Archive | Oil and Gas Sector-Politics and Image

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 →

Electric vehicles are a great story, but oil and gas may be the better investment – by Martin Pelletier (Financial Post – October 5, 2020)

Everybody loves a good story especially when it comes to buying and selling certain themes in the market. This phenomenon is more apparent now than ever as investors herd into those segments telling the best story while selling those that tell a bad one.

This type of dualistic thinking is only widening the gap between the have and the have nots, when in reality the truth isn’t black and white but often some shade of grey.

A great example of this is what is happening with the electric vehicle and oil and gas industries. We don’t think it’s a coincidence that companies such as Tesla are setting new highs pushing the boundaries of euphoric valuations as investors are eager to drink the peak oil demand Kool-Aid that is being accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Continue Reading →

One step closer to the dream of an Alaska to Alberta railway – by Colby Cosh (National Post – September 30, 2020)

On Sunday, the president of the United States, while horsing around on Twitter in his familiar fashion, announced that he intends to issue a presidential permit for a rail line running from Alaskan seaports to the Canadian bitumen capital, Fort McMurray, Alta.

If you were expecting this news to provoke jubilation in Alberta, you might have been a little disappointed. Clearance from the U.S. executive is a necessary piece of the puzzle now being pieced together by the Alaska-Alberta Railway Corporation, but unfortunately, it’s a thousand-piece puzzle.

And so far there is an absence of enthusiastic helpers to put their hands to the work. The Alaska-to-Alberta (A2A) rail concept has been around in various forms for decades. It doesn’t take a genius of enterprise to wonder why there is no freight link from south-central Alaska’s tidewater to the rest of the continental economy. Continue Reading →

‘The New Map’: Daniel Yergin’s sobering and smart take on the global state of energy – by David Holahan (USA Today – September 14, 2020)

At a time when solid facts and reasoned arguments are in retreat, Daniel Yergin rides to the rescue. The Pulitzer Prize-winning author and energy savant is armed to the teeth with enough telling statistics to sink an oil tanker in “The New Map: Energy, Climate, and the Clash of Nations” (Penguin Press, 512 pp., ★★★★ out of four).

While most “experts” predicted a decade ago that peak oil production was imminent, to be followed by a slippery slope of declining supply, Yergin said they were wrong. As usual, he was right.

The big issue today is not supply, it’s demand. When will our voracious appetite peak for all that plentiful oil, gas and coal? Continue Reading →

Trump to approve $22B railway between Alaska and Alberta – by Sarah Rieger (CBC News Calagary – September 27, 2020)

U.S. President Donald Trump says he will grant approval to a $22-billion freight rail project connecting Alaska and Alberta.

The president tweeted Friday that based on the recommendations of Alaska Senator Dan Sullivan and Congressman Don Young, he will be issuing a presidential permit approving the A2A Rail project.

The project would build a new rail line from Fort McMurray, Alta., through the Northwest Territories and Yukon to the Delta Junction in Alaska, where it will connect with existing rail and continue on to ports near Anchorage. Continue Reading →

Opinion: Indigenous people fear Liberal green plan will sabotage their progress – by Stephen Buffalo and Ken Coates (Calgary Herald – September 14, 2020)

Stephen Buffalo is president of the Indian Resource Council; Ken Coates is a senior fellow at the Macdonald-Laurier Institute.

Canada’s new minister of finance, Chrystia Freeland, has mused about the need to reinforce the green economy. The suggestion has some Canadians energized and excited; others are nervous and concerned. Count Indigenous Peoples in both categories.

Indigenous people understand and support taking steps to reduce the country’s carbon footprint. At the same time, many Indigenous communities have worked exceedingly hard to carve out an appropriate place in one of Canada’s most important economic sectors.

Since its election in 2015, the Trudeau government cancelled the Northern Gateway Pipeline, banned oil and gas exploration in the Arctic and oil tankers off the British Columbia coast, brought in complex environmental assessment processes, and appeared to actively discourage investment in the industry. Continue Reading →

Fossil fuel demand has likely hit its peak, BP says – by Emma Graney (Globe and Mail – September 15, 2020)

Energy giant BP is predicting fossil fuel consumption will shrink for the first time in modern history, with peak oil demand now likely in the world’s rear-view mirror.

The forecast in the company’s 2020 Energy Outlook, released Monday, says that global economic activity will partly recover from the COVID-19 pandemic over the next few years, but “scarring effects,” including work-from-home edicts, will lead to slower growth in energy consumption.

While the overall demand for energy will grow, the supply will change: The role of fossil fuels will decrease while renewable energy will increase, the report says. Continue Reading →

OPINION:The oil sands have a future, and it includes polluter pays – Editorial (Globe and Mail – September 8, 2020)

A central tenet of industrial development is the polluter-pays principle: Those who profit must pay for the mess generated by pulling resources from the ground or turning raw materials into goods. If you want to own the upside, you’ve got to own the downside.

This principle is widely agreed upon, yet through decades of development, everyone knows it has not always been the rule. There are many examples. Take the Giant Mine, near Yellowknife.

It was one of Canada’s oldest gold mines, but after trading through various corporate hands numerous times, the last owner went bust and left behind 237,000 tonnes of arsenic trioxide. Giant is part of a $2.2-billion taxpayer-funded cleanup of eight abandoned northern mines that will take 15 years. Continue Reading →

Beijing May Be More Addicted to Coal Than Oil – by David Fickling (Bloomberg News – September 5, 2020)

(Bloomberg Opinion) — There’s one surprise entrant in the group of oil companies announcing plans this year for how they’ll reduce emissions: PetroChina Co.

China’s oil companies, unlike their peers in the U.S. and particularly Europe, don’t traditionally treat climate targets as a major issue. Beijing, after all, isn’t even promising to hit its emissions peak until 2030.

The large fund managers that have been pressuring Western oil companies to improve their carbon commitments don’t make much difference, either. PetroChina’s chairman, Dai Houliang, is a Communist bureaucrat whose more significant job is party secretary of state-owned parent China National Petroleum Corp. Continue Reading →

First Nations don’t oppose energy projects – by Gregory John (Financial Post – August 26, 2020)

Overwhelming majority in support of responsible, sustainable development on their lands

Many people would have us believe Indigenous North Americans are unanimous in their opposition to oil and gas development. Canada has seen a steady stream of protesters travelling from the United States who cite “helping protect Indigenous lands” as their motivation for interfering with oil and gas development projects in this country.

Yet Indigenous people in Canada are far from homogeneous. In Canada there are 633 First Nations, plus the Métis people and the Inuit. In the U.S., there are another 574 Native-American groups.

Nowhere else on the planet would such a diverse group of peoples be expected to be unanimous about anything. The anti-resource development stereotype is false. Continue Reading →

Do any Liberals still support Canadian resources? – by Brad Wall (National Post – August 25, 2020)

If properly supported, Canada’s resource sector and Canadian agriculture will be leaders in the recovery

Were there an official committee of the federal cabinet constituted of those members who were fiscally conservative, economy-focused and supported the Canadian resource sector, they might only need an e-bike built for two to accommodate in-person meetings.

Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino may be one of them and, hope against hope, the new finance minister may take the other seat.

Only after watching her approach to trade and, more recently, Western alienation, did I come to this view. Continue Reading →