil Refining - Considering future eventualities versus the myopia of the present
Dear Senator Capito,
What is ENERGY INDEPENDENCE, really? With Saudi Arabia’s decision to keep the flow of
oil high to retain market share, they have hijacked the world with a flood of oil at reduced price,
some say with the explicit intention of destroying the economics of unconventional deposits of
shale oil and tarsands. Do they intend to extract all of their resources—before the end of oil?
The March 1, 2015 edition of Washinton Specter raises the issue squarely front and center:
Late 21st-century graduate students of business studying the growing problem of stranded
assets will almost certainly focus on the history of Canada’s Athabasca Oil Sand (aka tar
sands). The case studies they read will either describe the gradual abandonment of the
world’s largest reserve of bituminous crude or they will read about the tar sands’ miraculous
last-minute escape from becoming the world’s largest stranded asset. For either outcome,
the turning point they will look back on is just about now.
In some respects Alberta’s gigantic deposits of bitumen, a dense mixture of sand and heavy
crude oil, third in size only to the reserves of Saudi Arabia and Venezuela, were stranded
from the start by location. Situated in the heart of a vast boreal forest at the center of a very
large continent, they are hundreds of miles from the nearest refinery and thousands more
from navigable tidewater.
Of course, some of Alberta’s crude has made its way to market, but so much slower than it
could have, or was projected to, that producers, refiners, shippers, banks and other
investors in tar-sands development are beginning to wonder whether they have backed a
good play by investing over $160 billion to turn tar into oil.
So the economic stranding process has already begun. Five global energy giants—
Shell, Total, Suncor, Statoil and Occidental—have cut bait on major bitumen deposits in
Alberta, in which they had already invested billions. Suncor has just slashed another billion
dollars from its capital spending program and $800 million more from operating expenses.
And as oil prices slide lower, commercial and investment banks are reconsidering future
underwritings. An industry that recently envisioned doubling production over the next
20 years is now looking at something closer to the opposite, a halving of production
or worse in far fewer than 20 years.
Please ask refining CEOs and their Boards how they will behave as Corporate profits fail.
Sincerely yours,

Doug Grandt
answerthecall@mac.com

Douglas A. Grandt

PO Box 6603
Lincoln, NE 68506
(510) 432-1452
March 19, 2015

Senator Bill Cassidy
Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources
703 Hart Senate Office Building

Washington, DC 20510

Re: Oil Refining - Considering future eventualities versus the myopia of the present
Dear Senator Cassidy,
What is ENERGY INDEPENDENCE, really? With Saudi Arabia’s decision to keep the flow of
oil high to retain market share, they have hijacked the world with a flood of oil at reduced price,
some say with the explicit intention of destroying the economics of unconventional deposits of
shale oil and tarsands. Do they intend to extract all of their resources—before the end of oil?
The March 1, 2015 edition of Washinton Specter raises the issue squarely front and center:
Late 21st-century graduate students of business studying the growing problem of stranded
assets will almost certainly focus on the history of Canada’s Athabasca Oil Sand (aka tar
sands). The case studies they read will either describe the gradual abandonment of the
world’s largest reserve of bituminous crude or they will read about the tar sands’ miraculous
last-minute escape from becoming the world’s largest stranded asset. For either outcome,
the turning point they will look back on is just about now.
In some respects Alberta’s gigantic deposits of bitumen, a dense mixture of sand and heavy
crude oil, third in size only to the reserves of Saudi Arabia and Venezuela, were stranded
from the start by location. Situated in the heart of a vast boreal forest at the center of a very
large continent, they are hundreds of miles from the nearest refinery and thousands more
from navigable tidewater.
Of course, some of Alberta’s crude has made its way to market, but so much slower than it
could have, or was projected to, that producers, refiners, shippers, banks and other
investors in tar-sands development are beginning to wonder whether they have backed a
good play by investing over $160 billion to turn tar into oil.
So the economic stranding process has already begun. Five global energy giants—
Shell, Total, Suncor, Statoil and Occidental—have cut bait on major bitumen deposits in
Alberta, in which they had already invested billions. Suncor has just slashed another billion
dollars from its capital spending program and $800 million more from operating expenses.
And as oil prices slide lower, commercial and investment banks are reconsidering future
underwritings. An industry that recently envisioned doubling production over the next
20 years is now looking at something closer to the opposite, a halving of production
or worse in far fewer than 20 years.
Please ask refining CEOs and their Boards how they will behave as Corporate profits fail.
Sincerely yours,

Doug Grandt
answerthecall@mac.com

Douglas A. Grandt

PO Box 6603
Lincoln, NE 68506
(510) 432-1452
March 19, 2015

Senator Steve Daines
Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources
1 Russell Senate Office Building Courtyard

Washington, DC 20510

Re: Oil Refining - Considering future eventualities versus the myopia of the present
Dear Senator Daines,
What is ENERGY INDEPENDENCE, really? With Saudi Arabia’s decision to keep the flow of
oil high to retain market share, they have hijacked the world with a flood of oil at reduced price,
some say with the explicit intention of destroying the economics of unconventional deposits of
shale oil and tarsands. Do they intend to extract all of their resources—before the end of oil?
The March 1, 2015 edition of Washinton Specter raises the issue squarely front and center:
Late 21st-century graduate students of business studying the growing problem of stranded
assets will almost certainly focus on the history of Canada’s Athabasca Oil Sand (aka tar
sands). The case studies they read will either describe the gradual abandonment of the
world’s largest reserve of bituminous crude or they will read about the tar sands’ miraculous
last-minute escape from becoming the world’s largest stranded asset. For either outcome,
the turning point they will look back on is just about now.
In some respects Alberta’s gigantic deposits of bitumen, a dense mixture of sand and heavy
crude oil, third in size only to the reserves of Saudi Arabia and Venezuela, were stranded
from the start by location. Situated in the heart of a vast boreal forest at the center of a very
large continent, they are hundreds of miles from the nearest refinery and thousands more
from navigable tidewater.
Of course, some of Alberta’s crude has made its way to market, but so much slower than it
could have, or was projected to, that producers, refiners, shippers, banks and other
investors in tar-sands development are beginning to wonder whether they have backed a
good play by investing over $160 billion to turn tar into oil.
So the economic stranding process has already begun. Five global energy giants—
Shell, Total, Suncor, Statoil and Occidental—have cut bait on major bitumen deposits in
Alberta, in which they had already invested billions. Suncor has just slashed another billion
dollars from its capital spending program and $800 million more from operating expenses.
And as oil prices slide lower, commercial and investment banks are reconsidering future
underwritings. An industry that recently envisioned doubling production over the next
20 years is now looking at something closer to the opposite, a halving of production
or worse in far fewer than 20 years.
Please ask refining CEOs and their Boards how they will behave as Corporate profits fail.
Sincerely yours,

Doug Grandt
answerthecall@mac.com

Douglas A. Grandt

PO Box 6603
Lincoln, NE 68506
(510) 432-1452
March 19, 2015

Senator Jeff Flake
Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources
Russell Senate Office Building 368

Washington, D.C. 20510

Re: Oil Refining - Considering future eventualities versus the myopia of the present
Dear Senator Flake,
What is ENERGY INDEPENDENCE, really? With Saudi Arabia’s decision to keep the flow of
oil high to retain market share, they have hijacked the world with a flood of oil at reduced price,
some say with the explicit intention of destroying the economics of unconventional deposits of
shale oil and tarsands. Do they intend to extract all of their resources—before the end of oil?
The March 1, 2015 edition of Washinton Specter raises the issue squarely front and center:
Late 21st-century graduate students of business studying the growing problem of stranded
assets will almost certainly focus on the history of Canada’s Athabasca Oil Sand (aka tar
sands). The case studies they read will either describe the gradual abandonment of the
world’s largest reserve of bituminous crude or they will read about the tar sands’ miraculous
last-minute escape from becoming the world’s largest stranded asset. For either outcome,
the turning point they will look back on is just about now.
In some respects Alberta’s gigantic deposits of bitumen, a dense mixture of sand and heavy
crude oil, third in size only to the reserves of Saudi Arabia and Venezuela, were stranded
from the start by location. Situated in the heart of a vast boreal forest at the center of a very
large continent, they are hundreds of miles from the nearest refinery and thousands more
from navigable tidewater.
Of course, some of Alberta’s crude has made its way to market, but so much slower than it
could have, or was projected to, that producers, refiners, shippers, banks and other
investors in tar-sands development are beginning to wonder whether they have backed a
good play by investing over $160 billion to turn tar into oil.
So the economic stranding process has already begun. Five global energy giants—
Shell, Total, Suncor, Statoil and Occidental—have cut bait on major bitumen deposits in
Alberta, in which they had already invested billions. Suncor has just slashed another billion
dollars from its capital spending program and $800 million more from operating expenses.
And as oil prices slide lower, commercial and investment banks are reconsidering future
underwritings. An industry that recently envisioned doubling production over the next
20 years is now looking at something closer to the opposite, a halving of production
or worse in far fewer than 20 years.
Please ask refining CEOs and their Boards how they will behave as Corporate profits fail.
Sincerely yours,

Doug Grandt
answerthecall@mac.com

Douglas A. Grandt

PO Box 6603
Lincoln, NE 68506
(510) 432-1452
March 19, 2015

Senator Cory Gardiner
Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources
Dirksen Senate Office Building SD-B40B

Washington, DC 20510

Re: Oil Refining - Considering future eventualities versus the myopia of the present
Dear Senator Gardiner,
What is ENERGY INDEPENDENCE, really? With Saudi Arabia’s decision to keep the flow of
oil high to retain market share, they have hijacked the world with a flood of oil at reduced price,
some say with the explicit intention of destroying the economics of unconventional deposits of
shale oil and tarsands. Do they intend to extract all of their resources—before the end of oil?
The March 1, 2015 edition of Washinton Specter raises the issue squarely front and center:
Late 21st-century graduate students of business studying the growing problem of stranded
assets will almost certainly focus on the history of Canada’s Athabasca Oil Sand (aka tar
sands). The case studies they read will either describe the gradual abandonment of the
world’s largest reserve of bituminous crude or they will read about the tar sands’ miraculous
last-minute escape from becoming the world’s largest stranded asset. For either outcome,
the turning point they will look back on is just about now.
In some respects Alberta’s gigantic deposits of bitumen, a dense mixture of sand and heavy
crude oil, third in size only to the reserves of Saudi Arabia and Venezuela, were stranded
from the start by location. Situated in the heart of a vast boreal forest at the center of a very
large continent, they are hundreds of miles from the nearest refinery and thousands more
from navigable tidewater.
Of course, some of Alberta’s crude has made its way to market, but so much slower than it
could have, or was projected to, that producers, refiners, shippers, banks and other
investors in tar-sands development are beginning to wonder whether they have backed a
good play by investing over $160 billion to turn tar into oil.
So the economic stranding process has already begun. Five global energy giants—
Shell, Total, Suncor, Statoil and Occidental—have cut bait on major bitumen deposits in
Alberta, in which they had already invested billions. Suncor has just slashed another billion
dollars from its capital spending program and $800 million more from operating expenses.
And as oil prices slide lower, commercial and investment banks are reconsidering future
underwritings. An industry that recently envisioned doubling production over the next
20 years is now looking at something closer to the opposite, a halving of production
or worse in far fewer than 20 years.
Please ask refining CEOs and their Boards how they will behave as Corporate profits fail.
Sincerely yours,

Doug Grandt
answerthecall@mac.com

Douglas A. Grandt

PO Box 6603
Lincoln, NE 68506
(510) 432-1452
March 19, 2015

Senator John Hoeven
Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources
338 Russell Senate Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20510

Re: Oil Refining - Considering future eventualities versus the myopia of the present
Dear Senator Hoeven,
What is ENERGY INDEPENDENCE, really? With Saudi Arabia’s decision to keep the flow of
oil high to retain market share, they have hijacked the world with a flood of oil at reduced price,
some say with the explicit intention of destroying the economics of unconventional deposits of
shale oil and tarsands. Do they intend to extract all of their resources—before the end of oil?
The March 1, 2015 edition of Washinton Specter raises the issue squarely front and center:
Late 21st-century graduate students of business studying the growing problem of stranded
assets will almost certainly focus on the history of Canada’s Athabasca Oil Sand (aka tar
sands). The case studies they read will either describe the gradual abandonment of the
world’s largest reserve of bituminous crude or they will read about the tar sands’ miraculous
last-minute escape from becoming the world’s largest stranded asset. For either outcome,
the turning point they will look back on is just about now.
In some respects Alberta’s gigantic deposits of bitumen, a dense mixture of sand and heavy
crude oil, third in size only to the reserves of Saudi Arabia and Venezuela, were stranded
from the start by location. Situated in the heart of a vast boreal forest at the center of a very
large continent, they are hundreds of miles from the nearest refinery and thousands more
from navigable tidewater.
Of course, some of Alberta’s crude has made its way to market, but so much slower than it
could have, or was projected to, that producers, refiners, shippers, banks and other
investors in tar-sands development are beginning to wonder whether they have backed a
good play by investing over $160 billion to turn tar into oil.
So the economic stranding process has already begun. Five global energy giants—
Shell, Total, Suncor, Statoil and Occidental—have cut bait on major bitumen deposits in
Alberta, in which they had already invested billions. Suncor has just slashed another billion
dollars from its capital spending program and $800 million more from operating expenses.
And as oil prices slide lower, commercial and investment banks are reconsidering future
underwritings. An industry that recently envisioned doubling production over the next
20 years is now looking at something closer to the opposite, a halving of production
or worse in far fewer than 20 years.
Please ask refining CEOs and their Boards how they will behave as Corporate profits fail.
Sincerely yours,

Doug Grandt
answerthecall@mac.com

Douglas A. Grandt

PO Box 6603
Lincoln, NE 68506
(510) 432-1452
March 19, 2015

Senator Mike Lee
Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources
316 Hart Senate Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20510

Re: Oil Refining - Considering future eventualities versus the myopia of the present
Dear Senator Lee,
What is ENERGY INDEPENDENCE, really? With Saudi Arabia’s decision to keep the flow of
oil high to retain market share, they have hijacked the world with a flood of oil at reduced price,
some say with the explicit intention of destroying the economics of unconventional deposits of
shale oil and tarsands. Do they intend to extract all of their resources—before the end of oil?
The March 1, 2015 edition of Washinton Specter raises the issue squarely front and center:
Late 21st-century graduate students of business studying the growing problem of stranded
assets will almost certainly focus on the history of Canada’s Athabasca Oil Sand (aka tar
sands). The case studies they read will either describe the gradual abandonment of the
world’s largest reserve of bituminous crude or they will read about the tar sands’ miraculous
last-minute escape from becoming the world’s largest stranded asset. For either outcome,
the turning point they will look back on is just about now.
In some respects Alberta’s gigantic deposits of bitumen, a dense mixture of sand and heavy
crude oil, third in size only to the reserves of Saudi Arabia and Venezuela, were stranded
from the start by location. Situated in the heart of a vast boreal forest at the center of a very
large continent, they are hundreds of miles from the nearest refinery and thousands more
from navigable tidewater.
Of course, some of Alberta’s crude has made its way to market, but so much slower than it
could have, or was projected to, that producers, refiners, shippers, banks and other
investors in tar-sands development are beginning to wonder whether they have backed a
good play by investing over $160 billion to turn tar into oil.
So the economic stranding process has already begun. Five global energy giants—
Shell, Total, Suncor, Statoil and Occidental—have cut bait on major bitumen deposits in
Alberta, in which they had already invested billions. Suncor has just slashed another billion
dollars from its capital spending program and $800 million more from operating expenses.
And as oil prices slide lower, commercial and investment banks are reconsidering future
underwritings. An industry that recently envisioned doubling production over the next
20 years is now looking at something closer to the opposite, a halving of production
or worse in far fewer than 20 years.
Please ask refining CEOs and their Boards how they will behave as Corporate profits fail.
Sincerely yours,

Doug Grandt
answerthecall@mac.com

Douglas A. Grandt

PO Box 6603
Lincoln, NE 68506
(510) 432-1452
March 19, 2015

Senator Rob Portman
Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources
448 Russell Senate Office Building

Washington, DC 20510

Re: Oil Refining - Considering future eventualities versus the myopia of the present
Dear Senator Portman,
What is ENERGY INDEPENDENCE, really? With Saudi Arabia’s decision to keep the flow of
oil high to retain market share, they have hijacked the world with a flood of oil at reduced price,
some say with the explicit intention of destroying the economics of unconventional deposits of
shale oil and tarsands. Do they intend to extract all of their resources—before the end of oil?
The March 1, 2015 edition of Washinton Specter raises the issue squarely front and center:
Late 21st-century graduate students of business studying the growing problem of stranded
assets will almost certainly focus on the history of Canada’s Athabasca Oil Sand (aka tar
sands). The case studies they read will either describe the gradual abandonment of the
world’s largest reserve of bituminous crude or they will read about the tar sands’ miraculous
last-minute escape from becoming the world’s largest stranded asset. For either outcome,
the turning point they will look back on is just about now.
In some respects Alberta’s gigantic deposits of bitumen, a dense mixture of sand and heavy
crude oil, third in size only to the reserves of Saudi Arabia and Venezuela, were stranded
from the start by location. Situated in the heart of a vast boreal forest at the center of a very
large continent, they are hundreds of miles from the nearest refinery and thousands more
from navigable tidewater.
Of course, some of Alberta’s crude has made its way to market, but so much slower than it
could have, or was projected to, that producers, refiners, shippers, banks and other
investors in tar-sands development are beginning to wonder whether they have backed a
good play by investing over $160 billion to turn tar into oil.
So the economic stranding process has already begun. Five global energy giants—
Shell, Total, Suncor, Statoil and Occidental—have cut bait on major bitumen deposits in
Alberta, in which they had already invested billions. Suncor has just slashed another billion
dollars from its capital spending program and $800 million more from operating expenses.
And as oil prices slide lower, commercial and investment banks are reconsidering future
underwritings. An industry that recently envisioned doubling production over the next
20 years is now looking at something closer to the opposite, a halving of production
or worse in far fewer than 20 years.
Please ask refining CEOs and their Boards how they will behave as Corporate profits fail.
Sincerely yours,

Doug Grandt
answerthecall@mac.com

Douglas A. Grandt

PO Box 6603
Lincoln, NE 68506
(510) 432-1452
March 19, 2015

Senator James E. Risch
Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources
483 Russell Senate Office Building

Washington, DC 20510

Re: Oil Refining - Considering future eventualities versus the myopia of the present
Dear Senator Risch,
What is ENERGY INDEPENDENCE, really? With Saudi Arabia’s decision to keep the flow of
oil high to retain market share, they have hijacked the world with a flood of oil at reduced price,
some say with the explicit intention of destroying the economics of unconventional deposits of
shale oil and tarsands. Do they intend to extract all of their resources—before the end of oil?
The March 1, 2015 edition of Washinton Specter raises the issue squarely front and center:
Late 21st-century graduate students of business studying the growing problem of stranded
assets will almost certainly focus on the history of Canada’s Athabasca Oil Sand (aka tar
sands). The case studies they read will either describe the gradual abandonment of the
world’s largest reserve of bituminous crude or they will read about the tar sands’ miraculous
last-minute escape from becoming the world’s largest stranded asset. For either outcome,
the turning point they will look back on is just about now.
In some respects Alberta’s gigantic deposits of bitumen, a dense mixture of sand and heavy
crude oil, third in size only to the reserves of Saudi Arabia and Venezuela, were stranded
from the start by location. Situated in the heart of a vast boreal forest at the center of a very
large continent, they are hundreds of miles from the nearest refinery and thousands more
from navigable tidewater.
Of course, some of Alberta’s crude has made its way to market, but so much slower than it
could have, or was projected to, that producers, refiners, shippers, banks and other
investors in tar-sands development are beginning to wonder whether they have backed a
good play by investing over $160 billion to turn tar into oil.
So the economic stranding process has already begun. Five global energy giants—
Shell, Total, Suncor, Statoil and Occidental—have cut bait on major bitumen deposits in
Alberta, in which they had already invested billions. Suncor has just slashed another billion
dollars from its capital spending program and $800 million more from operating expenses.
And as oil prices slide lower, commercial and investment banks are reconsidering future
underwritings. An industry that recently envisioned doubling production over the next
20 years is now looking at something closer to the opposite, a halving of production
or worse in far fewer than 20 years.
Please ask refining CEOs and their Boards how they will behave as Corporate profits fail.
Sincerely yours,

Doug Grandt
answerthecall@mac.com

Douglas A. Grandt

PO Box 6603
Lincoln, NE 68506
(510) 432-1452
March 19, 2015

Senator Maria Cantwell
Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources
511 Hart Senate Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20510

Re: Oil Refining - Considering future eventualities versus the myopia of the present
Dear Senator Cantwell,
What is ENERGY INDEPENDENCE, really? With Saudi Arabia’s decision to keep the flow of
oil high to retain market share, they have hijacked the world with a flood of oil at reduced price,
some say with the explicit intention of destroying the economics of unconventional deposits of
shale oil and tarsands. Do they intend to extract all of their resources—before the end of oil?
The March 1, 2015 edition of Washinton Specter raises the issue squarely front and center:
Late 21st-century graduate students of business studying the growing problem of stranded
assets will almost certainly focus on the history of Canada’s Athabasca Oil Sand (aka tar
sands). The case studies they read will either describe the gradual abandonment of the
world’s largest reserve of bituminous crude or they will read about the tar sands’ miraculous
last-minute escape from becoming the world’s largest stranded asset. For either outcome,
the turning point they will look back on is just about now.
In some respects Alberta’s gigantic deposits of bitumen, a dense mixture of sand and heavy
crude oil, third in size only to the reserves of Saudi Arabia and Venezuela, were stranded
from the start by location. Situated in the heart of a vast boreal forest at the center of a very
large continent, they are hundreds of miles from the nearest refinery and thousands more
from navigable tidewater.
Of course, some of Alberta’s crude has made its way to market, but so much slower than it
could have, or was projected to, that producers, refiners, shippers, banks and other
investors in tar-sands development are beginning to wonder whether they have backed a
good play by investing over $160 billion to turn tar into oil.
So the economic stranding process has already begun. Five global energy giants—
Shell, Total, Suncor, Statoil and Occidental—have cut bait on major bitumen deposits in
Alberta, in which they had already invested billions. Suncor has just slashed another billion
dollars from its capital spending program and $800 million more from operating expenses.
And as oil prices slide lower, commercial and investment banks are reconsidering future
underwritings. An industry that recently envisioned doubling production over the next
20 years is now looking at something closer to the opposite, a halving of production
or worse in far fewer than 20 years.
Please ask refining CEOs and their Boards how they will behave as Corporate profits fail.
Sincerely yours,

Doug Grandt
answerthecall@mac.com

Douglas A. Grandt

PO Box 6603
Lincoln, NE 68506
(510) 432-1452
March 19, 2015

Senator Al Franken
Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources
309 Hart Senate Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20510

Re: Oil Refining - Considering future eventualities versus the myopia of the present
Dear Senator Franken,
What is ENERGY INDEPENDENCE, really? With Saudi Arabia’s decision to keep the flow of
oil high to retain market share, they have hijacked the world with a flood of oil at reduced price,
some say with the explicit intention of destroying the economics of unconventional deposits of
shale oil and tarsands. Do they intend to extract all of their resources—before the end of oil?
The March 1, 2015 edition of Washinton Specter raises the issue squarely front and center:
Late 21st-century graduate students of business studying the growing problem of stranded
assets will almost certainly focus on the history of Canada’s Athabasca Oil Sand (aka tar
sands). The case studies they read will either describe the gradual abandonment of the
world’s largest reserve of bituminous crude or they will read about the tar sands’ miraculous
last-minute escape from becoming the world’s largest stranded asset. For either outcome,
the turning point they will look back on is just about now.
In some respects Alberta’s gigantic deposits of bitumen, a dense mixture of sand and heavy
crude oil, third in size only to the reserves of Saudi Arabia and Venezuela, were stranded
from the start by location. Situated in the heart of a vast boreal forest at the center of a very
large continent, they are hundreds of miles from the nearest refinery and thousands more
from navigable tidewater.
Of course, some of Alberta’s crude has made its way to market, but so much slower than it
could have, or was projected to, that producers, refiners, shippers, banks and other
investors in tar-sands development are beginning to wonder whether they have backed a
good play by investing over $160 billion to turn tar into oil.
So the economic stranding process has already begun. Five global energy giants—
Shell, Total, Suncor, Statoil and Occidental—have cut bait on major bitumen deposits in
Alberta, in which they had already invested billions. Suncor has just slashed another billion
dollars from its capital spending program and $800 million more from operating expenses.
And as oil prices slide lower, commercial and investment banks are reconsidering future
underwritings. An industry that recently envisioned doubling production over the next
20 years is now looking at something closer to the opposite, a halving of production
or worse in far fewer than 20 years.
Please ask refining CEOs and their Boards how they will behave as Corporate profits fail.
Sincerely yours,

Doug Grandt
answerthecall@mac.com

Douglas A. Grandt

PO Box 6603
Lincoln, NE 68506
(510) 432-1452
March 19, 2015

Senator Martin Heinrich
Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources
702 Hart Senate Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20510

Re: Oil Refining - Considering future eventualities versus the myopia of the present
Dear Senator Heinrich,
What is ENERGY INDEPENDENCE, really? With Saudi Arabia’s decision to keep the flow of
oil high to retain market share, they have hijacked the world with a flood of oil at reduced price,
some say with the explicit intention of destroying the economics of unconventional deposits of
shale oil and tarsands. Do they intend to extract all of their resources—before the end of oil?
The March 1, 2015 edition of Washinton Specter raises the issue squarely front and center:
Late 21st-century graduate students of business studying the growing problem of stranded
assets will almost certainly focus on the history of Canada’s Athabasca Oil Sand (aka tar
sands). The case studies they read will either describe the gradual abandonment of the
world’s largest reserve of bituminous crude or they will read about the tar sands’ miraculous
last-minute escape from becoming the world’s largest stranded asset. For either outcome,
the turning point they will look back on is just about now.
In some respects Alberta’s gigantic deposits of bitumen, a dense mixture of sand and heavy
crude oil, third in size only to the reserves of Saudi Arabia and Venezuela, were stranded
from the start by location. Situated in the heart of a vast boreal forest at the center of a very
large continent, they are hundreds of miles from the nearest refinery and thousands more
from navigable tidewater.
Of course, some of Alberta’s crude has made its way to market, but so much slower than it
could have, or was projected to, that producers, refiners, shippers, banks and other
investors in tar-sands development are beginning to wonder whether they have backed a
good play by investing over $160 billion to turn tar into oil.
So the economic stranding process has already begun. Five global energy giants—
Shell, Total, Suncor, Statoil and Occidental—have cut bait on major bitumen deposits in
Alberta, in which they had already invested billions. Suncor has just slashed another billion
dollars from its capital spending program and $800 million more from operating expenses.
And as oil prices slide lower, commercial and investment banks are reconsidering future
underwritings. An industry that recently envisioned doubling production over the next
20 years is now looking at something closer to the opposite, a halving of production
or worse in far fewer than 20 years.
Please ask refining CEOs and their Boards how they will behave as Corporate profits fail.
Sincerely yours,

Doug Grandt
answerthecall@mac.com

Douglas A. Grandt

PO Box 6603
Lincoln, NE 68506
(510) 432-1452
March 19, 2015

Senator Mazie Hirono
Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources
330 Hart Senate Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20510

Re: Oil Refining - Considering future eventualities versus the myopia of the present
Dear Senator Hirono,
What is ENERGY INDEPENDENCE, really? With Saudi Arabia’s decision to keep the flow of
oil high to retain market share, they have hijacked the world with a flood of oil at reduced price,
some say with the explicit intention of destroying the economics of unconventional deposits of
shale oil and tarsands. Do they intend to extract all of their resources—before the end of oil?
The March 1, 2015 edition of Washinton Specter raises the issue squarely front and center:
Late 21st-century graduate students of business studying the growing problem of stranded
assets will almost certainly focus on the history of Canada’s Athabasca Oil Sand (aka tar
sands). The case studies they read will either describe the gradual abandonment of the
world’s largest reserve of bituminous crude or they will read about the tar sands’ miraculous
last-minute escape from becoming the world’s largest stranded asset. For either outcome,
the turning point they will look back on is just about now.
In some respects Alberta’s gigantic deposits of bitumen, a dense mixture of sand and heavy
crude oil, third in size only to the reserves of Saudi Arabia and Venezuela, were stranded
from the start by location. Situated in the heart of a vast boreal forest at the center of a very
large continent, they are hundreds of miles from the nearest refinery and thousands more
from navigable tidewater.
Of course, some of Alberta’s crude has made its way to market, but so much slower than it
could have, or was projected to, that producers, refiners, shippers, banks and other
investors in tar-sands development are beginning to wonder whether they have backed a
good play by investing over $160 billion to turn tar into oil.
So the economic stranding process has already begun. Five global energy giants—
Shell, Total, Suncor, Statoil and Occidental—have cut bait on major bitumen deposits in
Alberta, in which they had already invested billions. Suncor has just slashed another billion
dollars from its capital spending program and $800 million more from operating expenses.
And as oil prices slide lower, commercial and investment banks are reconsidering future
underwritings. An industry that recently envisioned doubling production over the next
20 years is now looking at something closer to the opposite, a halving of production
or worse in far fewer than 20 years.
Please ask refining CEOs and their Boards how they will behave as Corporate profits fail.
Sincerely yours,

Doug Grandt
answerthecall@mac.com

Douglas A. Grandt

PO Box 6603
Lincoln, NE 68506
(510) 432-1452
March 19, 2015

Senator Joe Manchin
Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources
306 Hart Senate Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20510

Re: Oil Refining - Considering future eventualities versus the myopia of the present
Dear Senator Manchin,
What is ENERGY INDEPENDENCE, really? With Saudi Arabia’s decision to keep the flow of
oil high to retain market share, they have hijacked the world with a flood of oil at reduced price,
some say with the explicit intention of destroying the economics of unconventional deposits of
shale oil and tarsands. Do they intend to extract all of their resources—before the end of oil?
The March 1, 2015 edition of Washinton Specter raises the issue squarely front and center:
Late 21st-century graduate students of business studying the growing problem of stranded
assets will almost certainly focus on the history of Canada’s Athabasca Oil Sand (aka tar
sands). The case studies they read will either describe the gradual abandonment of the
world’s largest reserve of bituminous crude or they will read about the tar sands’ miraculous
last-minute escape from becoming the world’s largest stranded asset. For either outcome,
the turning point they will look back on is just about now.
In some respects Alberta’s gigantic deposits of bitumen, a dense mixture of sand and heavy
crude oil, third in size only to the reserves of Saudi Arabia and Venezuela, were stranded
from the start by location. Situated in the heart of a vast boreal forest at the center of a very
large continent, they are hundreds of miles from the nearest refinery and thousands more
from navigable tidewater.
Of course, some of Alberta’s crude has made its way to market, but so much slower than it
could have, or was projected to, that producers, refiners, shippers, banks and other
investors in tar-sands development are beginning to wonder whether they have backed a
good play by investing over $160 billion to turn tar into oil.
So the economic stranding process has already begun. Five global energy giants—
Shell, Total, Suncor, Statoil and Occidental—have cut bait on major bitumen deposits in
Alberta, in which they had already invested billions. Suncor has just slashed another billion
dollars from its capital spending program and $800 million more from operating expenses.
And as oil prices slide lower, commercial and investment banks are reconsidering future
underwritings. An industry that recently envisioned doubling production over the next
20 years is now looking at something closer to the opposite, a halving of production
or worse in far fewer than 20 years.
Please ask refining CEOs and their Boards how they will behave as Corporate profits fail.
Sincerely yours,

Doug Grandt
answerthecall@mac.com

Douglas A. Grandt

PO Box 6603
Lincoln, NE 68506
(510) 432-1452
March 19, 2015

Senator Debbie Stabenow
Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources
731 Hart Senate Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20510

Re: Oil Refining - Considering future eventualities versus the myopia of the present
Dear Senator Stabenow,
What is ENERGY INDEPENDENCE, really? With Saudi Arabia’s decision to keep the flow of
oil high to retain market share, they have hijacked the world with a flood of oil at reduced price,
some say with the explicit intention of destroying the economics of unconventional deposits of
shale oil and tarsands. Do they intend to extract all of their resources—before the end of oil?
The March 1, 2015 edition of Washinton Specter raises the issue squarely front and center:
Late 21st-century graduate students of business studying the growing problem of stranded
assets will almost certainly focus on the history of Canada’s Athabasca Oil Sand (aka tar
sands). The case studies they read will either describe the gradual abandonment of the
world’s largest reserve of bituminous crude or they will read about the tar sands’ miraculous
last-minute escape from becoming the world’s largest stranded asset. For either outcome,
the turning point they will look back on is just about now.
In some respects Alberta’s gigantic deposits of bitumen, a dense mixture of sand and heavy
crude oil, third in size only to the reserves of Saudi Arabia and Venezuela, were stranded
from the start by location. Situated in the heart of a vast boreal forest at the center of a very
large continent, they are hundreds of miles from the nearest refinery and thousands more
from navigable tidewater.
Of course, some of Alberta’s crude has made its way to market, but so much slower than it
could have, or was projected to, that producers, refiners, shippers, banks and other
investors in tar-sands development are beginning to wonder whether they have backed a
good play by investing over $160 billion to turn tar into oil.
So the economic stranding process has already begun. Five global energy giants—
Shell, Total, Suncor, Statoil and Occidental—have cut bait on major bitumen deposits in
Alberta, in which they had already invested billions. Suncor has just slashed another billion
dollars from its capital spending program and $800 million more from operating expenses.
And as oil prices slide lower, commercial and investment banks are reconsidering future
underwritings. An industry that recently envisioned doubling production over the next
20 years is now looking at something closer to the opposite, a halving of production
or worse in far fewer than 20 years.
Please ask refining CEOs and their Boards how they will behave as Corporate profits fail.
Sincerely yours,

Doug Grandt
answerthecall@mac.com

Douglas A. Grandt

PO Box 6603
Lincoln, NE 68506
(510) 432-1452
March 19, 2015

Senator Elizabeth Warren
Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources
317 Hart Senate Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20510

Re: Oil Refining - Considering future eventualities versus the myopia of the present
Dear Senator Warren,
What is ENERGY INDEPENDENCE, really? With Saudi Arabia’s decision to keep the flow of
oil high to retain market share, they have hijacked the world with a flood of oil at reduced price,
some say with the explicit intention of destroying the economics of unconventional deposits of
shale oil and tarsands. Do they intend to extract all of their resources—before the end of oil?
The March 1, 2015 edition of Washinton Specter raises the issue squarely front and center:
Late 21st-century graduate students of business studying the growing problem of stranded
assets will almost certainly focus on the history of Canada’s Athabasca Oil Sand (aka tar
sands). The case studies they read will either describe the gradual abandonment of the
world’s largest reserve of bituminous crude or they will read about the tar sands’ miraculous
last-minute escape from becoming the world’s largest stranded asset. For either outcome,
the turning point they will look back on is just about now.
In some respects Alberta’s gigantic deposits of bitumen, a dense mixture of sand and heavy
crude oil, third in size only to the reserves of Saudi Arabia and Venezuela, were stranded
from the start by location. Situated in the heart of a vast boreal forest at the center of a very
large continent, they are hundreds of miles from the nearest refinery and thousands more
from navigable tidewater.
Of course, some of Alberta’s crude has made its way to market, but so much slower than it
could have, or was projected to, that producers, refiners, shippers, banks and other
investors in tar-sands development are beginning to wonder whether they have backed a
good play by investing over $160 billion to turn tar into oil.
So the economic stranding process has already begun. Five global energy giants—
Shell, Total, Suncor, Statoil and Occidental—have cut bait on major bitumen deposits in
Alberta, in which they had already invested billions. Suncor has just slashed another billion
dollars from its capital spending program and $800 million more from operating expenses.
And as oil prices slide lower, commercial and investment banks are reconsidering future
underwritings. An industry that recently envisioned doubling production over the next
20 years is now looking at something closer to the opposite, a halving of production
or worse in far fewer than 20 years.
Please ask refining CEOs and their Boards how they will behave as Corporate profits fail.
Sincerely yours,

Doug Grandt
answerthecall@mac.com

Douglas A. Grandt

PO Box 6603
Lincoln, NE 68506
(510) 432-1452
March 19, 2015

Senator Ron Wyden
Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources
221 Dirksen Senate Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20510

Re: Oil Refining - Considering future eventualities versus the myopia of the present
Dear Senator Wyden,
What is ENERGY INDEPENDENCE, really? With Saudi Arabia’s decision to keep the flow of
oil high to retain market share, they have hijacked the world with a flood of oil at reduced price,
some say with the explicit intention of destroying the economics of unconventional deposits of
shale oil and tarsands. Do they intend to extract all of their resources—before the end of oil?
The March 1, 2015 edition of Washinton Specter raises the issue squarely front and center:
Late 21st-century graduate students of business studying the growing problem of stranded
assets will almost certainly focus on the history of Canada’s Athabasca Oil Sand (aka tar
sands). The case studies they read will either describe the gradual abandonment of the
world’s largest reserve of bituminous crude or they will read about the tar sands’ miraculous
last-minute escape from becoming the world’s largest stranded asset. For either outcome,
the turning point they will look back on is just about now.
In some respects Alberta’s gigantic deposits of bitumen, a dense mixture of sand and heavy
crude oil, third in size only to the reserves of Saudi Arabia and Venezuela, were stranded
from the start by location. Situated in the heart of a vast boreal forest at the center of a very
large continent, they are hundreds of miles from the nearest refinery and thousands more
from navigable tidewater.
Of course, some of Alberta’s crude has made its way to market, but so much slower than it
could have, or was projected to, that producers, refiners, shippers, banks and other
investors in tar-sands development are beginning to wonder whether they have backed a
good play by investing over $160 billion to turn tar into oil.
So the economic stranding process has already begun. Five global energy giants—
Shell, Total, Suncor, Statoil and Occidental—have cut bait on major bitumen deposits in
Alberta, in which they had already invested billions. Suncor has just slashed another billion
dollars from its capital spending program and $800 million more from operating expenses.
And as oil prices slide lower, commercial and investment banks are reconsidering future
underwritings. An industry that recently envisioned doubling production over the next
20 years is now looking at something closer to the opposite, a halving of production
or worse in far fewer than 20 years.
Please ask refining CEOs and their Boards how they will behave as Corporate profits fail.
Sincerely yours,

Doug Grandt
answerthecall@mac.com

Douglas A. Grandt

PO Box 6603
Lincoln, NE 68506
(510) 432-1452
March 19, 2015

Senator Bernie Sanders
Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources
332 Dirksen Senate Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20510

Re: Oil Refining - Considering future eventualities versus the myopia of the present
Dear Senator Sanders,
What is ENERGY INDEPENDENCE, really? With Saudi Arabia’s decision to keep the flow of
oil high to retain market share, they have hijacked the world with a flood of oil at reduced price,
some say with the explicit intention of destroying the economics of unconventional deposits of
shale oil and tarsands. Do they intend to extract all of their resources—before the end of oil?
The March 1, 2015 edition of Washinton Specter raises the issue squarely front and center:
Late 21st-century graduate students of business studying the growing problem of stranded
assets will almost certainly focus on the history of Canada’s Athabasca Oil Sand (aka tar
sands). The case studies they read will either describe the gradual abandonment of the
world’s largest reserve of bituminous crude or they will read about the tar sands’ miraculous
last-minute escape from becoming the world’s largest stranded asset. For either outcome,
the turning point they will look back on is just about now.
In some respects Alberta’s gigantic deposits of bitumen, a dense mixture of sand and heavy
crude oil, third in size only to the reserves of Saudi Arabia and Venezuela, were stranded
from the start by location. Situated in the heart of a vast boreal forest at the center of a very
large continent, they are hundreds of miles from the nearest refinery and thousands more
from navigable tidewater.
Of course, some of Alberta’s crude has made its way to market, but so much slower than it
could have, or was projected to, that producers, refiners, shippers, banks and other
investors in tar-sands development are beginning to wonder whether they have backed a
good play by investing over $160 billion to turn tar into oil.
So the economic stranding process has already begun. Five global energy giants—
Shell, Total, Suncor, Statoil and Occidental—have cut bait on major bitumen deposits in
Alberta, in which they had already invested billions. Suncor has just slashed another billion
dollars from its capital spending program and $800 million more from operating expenses.
And as oil prices slide lower, commercial and investment banks are reconsidering future
underwritings. An industry that recently envisioned doubling production over the next
20 years is now looking at something closer to the opposite, a halving of production
or worse in far fewer than 20 years.
Please ask refining CEOs and their Boards how they will behave as Corporate profits fail.
Sincerely yours,

Doug Grandt
answerthecall@mac.com

Douglas A. Grandt

PO Box 6603
Lincoln, NE 68506
(510) 432-1452
March 19, 2015

Senator Angus King
Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources
359 Dirksen Senate Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20510

Re: Oil Refining - Considering future eventualities versus the myopia of the present
Dear Senator King,
What is ENERGY INDEPENDENCE, really? With Saudi Arabia’s decision to keep the flow of
oil high to retain market share, they have hijacked the world with a flood of oil at reduced price,
some say with the explicit intention of destroying the economics of unconventional deposits of
shale oil and tarsands. Do they intend to extract all of their resources—before the end of oil?
The March 1, 2015 edition of Washinton Specter raises the issue squarely front and center:
Late 21st-century graduate students of business studying the growing problem of stranded
assets will almost certainly focus on the history of Canada’s Athabasca Oil Sand (aka tar
sands). The case studies they read will either describe the gradual abandonment of the
world’s largest reserve of bituminous crude or they will read about the tar sands’ miraculous
last-minute escape from becoming the world’s largest stranded asset. For either outcome,
the turning point they will look back on is just about now.
In some respects Alberta’s gigantic deposits of bitumen, a dense mixture of sand and heavy
crude oil, third in size only to the reserves of Saudi Arabia and Venezuela, were stranded
from the start by location. Situated in the heart of a vast boreal forest at the center of a very
large continent, they are hundreds of miles from the nearest refinery and thousands more
from navigable tidewater.
Of course, some of Alberta’s crude has made its way to market, but so much slower than it
could have, or was projected to, that producers, refiners, shippers, banks and other
investors in tar-sands development are beginning to wonder whether they have backed a
good play by investing over $160 billion to turn tar into oil.
So the economic stranding process has already begun. Five global energy giants—
Shell, Total, Suncor, Statoil and Occidental—have cut bait on major bitumen deposits in
Alberta, in which they had already invested billions. Suncor has just slashed another billion
dollars from its capital spending program and $800 million more from operating expenses.
And as oil prices slide lower, commercial and investment banks are reconsidering future
underwritings. An industry that recently envisioned doubling production over the next
20 years is now looking at something closer to the opposite, a halving of production
or worse in far fewer than 20 years.
Please ask refining CEOs and their Boards how they will behave as Corporate profits fail.
Sincerely yours,

Doug Grandt
answerthecall@mac.com