​IMO 2020 regulations ‘a train coming down the track’ for Canadian heavy oil prices: This week’s best quotes

North West Refining CEO Ian MacGregor. Image: Deborah Jaremko/JWN

Here are some of the best news quotes from last week’s coverage in the Daily Oil Bulletin.

Federal Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi reiterated his government’s position that it is not prepared to set a timeline for consultation with Indigenous groups affected by the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion.

“We cannot and we will not cut corners on this project…Putting a timeline on the conclusion of consultation is not something we are considering as it undermines the project; it undermines the good faith gesture that we want to engage with Indigenous people.”

TransCanada president of liquids pipelines Paul Miller told an investor day in Toronto that the deficiencies a Montana court found in the U.S. State Department’s approval of the Keystone XL pipeline are not insurmountable. Before the recent ruling, the company had hoped to begin construction in 2019 with a 2021 in-service date.

“I believe they are manageable, however at this point it is too soon to determine what impact the ruling will have on our schedule.”

Imperial Oil senior vice-president John Whelan estimated the benefit the company expects to realize by implementing digital initiatives, from installing LTE networks at remote sites to autonomous heavy haulers in the oilsands.

“Overall when we look at digital, we think there’s greater than a $500 million per year value opportunity here. We have established a team, we’re leveraging ExxonMobil [and] we’re bringing in some third-party consultants to help us move this forward as fast as possible. It’s a huge opportunity.”

North West Refining CEO Ian MacGregor warned that Canadian heavy oil pricing is in danger of continued significant discounts when new low-sulphur shipping fuel rules come into effect in 2020.

“There just isn’t enough refining capacity in North America for high-sulphur crude. As the new IMO standards come into place, the differentials will continue to be large. There’s a train coming down the track, and only more refining capacity is the solution.”

In a special series on Digital Disruption in Oil and Gas, VizworX account executive Miryah Scott described the evolving impact of virtual reality, augmented reality and artificial intelligence.

“Ultimately what we are finding is that VR, AR and AI, the applications and the convergence of them is really blurring the line between what we think of as a physical and a digital world. It’s not really a question of whether this will impact you, it’s really how many ways is this going to impact you?

“Every job you are looking at is going to be impacted in some way by new ways of interacting with your data and the new ways of understanding your data that these technologies offer.”