United Conservative Party leader Jason Kenney address supporters Calgary, Alta., Tuesday, April 16, 2019. Kenney and his United Conservatives channelled the angst of an angry electorate to soar to a majority government in Alberta’s election Tuesday and relegate Rachel Notley’s NDP to the history books as a one-and-done government. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Oil and gas sector applauds Kenney government as pipelines remain in limbo

UCP faces ‘formidable task’ to allow sector in Western Canada to thrive again

Alberta’s oilpatch is celebrating the election of a pro-business government, despite analyst observations that premier-designate Jason Kenney may not be able to do much about getting new oil export pipelines built.

“To many of our fellow oil and gas workers who are out of work, underemployed, or otherwise without hope, it feels like spring has returned to Alberta,” said Mark Scholz, CEO of the Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors.

READ MORE: Jason Kenney’s UCP defeats NDP with majority in Alberta

However, he acknowledged in a statement that the United Conservative Party faces a “formidable task” to create the conditions that will allow the oil and gas sector in Western Canada to thrive again after years of difficult times.

The election results are a “positive development” for the oil and gas sector, analysts at Desjardins Energy Research said in a report, but they warned the province’s difficulty in moving oil to market will remain a major thorn in the side of the new government.

“The reality is that the federal government still holds most of the key regulatory cards for future approval of interprovincial projects as well as a direct ownership stake in Trans Mountain, which highlights the greater importance of the federal ballot in October,” they noted.

Ottawa is expected to wrap up court-ordered consultations with First Nations groups by next month, allowing it to make a final decision on the Trans Mountain expansion pipeline project it bought last fall.

Meanwhile, permitting issues in the U.S. have delayed Enbridge Inc.’s Line 3 replacement pipeline project until the middle of 2020 and TransCanada Corp.’s Keystone XL pipeline project is in limbo thanks to a U.S. court decision.

In the wake of the UCP’s victory in the Alberta election over Premier Rachel Notley’s NDP government, the head of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers called for the federal election this fall to also be fought on economic issues.

“I think that the results last night strengthen the hand of those that want a strong economy,” said CAPP CEO Tim McMillan on a conference call on Wednesday.

“Clearly Albertans were calling for it, we see increasingly that Canadians are putting the economy first as we’re coming into an election in the fall and that momentum across Canada for major projects — not just energy, but all major projects — I think, is important.”

McMillan was in Toronto where his organization was hosting its annual two-day investment conference.

He said the biggest issue he’s hearing about from executives, investors and lenders is the need for more pipelines to provide market access for Western Canada’s growing crude oil production.

UCP leader Jason Kenney campaigned on promises to make regulatory, economic and fiscal policy reforms, including a vow to cut the corporate tax rate to eight per cent from 12 per cent, eliminate the provincial carbon tax on consumers, cancel an NDP plan to lease hundreds of railcars to move oil and complete a review of the Alberta Energy Regulator to improve efficiency.

In comments emailed from the sidelines of the CAPP conference, CEO Grant Fagerheim of Calgary-based Whitecap Resources Inc. said he supports all of Kenney’s major promises, including his pledge to spend up to $30 million to combat misleading news reports about the industry, and to create a war room to examine foreign-funded anti-oil campaigns.

“These are all exceptional initiatives that will assist in bringing back a more stable investment environment in Alberta and Canadian energy and bring back foreign and Canadian investment in energy — and job opportunities for Albertans,” he said.

Gary Mar, CEO of the Petroleum Services Association of Canada, said in a statement that he welcomes Kenney’s vow to restore Alberta competitiveness.

“The platform of the UCP precisely reflects the needs of the tens of thousands of service sector companies and workers that PSAC represents that have been devastated by the flight of capital from the oil and gas industry,” he said.

The Canadian Press

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Provincial Fair Deal Panel comes to Lacombe

Panel asks whether Alberta is getting a fair deal in confederation

PHOTO: Kinsmen Auction supports Team Jigger

Over $30,000 auction items and cash donations were made to the event

Local Artist Donna Spencer featured at Lacombe Performing Arts Centre

LPAC is pleased to have “Wanderings: A Collection of Thoughts” currently on display

Lacombe Highway 12/Highway 2A water mains repairs continue

Discovery of multiple leaks on aged water infrastructure prompts repair

Granden Auto, Town of Blackfalds at odds over storage yard

Business owner believes the Town wants his business out of the downtown

WATCH: Night Among the Stars Celebrity Dance-off supports Lacombe BBBS

Over $12,000 raised for Dancer’s Edge Parents Association and Lacombe BBBS

Trudeau cancels Caribbean trip amid pipeline protests across Canada

Protests against Coastal GasLink have disrupted rail service

Trudeau confers with cabinet ministers as rail blockades continue

The Trudeau government has been criticized for not doing more to end the blockades

Canadian nurses’ unions warn national standards for coronavirus protection too low

President says safety protocols nationwide are inadequate compared to those in Ontario and other countries

Murder of sex worker exposes Canada’s hypocrisy on prostitution: advocate

A 2014 law made purchasing sex or benefiting from the selling of sex illegal

Canada’s flag was flown for first time 55 years ago today

The flag is used to celebrate wins in sports, honour Canada Day, and flown at half-mast after tragedy

No shirts, no city services: Firefighter calendar too steamy for Ontario officials

The city has never funded the calendars, but has OK’d photoshoots at city-owned properties

CFL teams under the microscope after free agency begins

While some big names remain, here’s what lies ahead leading up to next month’s CFL combine in Toronto

Most Read