IHS Response to Article by The Nation Regarding IHS Oil Sands Research

Wednesday, February 5, 2014 12:00 am EST



Statement by IHS:

Lee Fang’s article in The Nation on IHS research regarding oil sands is factually inaccurate, misleading, deliberately misrepresents IHS research, and misquotes IHS by slicing quotations in half. Moreover, Mr. Fang fails to point to any factual mistakes in IHS research. (Lee Fang, “Alberta Government Quietly Funded Researchers Behind ‘Independent’ Report Boosting Keystone XL,” http://www.thenation.com/blog/178230/alberta-government-quietly-funded-researchers-behind-independent-report-boosting-keyston#)

Mr. Fang’s charge that the research of the IHS CERA Oil Sands Dialogue was “quietly funded” by the Alberta government is misleading. The IHS CERA Oil Sands Dialogue is a subscription service in which the Alberta government is one of many participants. IHS publishes a complete list of participants in all of the dialogue’s studies. This list is publicly available in each of the research papers (www.ihs.com/oilsandsdialogue). As with all IHS research, the research, findings, and conclusions of the oil sands dialogue are solely those of IHS.

Furthermore, the contracts that Mr. Fang cites from 2009 are unrelated to the IHS CERA Oil Sands Dialogue. The 2009 contracts were for analytic work on investment costs.

Mr. Fang uses incomplete and misleading quotes to make the false claim that IHS Senior Director Jackie Forrest made comments contradicting current IHS research, which has concluded that oil sands production is expected to continue at similar levels regardless of whether the Keystone XL goes forward or not.

Mr. Fang quotes Ms. Forrest in a 2011 article in Oil & Gas Journal saying ““based on our view of growth in Canadian oil sands and tight oil production, over the next 5 years North America will need both the Keystone XL and the Enbridge projects in order to create enough takeaway capacity to prevent bottlenecks.”

However, he fails to include the remainder of Ms. Forrest’s comments in that article in which she clearly states that, in the absence of Keystone XL, other projects would likely go forward. In the same article, Ms. Forrest added: “If no pipeline solutions occur in the next few years, we are likely to see a very significant build out of rail capacity.” 

This is exactly what has happened in the years since. As the U.S. State Department pointed out last week, substantial amounts of oil sands are now moved by rail. Moreover, both eastern and western pipeline transportation systems are under development. In fact, in the November 11, 2011, press statement, on which Oil & Gas Journal and other publications drew, Ms. Forrest also states, “The delay to Keystone XL increases the probability that other pipeline solutions, to bring oil sands to new U.S. markets, will move forward.”

Despite Mr. Fang’s misrepresentation, Ms. Forrest’s comments are consistent with current IHS research, which found that In the absence of the Keystone XL pipeline, alternate transportation routes would result in future oil sands production growth being unchanged.


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