Archive | Oil and Gas Sector-Politics and Image

On oil sands, ignore Jane Fonda’s foolery, listen to Trudeau’s truth – by Gary Mason (Globe and Mail – January 19, 2017)

If you ever want an Albertan mad at you, mention something about the oil sands they don’t like. Last week, many in the province were setting their hair on fire over a visit by movie-star activist Jane Fonda and later comments by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau about Alberta’s energy future.

I get the animus Ms. Fonda’s visit incited. Albertans are tired of jet-setting do-gooders flying in from their L.A. manses, or whichever homes in whichever countries they might be coming from, to do passovers of the oil sands and proclaim how awful it all is.

Before Ms. Fonda, it was the actor Leonardo DiCaprio. Before Mr. DiCaprio, it was the singer Neil Young. Before Mr. Young, it was the director James Cameron. The script is always the same: Meet with environmental activists and First Nations leaders and decry the violation of the Earth they have witnessed. Continue Reading →

GUEST COMMENT: The petroleum and mining sectors should put their heads together for a good cause: their future – by Bill Whitelaw (Canadian Mining Journal – January 17, 2017)

It’s interesting to watch two sectors that should be joined at the hip in defense of their joint futures and wonder why they’re not; at least not in any publicly or politically discernible way.

The beauty of my day job is this: I am privileged to be involved with two teams that provide essential information insights to Canada’s two most important resource sectors: energy and mining. The men and women associated with venerable business brands such as Oilweek, The Daily Oil Bulletin, The Northern Miner and Canadian Mining Journal provide context, analysis and intelligence insights to the diverse stakeholders that comprise the “energy” and “mining” sectors.

Collectively, the brands represent more than three centuries of sectoral service and have been binding tools through the diverse and complex (and often brutal) cycles through which these industries pass. The teams also provide research and analysis services, including insights into external forces that impact the sectors; thus the brands also afford a perspective on the things which have put energy and mining under fire. Continue Reading →

‘It’s blindsided everybody’: New U.S. border tax could shut out Canadian oil – by Claudia Cattaneo (Financial Post – January 18, 2017)

Canadian oil and gas producers happy to see the end of the Obama era are quickly coming to the realization that the imminent Trump presidency could be even more challenging if he moves forward with the adoption of a border adjustment tax.

While other Canadian sectors have been vocal in condemning the proposal, “no sector … will be more affected than petroleum,” according to Colorado-based energy expert Philip Verleger, who has been studying the recommended U.S. tax code changes since last summer.

Verleger, principal of consultancy PKVerleger LLC, believes Canadian exporters of oil and oil products are in for a nasty surprise. “Bluntly speaking, for oil the law’s passage is pure mercantilism. Exporters from Mexico, Canada, and the rest of the world could be shut out,” Verleger writes this week in a report to clients. “As Woody Allen would say, ‘Sorry, suckers’.” Continue Reading →

Indigenous reconciliation will never flow from a pipeline – by Jane Fonda (Globe and Mail – January 18, 2017)

I’ve been accused of parroting half-truths and misinformation: well, here are the hard truths that brought me to Alberta in the first place.

For centuries, first nations peoples have been telling non-indigenous people how to live in relationship to the land rather than to see the land and its natural resources as commodities to be exploited. We did not listen and now, here we are, on the edge of a climate cliff.

Like millions of people, I believe we are living an existential crisis, one that humankind has never faced before: If we continue down the current road of fossil fuel dependency, if we expand the problem, climate science is telling us we will soon reach a point of no return. Continue Reading →

Jane Fonda comes to Alberta to inform them that oil is bad and they should get other jobs – by Tristin Hopper (National Post – January 12, 2017)

Fort McMurrayites might have assumed the celebrity visits would stop after the city was swept first by recession, and then by wildfire. Or when the provincial government introduced a carbon tax and started phasing out coal.

And surely, with Donald Trump in the White House, even the oiliest corner of Canada would shift to the activist back burner. But no; here comes Jane Fonda.

“We don’t need new pipelines,” she told a Wednesday press conference at the University of Alberta where she also dismissed Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as a “good-looking Liberal” who couldn’t be trusted. Continue Reading →

‘We don’t give a damn’: Anti-oil activists step up opposition as honeymoon with Trudeau ends – by Claudia Cattaneo (Financial Post – January 11, 2017)

On Tuesday, Jane Fonda was in the oilsands to agitate against new pipelines supported by Alberta’s left-leaning NDP government and approved by Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau; more aboriginal lawsuits were flying in Vancouver over Trudeau’s approval of the Petronas LNG project; and in Toronto, environmental activists were scoffing at his efforts to reform the National Energy Board.

Clearly, the honeymoon is over between opponents of oil and gas projects and Canadian governments that hoped to win their approval by cranking up environmental regulations and carbon costs, even at the expense of the economy.

So much for Canada’s ambitious climate leadership program, sold to Canadians on the promise that it would satisfy critics and re-habilitate Canada’s reputation as a responsible energy producer.

Which begs the question: If there is no gain for the pain, why bother? Continue Reading →

Commodity forecasting is a guessing game on China, Trump, OPEC – by Clyde Russell (Daily Mail/Reuters – December 21, 2016)

LAUNCESTON, Australia, Dec 21 (Reuters) – It’s that time of year when crystal balls get taken out and polished up, but forecasting commodity markets for 2017 is less certain than usual given the unpredictability of the three main likely drivers.

After a largely stellar year in 2016, the outlook for major commodities is likely to come down to the actions of Donald Trump, the Chinese government and the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.

Note the word “actions” in the above paragraph, as what these three players actually do will ultimately have a far larger bearing than what they say they are going to do. Take China for example. This year saw most analysts surprised by the strength of both China’s coal and iron ore imports, which led to rallies in the prices of both commodities. Continue Reading →

Big Utility Sees Pathway to $10 Oil – by Francois De Beaupuy (Bloomberg News – December 20, 2016)

The oil industry must brace for five energy “tsunamis” that threaten to drag prices as low as $10 a barrel in less than a decade, according to Engie SA’s innovation chief.

The falling cost of solar power and battery storage, rising sales of electric vehicles, increasingly “smart” buildings and cheap hydrogen will all weigh on crude, Thierry Lepercq, head of research, technology and innovation at the French energy company, said in an interview.

“Even if oil demand continues to climb until 2025, its price could drop to $10 if markets anticipate a significant fall in demand,” Lepercq said at his office near Paris. Crude last slumped to that level in 1998. Continue Reading →

Canada, U.S. announce ban on offshore oil, gas licenses in Arctic – by Dan Healing (Toronto Star – December 21, 2016)

CANADIAN PRESS – CALGARY—The federal government announced Tuesday plans to ban offshore oil and gas licensing in the Arctic, citing the need to protect the environment from future energy development, but the move was largely dismissed by industry observers as a weak gesture that won’t harm their interests.

The measure was part of a joint announcement with the U.S., which designated the bulk of its federally controlled waters in the Arctic Ocean and certain areas in the Atlantic Ocean as indefinitely off-limits to future oil and gas leasing.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canada’s ban is intended to ensure a sustainable Arctic economy, preserve the region’s ecosystem and prevent future risks associated with offshore oil and gas activity — goals that earned applause from environmental groups such as Greenpeace and the World Wildlife Fund. Continue Reading →

Tillerson, Perry in Trump administration means Canada’s energy sector has friends in high places – by Claudia Cattaneo (Financial Post – December 14, 2016)

Canada’s oil and gas industry would have friends in Washington’s highest places with Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State and Rick Perry as Energy Secretary.

United States President-elect Donald Trump announced Tuesday that Tillerson, who was expected to retire in March as CEO of ExxonMobil Corp., is his choice to head the State Department and praised him as a successful international dealmaker who leads a global operation.

“He will be a forceful and clear-eyed advocate for America’s vital national interests and help reverse years of misguided foreign policies and actions that have weakened America’s security and standing in the world,” Trump said in a statement. “His relationships with leaders all over the world are second to none.” Continue Reading →

Arrested Development: For the town of Inuvik, the Mackenzie Valley pipeline was the lifeline that never came – by Jesse Snyder (Financial Post – December 13, 2016)

INUVIK, N.W.T. — “I’m older than this town,” Fred Carmichael says as he steers his lumbering Ford F-350 truck through a residential neighbourhood of Inuvik, Northwest Territories. But Carmichael, 81, is among a shrinking generation of Gwich’in who remember a time when this small northern outpost was nothing more than a few tents erected along the Mackenzie River.

Carmichael grew up in his family’s log cabin and worked on his father’s trap lines, eking out a living from the region’s dwindling numbers of fox, hare, wolf, minx and muskrat. He set out on his own when he was 17, and eventually established a small aviation business that still operates today. “We soon realized that in order to survive up here you have to get into some kind of business or find a steady job, which was hard to do,” he said.

The people of the town, like Carmichael, are acutely aware of their ancestral way of life, and many southerners still maintain an outdated view of the North. Yet Inuvik embodies an undeniably industrial character. Continue Reading →

Arrested Development: Prince Rupert divided over ‘location, location, location’ and imminent economic growth – by Geoffrey Morgan (Financial Post – December 12, 2016)

PRINCE RUPERT, B.C. – Lelu Island looks like any of the dozens of tree-covered islands set in the waters off northern British Columbia’s picturesque coast when the tide is in.

When the tide goes, however, an elongated shoreline covered in eelgrass appears. The embankment, called the Flora Bank, is both a critical salmon habitat and at the centre of a fight between environmentalists, First Nations, multiple levels of government and Pacific Northwest LNG, a proposed $11.4-billion facility by Petronas, Malaysia’s state-owned energy producer, that would supercool natural gas until it reaches a liquid state so it can be exported to Asia.

Ken Lawson, house leader with the Gitwilgyoots tribe, describes his opposition to the LNG export project as “location, location, location.”

The location has infuriated environmentalists and First Nations people such as Lawson determined to protect the Flora Bank, where millions of juvenile salmon from the Skeena River acclimate between freshwater and saltwater every year. Continue Reading →

Arrested Development: How a new breed of activist is damaging economic growth, one project at a time – by Claudia Cattaneo, Geoffrey Morgan and Jesse Snyder (Financial Post – December 9, 2016)

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had barely finished delivering his statement approving the Trans Mountain and Line 3 pipelines, and rejecting Northern Gateway on Nov. 29 when anti-pipeline activists erupted on Twitter.

“@justintrudeau just approved the #Kindermorgan pipeline. Vancouver: Join us at the CBC building at 5 pm,” tweeted, along with a photo with protesters and the headline: IT’S TIME TO ESCALATE AGAINST KINDER MORGAN.

Greenpeace Canada took direct aim at Trudeau: “BREAKING: @JustinTrudeau approves #KinderMorgan and #Line3 pipelines, rejects #NorthernGateway,” illustrating it with indigenous protesters and the warning: “If Prime Minister Trudeau wanted to bring Standing Rock to Canada he succeeded.” Continue Reading →

Russia Sells $11 Billion Stake in Rosneft to Glencore, Qatar – by Elena Mazneva and Ilya Arkhipov (Bloomberg News – December 8, 2016)

Commodity trader Glencore Plc and Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund agreed to buy a 10.2-billion euro ($11 billion) stake in Russia’s largest oil producer from the state in a triumph for President Vladimir Putin over sanctions imposed by the West.

The surprise deal gives the buyers a 19.5 percent stake in Rosneft PJSC, which the U.S. and European Union have targeted with punitive measures, and is the biggest foreign investment in Russia since the crisis in Ukraine. It also marks a stunning return to deal-making for Glencore Chief Executive Officer Ivan Glasenberg a little more than a year after his company was forced to raise cash from shareholders.

Glencore said in a statement Wednesday it would commit 300 million euros in equity, with the rest coming from the Qatar Investment Authority — itself Glencore’s largest shareholder — and bank financing. Continue Reading →

Energy illiteracy alive and well in Canada – by Deborah Yedlin (Calgary Herald – December 8, 2016)

The response to last week’s approval of two pipeline projects — Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain expansion and Enbridge’s Line 3 replacement — has exposed the lack of energy literacy in Canada that’s exacerbated by a fragmented media and convenient ignorance of Alberta’s climate plan.

The task of bridging the gap has fallen to Premier Rachel Notley, who’s in British Columbia this week to explain the importance of pipelines to Canada’s economy.

The Trans Mountain project is expected to generate $46.7 billion in federal and provincial taxes and royalties during construction and its first 20 years of operation. An additional $530 million in property taxes will be accrued by municipalities along the route and more than 800,000 person-years of employment created over the life of the project. Continue Reading →