Archive | Oil and Gas Sector-Politics and Image

As Ottawa prepares to unveil its Clean Fuel Standard, industry warns of refinery shutdowns – by Geoffrey Morgan (Financial Post – December 10, 2020)

CALGARY – Canada’s federal government is poised to unveil its long-awaited Clean Fuel Standard by the end of the year, which executives say is concerning for a wide range of industries that may not have sufficient time to make dramatic changes before new regulations come into effect in 2022.

The Clean Fuel Standard (CFS) will be published in the Canada Gazette by the end of the year, Moira Kelly, spokesperson for Environment and Climate Change Minister Jonathan Wilkinson, confirmed to the Financial Post Wednesday.

“The Clean Fuel Standard remains an integral policy in Canada’s climate plan, and will contribute to the government’s goal of exceeding its current 2030 target,” Kelly said in an email. Continue Reading →

OPINION: Question for the Trudeau government: What does UNDRIP stand for? – by Editorial Board (Globe and Mail – December 8, 2020)

Take Two: Ottawa is again moving to codify the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in Canadian law. In this reshoot, the Trudeau government is spending a lot of time insisting its bill is both weighty and insubstantial.

The declaration, known as UNDRIP, is a non-binding resolution passed by the UN in 2007. At the time, Canada opposed it, as did Australia, New Zealand and the United States. Three years later, the Harper government reluctantly endorsed the document, but said it was merely “aspirational.”

In 2015, the Liberal platform promised to implement UNDRIP, but didn’t say how. Thereafter, an NDP private member’s bill wended its way to Parliament – “an act to ensure that the laws of Canada are in harmony” with UNDRIP. The House passed it in 2018, but it died a year later in the Senate. Continue Reading →

End of the road? Quebec’s goal to ban gas-guzzling cars latest move to hasten oil’s decline – by Geoffrey Morgan (Financial Post – November 21, 2020)

Bob Larocque’s industry is planning for a future where the market for their main product, gasoline, begins to evaporate as national and sub-national governments phase out gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles under increasingly ambitious timeframes.

“I need to understand how this will work,” said Larocque, president and CEO of the Ottawa-based Canadian Fuels Association, which represents Canadian oil refineries.

The global shift started with a planned ban on oil-powered vehicles in India in 2017, then Taiwan and Japan, with major economies in the European Union following suit. Continue Reading →

The National Energy Program’s bitter aftertaste has lasted 40 years and provided a hard lesson to Ottawa – by David Olive (Toronto Star – November 21, 2020)

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the National Energy Program, one of the most arrogant and misguided acts by a Canadian federal government.

Ranking high on the list of giant, well-intentioned government schemes that failed, the NEP marked an end to ambitious nation-building projects in Canada.

As historian Taylor C. Noakes aptly put it in an essay this year on the NEP’s legacy, Canada’s “executive leadership lives in fear of three little letters throwing shade on seemingly everything Ottawa does.” Continue Reading →

Indigenous group strikes deal for equity stake in Keystone XL pipeline – by Emma Graney (Globe and Mail – November 18, 2020)

Indigenous-owned Natural Law Energy Inc. has signed a deal allowing it to make an equity investment of up to $1-billion in the Keystone XL pipeline, in a move it also hopes can help persuade opponents to support the project.

The deal with TC Energy Corp. gives Natural Law until September, 2021, to secure financing to buy into the pipeline. It builds on a memorandum of understanding signed two months ago. TC Energy TRP-T +0.09%increase says it will use similar ownership models for additional Indigenous communities along the Keystone XL corridor in Canada and the United States.

Natural Law Energy is an alliance of First Nations from lands that span Alberta and Saskatchewan. Continue Reading →

How do you diversify a city’s economy? As Calgary tries, it looks south for inspiration – by Jeffrey Jones (Globe and Mail – November 16, 2020)

Samir Kayande made his living in Calgary for two decades, analyzing the financial nuts and bolts of the oil and gas industry. But now, he’s making a change.

The research company he worked for was bought out by a new owner earlier this year. Rather than stick it out or seek other work in the oil patch, Mr. Kayande wants a new career outside the industry. This is partly to avoid the risk of a future layoff in a business rife with them.

The 48-year-old professional would like to stay put in Calgary with his family, but he worries, not just about the availability of work, but the quality of what’s available as the local economy suffers through the chronic energy-sector downturn. A global shift in energy has only accelerated as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Continue Reading →

Russia preparing to beat Canada in race for Arctic resources – by Eugene Gerden (Resource World Magazine – November 9, 2020)

Russia plans to beat Canada and the US in the race for Arctic hydrocarbon resources by establishing control of over 60% of them via recognition of its right to the Lomonosov Ridge by the special UN Commission which may take place as early as 2021.

According to earlier statements by Dmitry Medvedev, a member of the Russian Security Council, Russia is planning to “more vigorously defend its claims for the development of Arctic mining fields” amid the attempts of rivals to limit its access to these resources.

Needless to say, the main interest of Russia in the Arctic is related to the Lomonosov Ridge, an underwater ridge of continental crust under the Arctic Ocean that spans 1,800 km from the New Siberian Islands over the central part of the ocean to Ellesmere Island in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago and which, in addition to Russia, could also be considered as an attractive region by Canada and Denmark. Continue Reading →

Election Will Decide Fate of Alaska Gold Mine, Shift to E-Cars – by Jennifer A. Dlouhy (Bloomberg News – October 29, 2020)

(Bloomberg) — Oil drilling in the Arctic and the Pebble gold mine in Alaska aren’t actually on the ballot — but they might as well be.

The controversial projects are hanging in the balance of the presidential election, with Joe Biden’s vow to scuttle them. And dozens of other oil, gas and mining ventures planned across the U.S. face heightened risk of rejection or longer permitting times as the Democratic nominee focuses on promoting cleaner alternatives.

The threat extends even to some projects that already have federal permits. Lawsuits challenging government approvals create an opening for settlement agreements that result in more analysis and possibly canceled authorizations, said Height Securities LLC analyst Josh Price. Continue Reading →

Cenovus Energy to acquire Husky Energy in $3.8-billion deal – by David Milstead and Jeffrey Jones (Globe and Mail – October 26, 2020)

Cenovus Energy Inc. is acquiring Husky Energy Inc., creating Canada’s fourth-largest energy company as it copes with chronically low crude prices and investor pessimism about the industry’s fortunes.

Cenovus, known for its Alberta oil sands operations, said on Sunday it will issue shares and stock-purchase warrants to acquire Husky, adding sizable oil-refining capacity in Canada and the United States to reduce its exposure to volatile Canadian oil markets.

The $3.8-billion deal offers a 21-per-cent premium to Husky’s recent share prices, and Cenovus will also take on more than $6-billion in Husky debt. Continue Reading →

The 4 environmental issues in northwest B.C. every voter should know about – by Matt Simmons (The Narwhal – October 20, 2020)

The Narwhal

As Coastal GasLink workers prepared for test drilling under the Wedzin Kwa river in northwest B.C. while salmon were spawning last week, Wet’suwet’en land defenders gathered in the area to show their opposition to the controversial pipeline that is planned to transport fracked gas across the province to be shipped to Asia.

The workers read the land defenders the B.C. Supreme Court injunction that prohibits them from stopping work along the pipeline right of way. In response, the land defenders re-served the workers with an eviction notice from the Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs. The RCMP were called to the site, but no arrests were made.

At a rally in Smithers in support of the land defenders, Gidimt’en Clan spokesperson Jennifer Wickham fought back tears as she said the whole province should know and care about the Coastal GasLink pipeline, which threatens the health of plants, animals and humans. Continue Reading →

OPINION: Part two – Canada needs a new grand national bargain – by William A. MacDonald (Globe and Mail – October 15, 2020)

William Macdonald is a corporate lawyer turned consultant with a long history of public service and social engagement.

Canada needs to rekindle its post-Second World War success, which was based on social and economic advance going hand in hand – an approach largely absent in the federal governments under Stephen Harper and Justin Trudeau.

To again move forward boldly and together as a country, we should explore the possibility of a low-carbon, east-west energy corridor between Quebec and British Columbia that would carry Western Canadian oil and Quebec hydro power.

We have entered a huge moment for Canada and the rest of the world. But as I discussed in Part 1, there are daunting challenges ahead, as well as great opportunities. Canada is largely through its 40-year Quebec separatist crisis, but now faces a potential Western Canada crisis. Continue Reading →

For years, oil ensured Canada’s healthy trade balance. Now that’s changing — with major consequences – by Jesse Snyder (National Post – October 10, 2020)

A new geopolitical order is taking shape. The globe is rapidly realigning under American and Chinese spheres of influence and the pandemic has only raised the stakes. How can Canada finally get serious about its internal stability and external security so it can effectively play a role as a middle power? Today, Jesse Snyder examines the worrying trend in our exports.

Back in summer 2006, former prime minister Stephen Harper laid out his ambitions to dramatically expand Canadian oil exports.

Economic growth in China and Africa would propel the oil sands to new heights, Harper told a business crowd in London, England, and set the stage for a mega-sized Canadian industry that would rival the “building of the Pyramids or China’s Great Wall.”

In the following years, tens of billions in foreign capital flowed into northern Alberta as the global economy ran red hot, creating a prolonged period of export growth in the region. But the Harper vision was never fully realized. Continue Reading →

Why the Philippines Needs to Establish a Sovereign Wealth Fund – by Mark Manantan, Emerson M. Sanchez and Jayson S. Lamchek (The Diplomat – October 12, 2020)

The country needs to ensure that its bounty of offshore wealth benefits the people, not just a privileged elite.

The Filipino tycoon Dennis Uy, a top donor of President Rodrigo Duterte’s campaign and his family friend from childhood, earlier this year acquired almost half of the non-operating interest in the Malampaya gas fields, a strategic asset supplying 30 percent of the Philippines’ electricity.

The acquisition is one of many businesses purchased and government contracts clinched by Uy under Duterte’s presidency.

Uy’s rapidly growing fortune contrasts with the apparent lack of a concrete plan to ensure that the country’s considerable offshore natural resource wealth improves the lives of the masses of the Filipino people, rather than just accruing to a privileged elite. Continue Reading →

Justin Trudeau’s co-ordinated assault on Canadian energy – by Conrad Black (National Post – October 10, 2020)

The federal Liberals have launched an efficient and skilfully executed assault on Western Canada

My reference here last week to the throne speech containing a declaration of war on the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan and on the petroleum industry of Canada (with a partial reprieve for eastern Canadian offshore oil) might have seemed an exaggeration.

But it was a reasonable interpretation of what Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on the subject in 2017: “You can’t make a choice between what’s good for the environment and what’s good for the economy. We can’t shut down the oilsands tomorrow.

We need to phase them out.” He said the following day that he had “misspoke,” but did not retract or even alter that position; he only stated that he should have worded it more carefully, presumably to disguise its meaning. Continue Reading →

RBC will not finance Arctic refuge drilling, and puts restrictions on coal, under new investment guidelines – by Kathryn Blaze Baum and James Bradshaw (Globe and Mail – October 3, 2020)

Royal Bank of Canada will not provide direct financing for exploration or development projects in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in northeastern Alaska, according to a new policy that also imposes restrictions on financing for coal mining and power generation.

The RBC guidelines for sensitive sectors and activities, released on Friday, come less than two months after U.S. President Donald Trump finalized his administration’s plans to allow drilling in the country’s largest wildlife refuge.

In a statement, the bank said it periodically reviews and updates environmental and social risk-management policies based, in part, on the expectations of clients and stakeholders. Continue Reading →