FACILITYCalgary publisher Mark Kolke, in conversation with Graham Duncan
December 18, 2012
My recent conversation,- my diluent(dil-bit) tutorial with Graham Duncan, General Manager at Musket Canada Inc. Graham joined Musket in July 2011. He runs their trading floor in Calgary. His perspective is positive and demonstrative – as I asked him to give me a laymen’s education in diluent and his company’s role in that market.
I spent some time last week being thoroughly entertained – and more than a little bit educated as animated drawings on a white board gave me a quick chemical engineering primer in the nuances of moving bitumen in a pipe vs. on a rail car, warm or cold, as I came to understand the importance of diluent in the process. While Graham has likely had better students than me – I appreciated his explanation of bitumen can flow when mixed with diluent. I cam away with an appreciation of why diluent is today’s prized commodity that once upon a time was simply - super-drip, a waste product. Liquids rich gas, condensate, is the lubricant that makes heavy oil flow. But I’m a real estate guy without a science background, so Grahams diagrams helped a lot.
In short, the diluent story plays whether oilsands production is moved to market by pipe or rail – and that makes Musket’s story very compelling because of their strong position in rail capacity moving product from the Bakken to Texas, on a scale sufficient to support a substantial trading operation as the company of rail, diesel and trading becomes an important player the diluent – bitumen mix.
How do you see happening over the next 90 days?
… trans-loading, truck to rail, growth in Canada based on a well resourced company in terms of capital and rail cars. And price volatility . . .
Over the next 5 years?
… developing in Canada from a trading platform by expanding into terminals, trans-loading and growth as the market gets to know our company and its capabilities better
What drives him?
. . . in business, the hunt, and an insatiable desire for knowledge
Along his way from LordBeaverbrookHigh School, B.Comm at U of C, how does a Calgary native find his way to trading diluent, for an Oklahoma company that made is name shipping diesel from Texas to California? Graham explained his early days as an analyst at Enmax – forecasting loads and prices (he was always good with numbers) led to jobs in trading power and natural gas until he had an ah+ha moment – during a DISC assessment – seems he is a high DC. Conclusion – smart with numbers, good with people . . . and management jobs followed.
For fun … ?
. . . my wife and I used to hike – a lot – but with young children our mountain time is confined to camping, for now.
His ride . . .
. . . VW Tourag (Diesel)
Plans this winter?
. . . learning to skate is on my agenda. I never learned to skate as a kid.
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