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Feb 6, 2019

Canada needs to be more aware of U.S. energy competition: Precision Drilling CEO

Precision Drilling CEO: We still have more rigs in U.S. than Canada


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Canada needs to pay closer attention to competition from U.S. energy exports, according to the chief executive of Calgary-based Precision Drilling.

“It’s notable, last night, that in the State of the Union address, the U.S. president was commenting on record production in the U.S., record exports from the U.S. of oil and gas, and in Canada we’re constrained,” Precision CEO Kevin Neveu told BNN Bloomberg in an interview  Wednesday.

“That’s what we’re competing with. We need to be aware of our competition and doing more to compete more effectively.”

U.S. President Donald Trump praised his country’s energy exports in Tuesday night’s State of the Union address.

“We have unleashed a revolution in American energy,” Trump told Congress. “The United States is now the No. 1 producer of oil and natural gas anywhere in the world. And now, for the first time in 65 years, we are a net exporter of energy.”

While the U.S. briefly became a net petroleum exporter during one week last November, government analysts say it will be at least September 2020 before the U.S. can claim the title on a steady basis, according to a Bloomberg report

Neveu – speaking to BNN Bloomberg from Houston – said his company’s capital expenditure plans for 2019 focus almost entirely on its U.S. and international operations, and not on Canada.

He said that for the second year running, Precision has more rigs operating in the U.S. than in Canada during the usually-robust winter drilling season, adding that “it just shows you how weak Canada is.”

Neveu said that the Trudeau government’s proposed Bill C-69 needs a thorough review before being implemented or it threatens to significantly complicate approvals on large energy and infrastructure projects.

“I’m concerned that Bill C-69 is an extremely complex, far-reaching bill that will complicate approvals and I do think it needs a much more comprehensive review by the legislatures before they pass the bill,” he said. “I think in its current form, it needs a lot of work and I’m hopeful that through the Senate and through the process that some of that work gets done.”

“If infrastructure delays are caused by regulation, then our customers will stop drilling and stop using our services. We are quite concerned.”