The chief executive of Precision Drilling says it’s better for the environment overall if oil is produced in Canada than in other parts of the world, adding that the argument that new pipelines will increase the country’s carbon footprint is “awkward.”
In an interview with BNN on Monday, Kevin Neveu said it would be a shame if Enbridge’s Line 3 replacement program and Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline expansion projects – which were recently given the go-ahead by Ottawa – weren’t built.
Neveu said there’s “no doubt” global demand for oil will continue and that it’s better for the environment if the commodity is produced in a country with tight environmental regulations like Canada.
“I'd rather see that oil produced in a regime that has tight strings of regulation like Canada rather than in an area where regulations are quite loose and likely more carbon-intensive,” Neveu said.
Precision also said Monday it forecasts stronger demand for oil in 2017 after OPEC reached a deal to cut production by 1.2 million barrels per day starting in January.
Neveu praised Canada’s regulatory framework for pipelines, saying it is responsible.
“Precision operates in a number of different jurisdictions. No question, Canada is the most responsible place we operate,” he said. “The regulations are excellent; we operate at a very low carbon footprint here in Canada, especially in Alberta.”
Opponents have been vocal since the approval of both Line 3 and the Trans Mountain projects last week, with protests occurring in Vancouver and Toronto.
Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson called the decision a “step backwards” for the environment, and Green Party Leader Elizabeth May has said she was willing to “go to jail” to stop Trans Mountain.
Still, despite the opposition, Neveu said he doesn’t see either project not moving forward.
“I can't imagine a scenario that would cause those projects not to go ahead, so I'm confident that they'll move forward and it will bea good outcome for Canada,” Neveu said.