Notley says Alberta will buy rail cars to move oil
Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. believes Alberta is “on the right track” with its decision to purchase additional crude-by-rail capacity, but that a long-term solution is still needed.
“She’s on the right track,” Canadian Natural Executive Vice-Chairman Steve Laut told BNN Bloomberg in an interview on Wednesday. “That’s going to be a good mid-term solution.”
“She’s directly right. We need rail here to bridge the gap until Keystone and [the Trans Mountain Pipeline extension] are on-stream.”
Alberta Premier Rachel Notley announced Wednesday that the province is working to buy rail cars that could lift the oil patch’s export capacity by 120,000 barrels a day. But she, too, expressed the need for a long-term fix.
“Don’t mistake me -- this is not the long-term answer,” Notley told reporters on Wednesday. “It absolutely is not. New pipelines are the long-term answer.”
Laut repeated his call for temporary curtailments to help clear the province’s production glut, saying the situation is “very similar” to the last time they were needed, amid the energy crisis of the early 1980s.
He added that government intervention is not ideal, but in his opinion, necessary.
“I think most people agree we don’t want the government to intervene in the market,” he said. “But when you have a broken market, it’s incumbent upon the government to step in and bring order to the market.”
Laut did express optimism that the pipelines would come and that the federal government would be able to meet the necessary conditions to get the Trans Mountain expansion on-line.
“I think their message is: “Let’s work the process, make sure we do everything right,” Laut said of the Trudeau Liberals.
“I think that’s exactly what they’re trying to do.”