Oil and gas sector cautious as deadline on Trans Mountain decision nears

Trudeau government expected to announce whether it will approve pipeline for second time on Tuesday

Pipes are seen at the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain facility in Edmonton, Alta., Thursday, April 6, 2017. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)

Observers on the front lines of Western Canada’s oil and gas sector are looking forward to what’s widely expected to be approval of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion on Tuesday while acknowledging the decision by Ottawa won’t solve all problems.

CEO Clayton Byrt of Pimee Well Servicing LP, a service rig company owned by six northern Alberta First Nations, says approval of the pipeline is a “big deal” because it will encourage investment by the oilsands producers he counts as customers.

He says more activity will support Pimee’s ability to retain its 140 employees — almost all Indigenous — and eventually grow the company to continue to offer good jobs to First Nations members.

The company counts Imperial Oil Ltd. and Cenovus Energy Inc. among its customers, both of whom have delayed building or completing steam-driven oilsands projects because of uncertainty about how they will get the oil to market.

READ MORE: Is Trans Mountain a pipeline to prosperity for Indigenous communities?

Analyst Samir Kayande, a director with RS Energy Group, says the expansion to triple capacity of the existing Trans Mountain pipeline will help with market access when it comes on stream but that likely won’t happen until 2022 and could be held up by more legal challenges.

He says the pipeline isn’t big enough to fix Western Canada’s oil transportation woes on its own, nor does it address the general downturn in energy investing in North America and the lower quality of Canada’s resources compared to premier U.S. oil and gas basins.

“Even though it’s positive and it’s important, the impact on the investment climate will probably be a little bit muted at least until you can actually start construction,” said Kayande.

“It really depends on what the next round of legal challenges looks like.”

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

UPDATED: Interior Health to add 495 long-term seniors care beds

Nelson, Kelowna, Kamloops, Vernon and Penticton to receive new facilities

Graffiti sprayed on 100 Mile Community Hall

‘We’re having a hard time through this COVID’

Have you been following the Justin Trudeau and WE Charity story?

The weekly web poll for the 100 Mile Free Press

Highway 97 to be repaved in 100 Mile House following complaints

‘It’s been over a month now since those holes have been developing’

South Cariboo piano students see success at online exams

‘I like learning new songs and then actually getting to play them well’

B.C. records 62 new COVID-19 cases, two deaths since Friday

Province has just over 200 active cases

Hotel rooms for B.C. homeless too hasty, NDP government told

Businesses forced out, but crime goes down, minister says

Wage subsidy will be extended until December amid post-COVID reopening: Trudeau

Trudeau said the extension will ‘give greater certainty and support to businesses’

B.C. government prepares for COVID-19 economic recovery efforts

New measures after July consultation, Carole James says

Tree planters get help with COVID-19 protective measures

Ottawa funds extra transportation, sanitizing for crews

Trudeau apologizes for not recusing himself from WE decision

He says his and his family’s longtime involvement with the WE organization should have kept him out of the discussions

Beverly Hills 90210 star’s family selling Vancouver Island Beach Resort

You can own Jason Priestley’s Terrace Beach Resort in Ucluelet for less than $5 million

Islanders want BC Ferries to follow order that lets residents board before tourists

For ferry-dependent communities, ferries are often the sole practical lifeline to work, school or medical appointments.

Most Read