April 3, 2018
Alberta has found an ally in the Trans Mountain fight – its next door neighbour.
Saskatchewan entered the trade war between Alberta and British Columbia, saying it will consider limits on its out-of-province oil shipments if B.C. continues its efforts to delay the $7.4-billion Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project.
“We are giving warning to say we will do what it takes to ensure that this Trans Mountain pipeline that was approved by the federal government is built,” Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe said in an interview with the Vancouver Sun.
Saskatchewan likely won’t be shipping oil on the proposed pipeline between Alberta and B.C., but is hurt by the project’s delay because the discount to Canadian oil relative to U.S. crude is costing the Saskatchewan government $150 million per year, Moe told the Sun.
The pipeline is expected to reduce that discount.
“I hope it doesn’t come to this, but if B.C. blocks pipelines for Canadian oil, Saskatchewan will consider retaliation, including restricted export permits for our oil,” Moe stated in a Twitter posting.
Alberta Premier Rachel Notley repeated threats to cut off oil shipments to the West Coast, which would send gasoline prices skyward in Vancouver because gasoline and diesel burned in the Lower Mainland arrives there via the existing Trans Mountain pipeline.
Kinder Morgana Canada has already announced delays to its construction start and said it is in a “primarily permitting” process right now, focused on getting necessary permits from some uncooperative governments before construction ramps up.