​5 ways Alberta can improve oil and gas competitiveness: CAPP

CAPP CEO Tim McMillian. Image: CAPP

The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) says the Government of Alberta still isn’t doing enough to strengthen the competitiveness of the province’s oil and gas.

CAPP praised Rachel Notley's government on its “commitment to advancing market access” in an update to a 2017 report on the investment climate, but said that is only part of the challenge the industry is facing.

“Market access is a key factor driving industry competitiveness, but it is only one part of the equation. We need government to address the policy and regulatory challenges that make Alberta less competitive compared to other jurisdictions,” CAPP CEO Tim McMillan said in a statement.

“In order to improve competitiveness we need to streamline the regulatory process by reducing timelines, modernizing our current regulations and improving efficiency.”

Energy demand and capital spending is increasing globally, CAPP noted, but total investment in Canada’s oil and natural gas sector is expected to fall to $42 billion in 2018 from $81 billion in 2014. Total annual oilsands spending is expected to drop a fourth consecutive year.

CAPP said there are five ways the government should proceed:

  1. Articulate a vision for future development, complete with specific goals and performance metrics such as investment, production, and project approval-related targets;
  2. Require all ministries working with the oil and natural gas sector adopt a mandate to improve competitiveness as a key consideration in their decision-making processes;
  3. The Alberta Energy Regulator continues to work with industry to substantially streamline the regulatory approval process;
  4. Effectively implement climate policies with protection mechanisms for energy-intensive, trade-exposed (EITE) sectors, and re-invest any carbon-related revenue to EITE industries through recycling and innovation funding; and,
  5. Strengthen its support for liquefied natural gas (LNG) development on Canada’s West Coast, with the same level of commitment as its efforts on the Trans Mountain Expansion project.

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