Further profit erosion in the tar sands: Suncor scraps upgrader plant.

Bloomberg: “Suncor’s decision to scrap an C$11.6 billion ($11.4 billion) oil-sands plant shows Canadian producers are betting they can boost shareholder returns by shipping crude directly to refineries instead of investing in costly processing. Suncor, Canada’s argest energy company, abandoned plans last week with partnerĀ  Total to build the Voyageur upgrader that would have converted heavy bitumen to a synthetic light crude, amid rising competition from U.S. oil.” “Paris-based Total instead outlined plans to focus on heavy-oil production from its proposed Fort Hills and Joslyn oil-sands developments, spending C$15 billion on Canadian energy projects through 2020.
….Calgary-based Suncor and Total are among several Canadian producers eyeing sales of oil-sands crude to refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast and in Asia. The raw product can more easily compete with heavy oils from Mexico and Venezuela, instead of facing a tide of cheaper light U.S. supplies.
U.S. light oil production jumped 16 percent to 7 million barrels a day in 2012, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Increasing production on both sides of the border caused pipeline congestion late last year.”