Notley still mum on mandated crude-production cuts
Premier Rachel Notley reiterated her call for Canadians to support new oil pipelines and improve two energy bills at a speech in Toronto, Ont., but made no mention of whether she’ll mandate crude-production cuts.
Suffering from record-low prices because of a supply glut, many producers in the oil-rich province have been asking Notley to mandate a temporary curtailment that would help reduce the amount of crude in storage. Notley told Canada’s CTV News on Wednesday that an announcement on the issue is coming “in the very immediate term,” raising some expectation that she’d announce the move at her Toronto speech.
“We’ve been meeting with industry officials and experts for several weeks now and we’re trying to dig into finding the best resolution,” she told Bloomberg News on Thursday. “You can expect an announcement from us very soon. It is complex, the nature of the industry is more complex than it once was.”
The S&P/TSX Energy Index tracking Canadian producers was up 1.7 per cent as of 1 p.m. in Toronto. That compared with a gain of just 0.8 per cent for the S&P 500 Energy Index of U.S. stocks.
Notley has previously said that her administration is studying the output-cut idea and hasn’t ruled it out. Her main political rival, United Conservative Party Leader Jason Kenney, came out in favour of an output cut on Wednesday.
While companies including Cenovus Energy Inc. and Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. have said government-mandated production cuts would help the industry, integrated producers whose refineries are benefiting from the cheaper feedstock have opposed it.