Stelmach's Tories face gooey problem as more bitumen upgrading leaves Alberta

The amount of oilsands bitumen being upgraded in Alberta continues to sink -- leaving the government well short of its target -- with Syncrude the latest in a growing number of companies to cancel upgrader projects and send the lucrative product stateside.

Natural market drivers and a glut of oilsands processing capacity in the U.S. mean Premier Ed Stelmach is finding it difficult to hold to his three-year-old promise to upgrade more bitumen in Alberta.

Indeed, the continued loss of billions of investment dollars and thousands of jobs to the U.S. is leaving his Tory government in a predicament as sticky as the gooey product, with energy economists expecting the situation will only worsen.

Calgary Herald, Wed Mar 3 2010
Byline: Jason Fekete

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