Patience running short for federal energy industry aid, Alberta minister says

Alberta’s energy minister says patience in her province is wearing thin for a promised aid package from the federal government for the oil and gas sector.

Sonya Savage, speaking at the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers conference, says the industry doesn’t want a bailout, it just needs help to cope with short-term liquidity problems caused by steeply lower oil prices that have reduced investment plans and activity levels.

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The annual conference, held in Toronto for the past few years, is being presented as an online conference for the first time this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, which is also blamed for reducing global demand for oil.

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Low oil prices are also linked to a glut of supply as Saudi Arabia and Russia abandon their previous production curtailment agreement. Savage says she will participate by phone in an OPEC-plus meeting about the issue on Thursday.

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Despite the current price environment, CAPP CEO Tim McMillan says there’s a great deal of optimism in the industry because three key export pipelines — the Trans Mountain expansion, the Line 3 replacement and Keystone XL — are under construction.

Political scientist Duane Bratt discusses Alberta’s purchase of part of Keystone XL

Political scientist Duane Bratt discusses Alberta’s purchase of part of Keystone XL

Last week, Calgary-based TC Energy Corp. announced it would start construction on its long-delayed US$8-billion Keystone XL Pipeline, backed by about US$1.1 billion in direct investment by the Alberta government, along with a provincial loan guarantee.

© 2020 The Canadian Press