Alberta considers cutting oil production, announcement coming in days: Notley
Rachel Gilmore, Power Play producer
Published Wednesday, November 28, 2018 12:59PM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, November 28, 2018 6:17PM EST
Alberta Premier Rachel Notley says her government has been considering cutting oil production for some time now, adding that an announcement will likely come down in days – not weeks.
During Wednesday’s episode of CTV’s Power Play, Notley told host Don Martin that her government has been “leaning into and considering” cutting oil production “for well over a month now."
“It’s a complex issue,” she said.
Notley said her government has an obligation to do a deep dive into the potential options available to them in response to the plunging price of oil, which fell as low as US$14 a barrel earlier this month.
The premier said the current oil price, which experts have said is attributable to market access issues, is “ridiculous.”
“We anticipate being able to give people some sense of where we’re moving on this in the very immediate term,” she said.
When pressed on whether “immediate term” means an announcement in coming days, Notley said yes.
As it stands now, the Alberta premier said the low price of oil is starving the economy of roughly $80 million a day.
“We need to fix that, and that’s why we’re calling on the federal government to help us, even in the medium term, with this problem.”
On Wednesday, Notley announced her government’s plan to buy its own rail cars in order to get Alberta oil to market.
She made the announcement in Ottawa, where she did not meet with the prime minister and received no federal commitment to help with the planned rail purchase.
But the government insisted they’re helping in other ways.
“We are focused on ensuring that every barrel of Alberta oil gets its full value. That is why our Government has made addressing this national issue - and increasing market access in general - an urgent priority,” Vanessa Adams, press secretary to the natural resources minister, said in a statement provided to CTV.
Adams pointed to government support for Keystone XL, Line 3 and the Trans Mountain Expansion Project as evidence of this commitment.
Despite these reassurances, the feds having been facing frosty receptions of their own when they’ve ventured to Notley’s province in recent days.
Both Finance Minister Bill Morneau and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau faced protesters chanting “build that pipe now,” when they travelled to Alberta in the last week.
Despite the bubbling tensions between the federal government and Albertans, Notley said the feeling of alienation from Ottawa is nothing new.
“I think Albertans have always felt that no matter what the government is and who the government is,” she said.
“We’re just far enough away that our issues aren’t front and center.”
The leader of the opposition in Alberta, Jason Kenny, disagreed with the Alberta Premier when it comes to the severity of the frustration in the province.
“This is a real threat. I’m talking to buttoned-down, experienced, old hands in the energy sector. They’ve seen ups and downs – they’ve never seen anything like this before,” he said.
Kenney floated his own plan for addressing the oil price differential in a press conference Wednesday. He suggested the Alberta government cut oil production by 10 per cent – about 400,000 barrels per day.
“I hope that the premier will listen to what the industry is saying and take our idea in good faith,” he said.
Still, Notley said she’s holding out hope that the federal government will join forces with Alberta in its efforts to get oil to market.
“We remain hopeful that they will reconsider,” she said.