OTTAWA – Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi is asking the National Energy Board to make sure Canada’s oil pipelines are being used as efficiently as possible.
The market price for Alberta oil is rebounding today, a day after Premier Rachel Notley announced plans to cut production by almost nine per cent in January to deal with a glut of oil that can’t be moved to buyers, but the discount Canadian producers have to stomach compared to the price their U.S. counterparts get is still north of $30 a barrel.
Sohi says he shares the Alberta government’s frustration about the oil-price crisis and has asked the NEB to report as soon as possible on the capacity of the existing pipelines in Canada, with a view to using them to move more oil and related products.
Sohi says the status quo on Canadian oil shipping simply cannot continue.
But the minister is defending his government’s record on pipelines and the oil industry, noting the recent $4.5-billion purchase of the Trans Mountain pipeline in a bid to get it expanded despite political controversy. He said the federal government supports both the Keystone XL pipeline and the replacement of Enbridge’s Line 3 pipeline.
The government has not yet made a decision about whether it will contribute anything toward Alberta’s purchase of new rail cars so two more trains a day can transport crude from Alberta to refineries in Canada and the United States.