Al­berta Pre­mier fight­ing for more value from Al­berta oil

Asian Journal - - OPINION EDITORIAL -

Al­berta: The gov­ern­ment is tak­ing ac­tion to build more ca­pac­ity for mov­ing oil by rail, as part of a made-in-al­berta strat­egy to keep more value from our re­sources.

Pre­mier Rachel Not­ley an­nounced that Al­berta has started ne­go­ti­a­tions for a cru­cial in­vest­ment in new rail ca­pac­ity to help re­duce the his­tor­i­cally high oil price gap. The dif­fer­en­tial is rob­bing the na­tional econ­omy of more than $80 mil­lion a day, thanks to Canada’s decades-long fail­ure to build new pipe­lines.

“We will not stand by while we’re forced to give our re­sources away for pen­nies on the dol­lar. This oil price dif­fer­en­tial is about real peo­ple with real bills to pay and real con­cerns about the fu­ture. There’s no ex­cuse for Ot­tawa to not be at the ta­ble with us, but we can­not al­low de­lays to con­tinue. Al­berta will buy rail cars our­selves in our fight to get top dol­lar for the re­sources that be­long to ev­ery Al­ber­tan,” said Pre­mier Rachel Not­ley.

Al­berta’s goal is to cre­ate enough new rail ca­pac­ity to move 120,000 bar­rels a day out of the prov­ince to mar­kets where our oil can earn the best value pos­si­ble for three years, start­ing late 2019. It would nar­row the oil price gap by up to $4 per bar­rel, gen­er­ate more than $1 mil­lion per day in new fed­eral rev­enues and pro­vide smaller pro­duc­ers with a more af­ford­able op­tion to move their oil to mar­ket.

This ad­di­tional ca­pac­ity and ded­i­cated ser­vice would also en­sure that agri­cul­tural prod­ucts, in­clud­ing grain, would not be af­fected by hav­ing to com­pete for space on ex­ist­ing trains. The Al­berta Petroleum Mar­ket­ing Com­mis­sion (APMC) is ne­go­ti­at­ing with rail man­u­fac­tur­ers and sup­pli­ers to make the best pos­si­ble in­vest­ment for Al­ber­tans. While ne­go­ti­a­tions are un­der­way, Al­berta can­not re­lease fi­nan­cial de­tails of the rail in­vest­ment. With the cur­rent pipe­line con­struc­tion sched­ule, this in­vest­ment would be rev­enue neu­tral.

This in­creased rail ca­pac­ity would come on­line in late 2019 due to the time it takes to man­u­fac­ture the new tank cars and re­lated fa­cil­i­ties. Un­til that time, Al­berta will con­tinue to ad­dress the en­ergy price dif­fer­en­tial cri­sis with its made-in-al­berta strat­egy that adds value through more up­grad­ing here at home, cre­at­ing thou­sands of jobs and at­tract­ing bil­lions of dol­lars in new pri­vate in­vest­ment.

Rachel Not­ley

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