The Trans Mountain Pipeline is a pipeline that transports oil from Alberta, Canada to the west coast of British Colombia. The plans for expansion of the pipeline has led to delays and environmental protests, which affected the US refinement industry in the Pacific Northwest.
Canada and Alaska are the main sources of oil for the Pacific Northwest refineries, and as a result of shipment delays coming from Canada, the refineries have started purchase oil from Russia. An oil ship tanker flying a Portuguese flag, has already delivered Russian crude oil to the States of Washington and Oregon.
The Pacific Northwest may also increase its purchase of Russian crude oil, due to the declining oil production in Alaska. The delivery of crude oil via railway was also rejected by the State of Washington governor, because of the safety standards of crude-oil-railway transportation, as opposed to other methods of transporting crude.
The economics of supply and demand mean Russian oil is just as important as any other country’s oil, as recorded by the EIA data which saw over 15 million barrels of Russian crude oil being shipped in by the US refineries in Oregon and Washington for May 2018.
The Pacific Northwest may however, suffer further losses in crude oil delivery as the US congress is discussing new sanctions on Russian crude oil and oil products. This means the completion of the Trans Mountain pipeline’s expansion may become essential for Pacific Northwest refineries.