Turning Canada’s heavy oil sands into a more marketable kind of crude is making a comeback, or rather half a comeback. Alberta’s government’s C$1 billion dollar pledge ($780 million) will help support the construction of smaller and cheaper varieties of upgraders. The so-called partial upgraders would process the sticky oil just enough so that it can flow freely through pipelines without adding ultra-light condensate. The government expects that as many as five private investors will infuse about C$5 billion in the sector. Interest in building full upgraders dwindled prior to the 2014 downturn in oil prices amid soaring costs and as the U.S. fracking boom sent a surge of light oil onto the market, depressing prices for similar synthetic crude. The older versions were refinery-sized plants that would cost billions of dollars to build today. The partial upgraders are cheaper and would produce a grade that’s easier […]