Financial Post

While the debate intensifies over whether TransCanada Corp.’s Keystone XL pipeline should be approved, traders are quietly setting up alternative routes to ship Canadian oil from U.S. ports.

At least five rail-to-marine projects have been proposed in the state of Washington that would allow the export or domestic shipment of more than 500,000 barrels a day of oil. A terminal in Oregon is operational already and is being upgraded to handle vessels that carry more than 300,000 barrels of crude.

The proposed depots haven’t received the national attention of Keystone XL because they are in obscure places like Grays Harbor County, Washington, perhaps best known as the birth place of the late Nirvana lead singer Kurt Cobain. While U.S. demand for imported light oil has slowed amid the shale boom — leaving Canada desperate to reach global markets — the terminals might also be used to ship domestic oil overseas…

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