Archive | Oil and Gas Sector-Politics and Image

Likely construction delays will mean Ottawa overpaid for Trans Mountain, PBO says – by Bill Curry (Globe and Mail – February 1, 2019)

Parliament’s spending watchdog Yves Giroux warned there is a high risk that delays and cost overruns will mean the Liberal government overpaid when it spent $4.4-billion last year to purchase the Trans Mountain pipeline, its related expansion project and other assets.

In a report released Thursday, the Parliamentary Budget Officer estimates the value of the Trans Mountain pipeline and the expansion project at between $3.6-billion and $4.6-billion. The PBO’s figure does not include related assets such as pipeline terminals that were included as part of Ottawa’s transaction with Kinder Morgan Inc.

“If it was a car, we’d say they paid sticker price. They didn’t negotiate very much,” Mr. Giroux said. “Should there be a delay in construction costs or an increase in construction costs, then it’s quite clear to us that the government will have overpaid.” Mr. Giroux said those scenarios appear likely. Continue Reading →

Ontario’s government seems to be speaking out of both sides of its mouth on treaty rights – by Tanya Talaga (Toronto Star – February 1, 2019)

A flurry of “good-news” announcements has recently come from the Ford government on Indigenous issues, from a $27.5-million investment in Indigenous businesses to a helpful intervention in settling an important transmission line issue in the north.

But do those announcements serve as a smokescreen to cover up what is actually going on behind the scenes in provincial-Indigenous relations? Two weeks ago, Ontario indicated it would be appealing a court decision that would result in a substantial settlement to First Nations people who’ve essentially been ripped off since 1874.

In late January, Ontario announced it intends to appeal the Robinson-Huron Treaty court decision that says the Crown must adjust annuity payments to those governed by the terms of the Treaty, from $4 a year — a payment that has not increased in 145 years — to modern rates. Continue Reading →

Report from transportation watchdog probes commodity discrimination by rail – by Christopher Reynolds (Financial Post – January 26, 2019)

A preliminary report from the Canadian Transportation Agency appears to confirm shippers’ complaints about a relatively high number of restrictions on commodities they tried to move by rail through the Vancouver area.

Industry groups have accused Canada’s two largest rail companies of “discriminatory treatment” against some commodities, the report notes, highlighting the use of embargoes that temporarily stop traffic at specific loading points or interchanges.

Filed Thursday, the report is part of a CTA investigation launched on Jan. 14 following complaints from shipping associations about rail service in B.C.’s Lower Mainland over the past three months. Continue Reading →

Headwinds on horizon for Canadian mining, industry official warns – by Hayley Woodin (Business Vancouver – January 25, 2019)

The high-profile nature of Canada’s controversial Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project is hurting the country’s mining industry, says industry association president Pierre Gratton.

“That is casting a pall, a cloud over Canada as an investment destination,” said Gratton, president and CEO of the Mining Association of Canada. “We really need to get some resolution around Trans Mountain, get access to tidewater and move forward as a country thereafter, because it’s affecting the rest of the resource sector, I think, quite negatively.”

Gratton was the latest executive to tell Greater Vancouver Board of Trade members that Canada’s competitiveness on the world stage is slipping. Continue Reading →

Battlefield correspondent: Rex Murphy sees human casualties in the war on Canada’s resource industries – by Greg Klein (Resource Clips – January 24, 2019)

Resource extraction was vital to the generations who built this country,
Murphy emphasized. “It is only in a country as prosperous as our own that
we get to the point where we denigrate and derogate the essential industries
that brought us precisely to where we are.”

There’s something inspiring about a Newfoundlander—a Newfoundlander born in Newfoundland before it even joined Canada—coming to the West Coast largely to defend Alberta’s oil and gas sector.

Actually Rex Murphy’s message applies to Canada’s resource industries overall, focusing on the people who work in them, their families and others who helped build the country. He sees the chasm between those who find fulfillment in employment and those who would shut down the industries that provide it.

A National Post columnist who’s somehow tolerated by the CBC, Murphy proved a huge hit with an overflow crowd at the Vancouver Resource Investment Conference 2019. “As a journalist, I’m in a room full of achievers,” he quipped. “This is a very awkward spot.” But unlike most journalists, he neither ignores nor celebrates an enormous shift in Canadian society. Continue Reading →

Why we are missing the low-carbon economy bonanza – by Nelson Bennett (Business Vancouver – January 22, 2019)

The world is having a global energy transition party for miners – B.C. isn’t invited

A global energy transition that’s already underway would be good for B.C.’s exploration and mining industry.

The province, after all, is geologically blessed with an abundance of many of the raw materials needed for wind turbines, solar power and electric vehicles.

But the opportunity posed by decarbonization and the low–carbon economy is a boat that B.C. has already missed, according to one metals and mining analyst, because there is one thing missing in B.C.: licence to operate. Continue Reading →

How Canada really can pressure Saudi Arabia to clean up its human rights (Hint: export our oil) – by Mike Bowerman (National Post – January 22, 2019)

Shutting down Canadian oil does not reduce global oil consumption — it only increases the Saudis’ market share

After barricading herself in a Thai hotel room and launching a Twitter campaign as loud as it was effective, Saudi teen Rahaf Mohammed has admirably won the freedom she sought in Canada.

Her plight is the latest in a series of dismal news reports from the Saudi kingdom, and was an obvious diplomatic win for Canada. But if this country really wants to help the millions of Rahaf Mohammeds, Yemeni children and imprisoned or murdered journalists and activists, what we should be doing is putting the corrupt Saudi government out of the oil business.

When crises like Rahaf Mohammed’s arise, a fleeting sense of national pride envelopes Canadians. We temporarily remember that Canada is a country that shines so brightly around the world — it is among the most sought out places to live despite a frozen climate even we complain about. Yet that sense of pride vanishes when we begin making policy that determines our success on the world stage. Continue Reading →

NEWS RELEASE: LNG Canada approves $937 million in contracts and subcontracts to First Nations and Canadian businesses (January 21, 2019)

VANCOUVER, Jan. 21, 2019 /CNW/ – Today, LNG Canada announces the value of contracts and subcontracts approved as of December 2018, following the first three months of the construction phase of the large-scale LNG export project near Kitimat, British Columbia.

LNG Canada has thus far approved over $937 million (CAD) in contracts and subcontracts with First Nations enterprises and other businesses across Canada.

This includes $175 million (CAD) to local First Nations businesses and, with the addition of contracts awarded to local Kitimat area businesses, including First Nations businesses, that total increases to $330 million (CAD) and $530 million (CAD) with the addition of BC businesses outside the local area. Continue Reading →

OPINION: Environmentalists’ next opponent? First Nations – by Gary Mason (Globe and Mail – January 18, 2019)

When Justin Trudeau announced he was buying a pipeline last May, the condemnation from leading environmental organizations was swift and fierce. And according to the country’s most renowned eco-warriors, no group had been betrayed more by the move than First Nations.

Greenpeace said the government had put itself on a “collision course” with Indigenous rights. The Wilderness Committee, the David Suzuki Foundation and, among others, reiterated similar talking points:

By acquiring the Trans Mountain pipeline and the rights to expand it, Ottawa had trampled on constitutional privileges enjoyed by the country’s aboriginal community and had lost its trust in the process. There was only one problem with this line of attack: It wasn’t true. Continue Reading →

Memo to Trudeau — we support pipelines – by Lorrie Goldstein (Toronto Sun – January 16, 2019)

Few countries have been as willing to cut their own economic throats as Canada. We lose an estimated $15 billion annually in revenue to our economy — $40 million a day — because of our inability to get our oil to global markets, due to our lack of pipeline capacity.

That means we have to sell it at a massive discount to our only customer — the United States. The U.S., by contrast, has always acted in its own economic self-interest when it comes to oil and natural gas, regardless of whether a Republican or Democrat is in charge of the White House.

While U.S. President Barack Obama was self-righteously and hypocritically vetoing the Keystone XL pipeline to get Alberta oil to the Texas Gulf Coast, his administration approved enough new oil and gas pipelines in the U.S. to more than encircle the Earth. Continue Reading →

First Nations eye stake in Trans Mountain pipeline in bid for ‘economic sovereignty’ – by Geoffrey Morgan (Financial Post – January 17, 2019)

Within the energy industry, there is a growing recognition that indigenous communities need equity ownership in pipelines and other projects in order to proceed

Tsuu T’ina, Alta. — Alberta First Nations are considering a bid to buy a stake in the Trans Mountain pipeline from Ottawa, but the project’s top executive says there is nothing to sell until the expansion project is approved.

Marlene Poitras, the influential Alberta regional chief for the Assembly of First Nations, said that she had informed Finance Minister Bill Morneau of the interest of Alberta’s indigenous communities in buying a stake in the project.

Speaking at the indigenous energy summit on the Tsuu T’ina Nation, a reserve on the edge of Calgary, Poitras said she had also advised the Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde and the Alberta provincial government that indigenous groups are looking to buy into the pipeline project. Continue Reading →

Welcome to another year of stomping on Canada’s most important industry – by Gwyn Morgan (Financial Post – January 17, 2019)

The cannabis industry may hit $6 billion in contributions to GDP, and automakers $20 billion. But oil and gas? A not-noteworthy $117 billion

What was Canada’s biggest business news story of 2018? According to the pundits at The Canadian Press, it wasn’t the giveaway of Canadian oil to Americans for tens of billions of dollars below world prices, caused by a lack of pipelines from Alberta. It wasn’t the loss of tens of billions more in oil and gas investment to the U.S., because Canada is too hostile to building new projects.

It wasn’t the Americanization of Encana, once the largest of all Canadian-headquartered companies. It wasn’t the federal Liberal government’s forced purchase of the Trans Mountain pipeline from Kinder Morgan because the expansion faced insurmountable opposition from the B.C. government and indigenous groups.

Nor was it the court decision blocking the federal government from completing that project. Instead, The Canadian Press’s choice of business news story of the year was … the legalization of cannabis. Continue Reading →

Club Med: Israel, Egypt, and Others Form New Natural Gas Group – by Keith Johnson (Foreign Policy – January 15, 2019)

Countries around the Eastern Mediterranean took a potentially important step toward realizing their dreams of boosting energy production with the creation Monday of a forum joining Israel, Egypt, Cyprus, and other neighbors to develop their new natural gas discoveries.

The Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum, announced Monday in Cairo, formalizes growing energy ties among recent rivals and could spur much-needed development of energy infrastructure required to tap the region’s potential as a source of energy for Europe and beyond.

The forum in particular cements the growing commercial links between Israel and Egypt; Israel expects to start shipping natural gas to Egypt in the next few months as part of a landmark, $15 billion deal between the two countries. Continue Reading →

Indigenous Energy Summit to tackle pipeline ownership, leadership issues – by Geoffrey Morgan (Financial Post – January 16, 2019)

First Nations will hear presentations on how they might take ownership of major energy projects, including the Trans Mountain pipeline

CALGARY — First Nations that produce oil and gas in Canada will tackle some of the most contentious issues facing the sector at the Indigenous Energy Summit on Wednesday, including potential ownership bids for, and protests about, pipelines.

One of the biggest issues in the Canadian energy sector is the ongoing fight between hereditary chiefs and elected chiefs over the the $6.2-billion Coastal GasLink pipeline in British Columbia, which has opened wounds for current and former northern B.C. chiefs.

Meanwhile, First Nations will hear presentations on how they might take ownership of major energy projects, including the Trans Mountain pipeline. Continue Reading →

This pipeline is challenging Indigenous law and Western law. Who really owns the land? – by Justine Hunter, Brent Jang, Wendy Stueck and Shawn McCarthy (Globe and Mail – January 12, 2019)

Pipeline owners say they have consent, but Wet’suwet’en leaders are divided

With members of the Wet’suwet’en First Nation blockading a pipeline project on their traditional lands, Na’moks was standing by a crackling campfire, next to an RCMP checkpoint, drawing in the snow with his right boot.

The hereditary chief of the Tsayu clan made a small circle to represent the authority of elected band councils within reserves. Outside that circle, he explained, is where Wet’suwet’en clans wield power over a vast territory. “We are hereditary chiefs,” he said, “and we have control of this land.”

The temporary checkpoint was set up earlier this week in a remote area of the B.C. Interior as things got tense, with RCMP officers arresting 14 protesters on Monday at a blockade erected last month along a logging road. Continue Reading →