​Alberta increasingly likely to extend oil curtailment: This week’s best quotes

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley announces funding for Nauticol Energy's proposed methanol project in Grande Prairie on Feb. 20, 2019. Image: Government of Alberta

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

Tim Pickering, president of Auspice Capital Advisors, said that the one-year delay of Enbridge’s Line 3 pipeline replacement project has heightened concerns the Alberta government may impose its crude oil curtailment order for longer than its current target of year-end.

“Everything we heard from the government was that they were 100 per cent relying on Line 3 coming into service at the end of 2019.

“That [delay] is definitely something that may have them responding as the market changes.”

GMP FirstEnergy analyst Mike Dunn said uncertainty about the length of the curtailment is contributing to deteriorated prospects for oilsands growth.

“We don’t know when pipelines are going to get built [and] we think governments may continue to curtail.

“Until we have a definite line of sight to major pipeline expansions, there’s no growth. The industry is in limbo and jobs are disappearing… It’s a lot of money that isn’t being spent in the province.”

Geoff Moody, vice-president with the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers, said that current U.S. sanctions against Venezuela are another reminder of the opportunity being missed by both Canadian producers and heavy oil-configured refiners on the U.S. Gulf Coast.

“The U.S. refining industry has long valued Canada as an important source of crude supply. The recent sanctions on Venezuela simply underscore the importance of modernizing North American infrastructure to help get additional Canadian heavy crude to the market.”

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley said the province is seeing “tremendous interest” from industry as it continues to work on funding for new projects through its Petrochemical Feedstock Infrastructure Program.

“We have been having very productive conversations with multiple proponents and applicants,” she said, following an announcement that Inter Pipeline has been awarded $70 million in deferred royalty credits for a proposed $600 million acrylic acid and propylene derivatives plant in the Industrial Heartland north of Edmonton.

Federal natural resources minister Amarjeet Sohi said that $49 million awarded to Inter Pipeline for its Heartland Petrochemical Complex comes from the $100 million allocated to the Strategic Innovation Fund as part of Ottawa’s support package for oil and gas that was announced late last year.

“This is the first announcement that we are making under the $1.6 billion support package that was announced in December, but that does not mean that this is the only project.”