After enduring so many punches during 2020, from a depressed market and a global pandemic all but halting much of the world, Alberta’s bruised and battered oil and gas sector did not make the top 10 of North America’s most competitive oil patches, according to Fraser Institute’s Canada-US Energy Sector Competitiveness Survey 2020.
Another tough pill to swallow for the province was the announcement of Norway’s Equinor moving staff from Calgary to St. John’s, and will no longer evaluate business opportunities in the onshore energy industry onshore, instead focusing on offshore projects in Atlantic Canada.
In the Fraser Institute study, Saskatchewan was the lone Canadian representative in the top 10. Alberta was 12th, and British Columbia was 20th. The survey polls senior executives in the oil and gas industry on policies that affect investment in Canada and the U.S.
From this survey, it’s clear that America has a competitive advantage over Canada in most policy areas, with Canada lagging behind for a number of years now.
The study did note however that all Canadian provinces improved their policy scores and ranking positions relative to last year’s survey, with the exception of British Columbia.
It will be of interest to see 2021’s this time in a year, as America is set to begin its transition to a Joe Biden Presidency, especially as he has put forth such a large environmental action plan.
The cost of regulatory compliance was listed as a significant concern for investors in Canada compared to its southern neighbours.
Which begs the question, how can Alberta, and other provinces improve their desirability for future and further investments, while balancing the cost of regulatory compliances, especially as the country moves forward on its path to net-zero?
It is a tough line to toe for the province.
Long touted for its oil and gas prowess and vast lands capable of large-scale projects, it’s imperative for the province and country in its economic bounce-back to have an oil and gas industry that is deemed attractive for investing.