tiptrot.com July 16, 2018

Energy shippers trepidatious on Alberta plan to control oil and gas exports

18 April 2018, 12:32 | Cedric Leonard

Little confidence in feds and province at pipeline rally

“A genuine sense of optimism”: Horgan talks pipeline in Ottawa

"The powers in this legislation are not powers Alberta wants to use, but we will do so if it means long-term benefit for the industry, for Alberta and for Canada".

Ironically, should Alberta exercise its authority under Bill 12, it could result in the very thing that B.C. Premier John Horgan is trying to prevent - increased shipments of diluted bitumen from Alberta by pipeline - with the added problem of increased gasoline prices.

"What we're saying is if they (Alberta) turn off those taps, Saskatchewan won't be here to fill those (B.C.) fuel tanks".

Alberta on Tuesday received the support of neighboring Saskatchewan, Canada's second-largest oil-producing province. Alberta's energy producers would also suffer, losing a key market for their crude and refined products.

"Any action that restricts the supply of oil to British Columbia would be negative for the economies of both B.C. and Alberta", Cuerrier said in an email. The expansion's cancellation would be a major blow to Alberta's oil industry, which has suffered from lower relative prices for its crude, brought on by a lack of adequate pipeline space. Pipelines that cross provincial borders are federal responsibility, but responsibility for environmental protection is shared by provincial and federal governments.

Alberta and B.C. have been at odds over the Trans Mountain project, which was approved in 2016 but has been hamstrung by court challenges and permit delays in B.C.

Yesterday, Alberta Premier Rachel Notley and Energy Minister Margaret McQuaig-Boyd rolled out Bill 12, rather tendentiously dubbed the Preserving Canada's Economic Prosperity Act, the sole goal of which seems to be to squeeze residents of B.C.'s Lower Mainland till their pips squeak if they and their NDP government won't get out of the way of Alberta's demand for a fat new pipeline to carry our diluted bitumen to the Pacific Ocean, and pronto.

Export licences would be required for every company but only if the energy minister determines it's in the public interest to ensure: adequate pipeline capacity is available to maximize the return on resources, supply is maintained for Alberta's needs now and into the future. The legislation would allow the province to cut off exports within days of making a decision to do so.

Gasoline prices in Metro Vancouver are now hovering near $1.55 a litre. "Real consumer spending growth would slow, while businesses would also need to pass through higher costs".

Opposition "resolute" in B.C.


Kinder Morgan's existing Trans Mountain pipeline supplies Vancouver and the surrounding region with as much as 60% of its refined products, as well as the area's only refinery, the 55,000 bpd facility owned by Parkland Fuel.

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley's government introduced a law on Monday that would give the province power to unilaterally reduce exports of oil and natural gas. "If there's anything in this legislation that even suggests a possibility of discrimination against British Columbians, we will take every step necessary to protect the interests of British Columbians because it would be completely illegal". "It's simple - when Alberta works, Canada works".

If the future of the project continues to look bleak, Notley said, that's when her government might look to the legislation.

Prime Minister Trudeau brokered a meeting between Notley and Horgan on the weekend and said after the session that 'It will be built'.

She said her government has already spoken with the sector and "there will be no surprises" for companies applying for a licence.

McCuaig-Boyd said the delays to the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion will cost the Canadian economy $40 million a day. "This legislation will be there if Alberta needs it".

The question is taking a long time to draft, but at least we're likely to know what it is before May 31, the day on which Kinder Morgan has said it will pull the plug on the project if it can't get an ironclad guarantee it can be profitably completed.

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