CAODC applauds federal funding, but points out much more is needed
The Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors (CAODC) appreciates the $1.5 billion from Ottawa to support the oil and gas sector, but are reminding everyone that very serious problems remain.
“While we are grateful for help in any capacity at this point, all we have ever asked for is the opportunity to compete in global markets with our world class products,” explains CAODC President Mark A. Scholz. “Market access and the acknowledgement that our industry is the best in the world, an environmental leader, and important to our country would also be a welcome Christmas gift this year.”
The impact of such a long standing downturn has been devastating to women, men, and families in the Canadian oil and gas industry, states the CAODC, adding that additional support from government in this time of need is greatly appreciated, and will help many businesses in the sector stabilize, and re-structure debt and finances.
Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi and International Trade Diversification Minister Jim Carr announced the funding initiative yesterday, the details of which include:
- $1 billion in commercial financial support from Export Development Canada to be made available to exporters of all sizes to assist companies looking to invest in innovative technologies, address working capital needs or explore new markets; and
- a new $500 million Energy Diversification commercial financing envelope over three years from the Business Development Bank of Canada to help higher risk but viable oil and gas small business enterprises weather the current market uncertainty.
In light of today’s announcement, CAODC states that it is looking forward to working with the federal government to maximize the benefits of this program for its members.
While a step in the right direction, the challenges facing Canadian oil and gas remain substantial, as access to unsecured loans does not address the underlying issues at the heart of the industry’s problem.
“As Canadians saw recently in Whistler Mayor Jack Crompton’s letter to Canadian Natural Resources Ltd., a fundamental component of the predicament Canadian oil and gas currently finds itself in, is the misinformed idea that we are poorly regulated, responsible for catastrophic global climate change, and bad for Canada,” asserts Scholz. “Until Canadian governments at all levels stop indulging in this rhetoric, we will continue to experience difficulties, require loans, endure inter-provincial conflict, and the men, women, and families in our industry will continue to suffer.”