Oil and gas sector cautious as deadline on Trans Mountain decision nears

Trudeau government expected to announce whether it will approve pipeline for second time on Tuesday

Pipes are seen at the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain facility in Edmonton, Alta., Thursday, April 6, 2017. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)

Observers on the front lines of Western Canada’s oil and gas sector are looking forward to what’s widely expected to be approval of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion on Tuesday while acknowledging the decision by Ottawa won’t solve all problems.

CEO Clayton Byrt of Pimee Well Servicing LP, a service rig company owned by six northern Alberta First Nations, says approval of the pipeline is a “big deal” because it will encourage investment by the oilsands producers he counts as customers.

He says more activity will support Pimee’s ability to retain its 140 employees — almost all Indigenous — and eventually grow the company to continue to offer good jobs to First Nations members.

The company counts Imperial Oil Ltd. and Cenovus Energy Inc. among its customers, both of whom have delayed building or completing steam-driven oilsands projects because of uncertainty about how they will get the oil to market.

READ MORE: Is Trans Mountain a pipeline to prosperity for Indigenous communities?

Analyst Samir Kayande, a director with RS Energy Group, says the expansion to triple capacity of the existing Trans Mountain pipeline will help with market access when it comes on stream but that likely won’t happen until 2022 and could be held up by more legal challenges.

He says the pipeline isn’t big enough to fix Western Canada’s oil transportation woes on its own, nor does it address the general downturn in energy investing in North America and the lower quality of Canada’s resources compared to premier U.S. oil and gas basins.

“Even though it’s positive and it’s important, the impact on the investment climate will probably be a little bit muted at least until you can actually start construction,” said Kayande.

“It really depends on what the next round of legal challenges looks like.”

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Hearing ahead for blind community’s B.C. Human Rights Tribunal case against Victoria bus stops

The Canadian Federation of the Blind says bike lanes can be dangerous

Saanich man dies from injuries after serious crash on Six Mile Road

Police continue to investigate cause of fatal crash

View Royal resident spots bear in Portage Park

West Shore RCMP confirms report of sighting, Conservation notified

‘Guard cat’ retires early from B.C. Aviation Museum

North Saanich museum finds forever home for mascot Marcus the cat

Ninja groups could be setting children up for identity theft, online safety expert says

‘When I started seeing entry codes into secure buildings, I’m thinking oh my God, what are we doing?’

Trans Mountain starts B.C. leg of pipeline twinning project

Mostly finished in Alberta, Burnaby terminal expanding

NDP getting COVID-19 wage subsidy ‘indirectly,’ B.C. Liberal leader says

Andrew Wilkinson says he’s heard no concerns from public

Love flourishes at Peace Arch Park, but COVID-19 concerns loom

South Surrey park becomes only place for international couples to meet

UPDATE: B.C.’s Central Kootenay issues evacuation orders for hundreds of residents due to flooding

An evacuation alert covers all areas except the Cities of Castelgar and Nelson

PHOTOS: Thousands gather at Vancouver Art Gallery to protest racism

Rally is in response to the deaths of black Americans and a Toronto woman

Number of students returning is a wild card as B.C. schools reopen Monday

A common model will see other teachers work four days a week in class then the fifth remotely,

Most Read