NDP's Roy­alty Re­view keeps sta­tus quo

The Drumheller Mail - - FRONT PAGE - Pa­trick Ko­lafa The Drumheller Mail mail file­photo

It ap­pears no news is good news in the oil in­dus­try as the govern­ment of Al­berta has adopted the rec­om­men­da­tions of the Roy­alty Re­view Ad­vi­sory Panel.

The Al­berta Govern­ment has fi­nally re­leased the re­sult of a re­view by an ap­pointed panel and by and large, more has stayed the same than has changed.

Ac­cord­ing to a re­lease, the Panel de­ter­mined that Al­berta’s roy­al­ties are com­pa­ra­ble to sim­i­lar ju­ris­dic­tions, but the in­dus­try’s costs are sub­stan­tially higher. As a re­sult, the panel rec­om­mends a mod­ern­ized frame­work that sets a drilling cost al­lowance for wells ac­cord­ing to an in­dus­try­wide av­er­age.

“This im­proved roy­alty frame­work will make Al­berta’s en­ergy in­dus­try more com­pet­i­tive and cre­ate more good jobs. We heard the sys­tem was com­plex, un­pre­dictable and too rigid to keep pace with the rapidly chang­ing tech­nol­ogy of our en­ergy sec­tor. Al­ber­tans and in­dus­try will ben­e­fit from a mod­ern­ized frame­work that is sim­ple, pre­dictable, and adapt­able,” said Marg McCuaig-Boyd, Min­is­ter of En­ergy.

Brad Peake, who works in many facets of the oil and gas in­dus­try lo­cally, said, “A lot of stuff is go­ing to stay ex­actly how it is. There are some op­er­a­tional en­hance­ments that may trig­ger in the fu­ture."

"It seemed like she (Premier Not­ley) has been ed­u­cated,” chuck­les Peake.

He says the re­sults sur­prises ei­ther.

“I felt fairly con­fi­dent that through the en­tire process there would be no roy­alty rate in­crease, as quite sim­ply there isn’t room for it. The oil and gas bank­ruptcy rate is not be­cause the roy­al­ties are too high, but if you did in­crease them bank­ruptcy rates will rise quicker,” he said. “Many a per­son of­fered neg­a­tives that the re­view would in­crease roy­alty rates. I was qui­etly op­ti­mistic that wouldn’t hap­pen be­cause when you look at the

are no money, there just isn’t room to cut the profit shar­ing pie any dif­fer­ently, there is no profit to share th­ese days.”

Un­der the new frame­work, the ef­fects will take ef­fect in 2017. On wells drilled prior to 2017, the ex­ist­ing roy­alty struc­ture will stay in place for 10 years. They will also main­tain the cur­rent oil sands roy­alty regime.

One of the Ro­tary Club’s fo­cus has al­ways been youth, and this year the Drumheller Club has de­cided to sup­port one young man so he can go bike rid­ing.

On Mon­day, Fe­bru­ary 1, the club pre­sented a new re­cum­bent tri­cy­cle to Austin Kolm, son of Jac­quie and Gerry. While the 13-year-old DVSS stu­dent has cere­bral palsy he keeps busy in the win­ter play­ing sledge hockey, and in the sum­mer he likes to go bik­ing.

He has out­grown his cur­rent bi­cy­cle and was look­ing to re­place it.

A re­cum­bent trike has a hefty price tag and the fam­ily ap­proached the Ro­tary Club hop­ing for a lit­tle sup­port. The Ro­tary took up the pro­ject and agreed to fund the trike in full.

“For you to step for­ward and look af­ter the bike re­ally made a dif­fer­ence in our life,” said Gerry, thank­ing the Ro­tary. Austin is grate­ful. “I am speech­less right now,” he tells The Mail. “In the off sea­son I can bike around, it is go­ing to be awe­some. It is not just go­ing to keep me fit, it is go­ing to be re­ally fun at the same time.”

Be­cause of the weather, he hasn’t been able to try out the bike, but is look­ing for­ward to bet­ter weather to try it out.

For you to step for­ward and look af­ter the bike re­ally made a dif­fer­ence

in our life.”

Gerry Kolm

The Roy­alty Re­view is com­plete and the Al­berta Govern­ment has ac­cepted the rec­om­men­da­tions. This in­cludes keep­ing the cur­rent oil sands roy­alty regime.

The Drumheller Ro­tary Club pur­chased a re­cum­bent tri­cy­cle for Austin Kolm to en­joy the sum­mer cruis­ing. On Mon­day Fe­bru­ary 1, the club pre­sented Austin with his new wheels.

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