July 07, 2017

Urgent plan needed as capital flight from oil sands continues: Barnes

With Texas-based Apache Corp. following in the footsteps of other international energy companies by selling off its assets in the oil sands, the NDP government needs to provide a clear plan on how it’s going to keep investment in Alberta going forward, Wildrose Shadow Energy Minister Drew Barnes said today.   

Apache Corp. joins a growing list of companies that have sold off their oil sands assets at bargain-basement prices that includes Royal Dutch Shell and ConocoPhillips. British Petroleum has said it’s mulling getting out of Alberta, as well.

“Everything the NDP has done since it came to power has worked against industry – from the royalty review, to the carbon tax, to the emissions cap – so it’s not surprising to see this kind of capital flight now,” Barnes said. “If we want to stop the bleeding, we need to see a plan that will work for, not against industry – and we need to see it now.”

Wildrose proposed a five-step plan for boosting the energy sector in 2016. The plan called for, among other things, abandoning the ridiculous PPA lawsuit, scrapping the carbon tax and eliminating the emissions cap. The NDP has implemented none of the recommendations.

This week, a CAPP report outlined numerous regulatory barriers and costs companies face in Alberta that are killing our competitiveness. According to the report, “13 companies representing 12% of the oil sands investment have allocated their capital away from the oil sands and into the U.S.”

“I’m afraid we’re facing a government that will put its ideology before common sense to the bitter end,” Barnes said. “I implore the folks in the NDP to adopt some common-sense measures proposed by the Opposition and experts in industry to support the energy sector, but I won’t hold my breath.”


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