147781

Canada  

Oil cutbacks extended

A program that allows the Alberta government to impose production caps on oil companies is being extended by a year as delays in building new market-opening pipelines persist.

"I am the very last person who wants to see curtailment continue," Energy Minister Sonya Savage said Tuesday. "But while extending curtailment is far from ideal, under the current context it is necessary."

The policy was brought in by the former NDP government as the price gap between western Canadian heavy crude and U.S. light oil ballooned to more than US$40 a barrel in late 2018, ravaging companies' bottom lines and provincial revenues.

The province and industry players have said the root of the problem is an inability to export Canadian oil as regulatory and legal challenges bog down new pipeline projects.

Curtailment was supposed to be in place until the end of this year. But the province decided to extend it by a year in large part because Enbridge's Line 3 Replacement project to the U.S. Midwest, which would add 370,000 barrels of daily export capacity, is being held up by permitting issues and legal wrangling in Minnesota.

"This, on top of the untimely deaths of Northern Gateway and Energy East, means that Alberta remains at risk of producing more crude oil than we are able to move," she said, pointing to what she called Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's "political failure" on the energy file.

Savage said without the production limits, there would be 150,000 more barrels produced daily than could be exported.

The province has been gradually easing its limits since imposing an initial 3.56 million barrel a day cap in January. September's levels are set at 3.76 million barrels a day, with October's set to rise to 3.79 million barrels. Before curtailment, companies in the province could produce more than four million barrels a day during the strongest months.

Savage also said Tuesday that in order to reduce the impact on smaller players, the limits will apply to companies that produce more than 20,000 barrels a day, rather than 10,000 barrels. That means instead of 29 of the province's more than 300 operators being affected, it will be 16.

The province is also giving the industry a month's more notice when a change in production limits is coming so it can better plan investment.



More Canada News

Canada
138240
Parliament Hill
Parliament Hill Webcam
143436
Recent Trending
147217
Soft 103.9
147136
Castanet Proud Member of RTNDA Canada
148056



146988
145046