Husky CEO sees ‘glimmers of hope’ for oil and gas: This week’s best quotes

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

1. Husky Energy Inc. CEO Rob Peabody kicked off the company’s investor day in Toronto with a message of cautious optimism about Canada’s oil and gas industry:

“We’ve seen a new government in Alberta that’s pretty determined to actually make conditions better for business, and there's already a lot of discussion going on with that government. I think they’re going to be reasonably pragmatic in their approach to it, but I think it's a good story.

“And then if we look across Canada, we've seen a number of other political developments that are really the result I think of voters starting to say, ‘You know, I think jobs really matter, employment really matters, prosperity really matters,' and so we're starting to see some changes there as well.

“[There’s] tonnes of way to go on the political front, and Canada still has a lot to do to improve its regulatory environment to catch up with our neighbours to the south, but I think there are some glimmers of hope on the horizon.”

2. Jon Morrison, executive director of institutional equity research with CIBC Capital Markets, said that the $3.8 billion Canadian Natural Resources will spend to acquire Devon Energy’s heavy oil and oilsands assets is a good deal:

“Overall, the purchase price comes at the lower end of the $3.5 billion -$5 billion range we highlighted when Devon first announced its strategic review, and we believe is largely a function of a limited number of buyers at the table given Canada's ongoing egress challenges.

“Much as we expected, if CNRL was going to be the ultimate acquirer, we expected the company to be highly price sensitive/disciplined and we believe that is seen in the ultimate purchase price.”

3. Speaking at the Williston Basin Petroleum Conference, former Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall said that “social license” is a term that should cease to be used in the discussion around resource projects:

“We really don’t know who is the issuer of the ‘social licence.’

“Social licence has long been paid for by this industry. It’s paid for in the taxes this industry has provided to all of Canada. It’s paid for in the direct support to transfer payments that quite literally have ensured the survival and viability of social programs. It’s paid for in the jobs that are created for Canadians.”

4. Delbert Wapass, executive chair and founder of Indigenous-led Project Reconciliation, which is seeking to buy a 51-per cent stake in Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion, said communities in Alberta, British Columbia and Saskatchewan have been invited to participate:

“Selling a majority stake in TMX to Indigenous community partners is the best way for Ottawa to turn its words about reconciliation into action.

“The income derived from Project Reconciliation’s interest in TMX along with the yield from the Sovereign Wealth & Reconciliation Fund will provide the basis for economic sovereignty for generations to come.”

5. Meaghan O'Sullivan of Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, told attendees to PwC Canada's Energy Visions Business Forum that the oil market could soon feel the impact as the Trump administration tightens the screws on Iran after abandoning the nuclear deal it reached with Obama.

“We are now seeing what I would say is extreme heightened tension where the United States has moved in military capacity [and] has moved out diplomatic personnel.

“The U.S. may have no interest in starting a confrontation in a military sense but it certainly is creating an environment where it will be very difficult to react calmly and neutrally to a provocation that is more likely to arise when you amass this much power and resources into the Gulf.

“Some kind of kinetic action which could really, I think, wake up energy markets to realize that there could be much bigger effects on oil markets than just the decrease in Iranian exports.”