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

Local war hero ceberating 100 years of life

Derek Beningfield records his grandfather’s history ahead of his 100th birthday on July 14

Editorial: Thanks for the memories

Sasha Sefter says farewell to our readers

Provincial COVID-19 data can now be used for B.C. to prepare for a second wave

In the past week, B.C. has seen a slight spike in daily test-positive case counts

RANCH MUSINGS: When the sun shines, kids and calves

It is not easy to witness the birth of a calf especially in a herd on a spacious pasture

Islanders want BC Ferries to follow order that lets residents board before tourists

For ferry-dependent communities, ferries are often the sole practical lifeline to work, school or medical appointments.

Beverly Hills 90210 star’s family selling Vancouver Island Beach Resort

You can own Jason Priestley’s Terrace Beach Resort in Ucluelet for less than $5 million

Genetic detectives begin work to trace spread of COVID-19 in Canada

The kinds of genetic technology being used for this project did not exist when SARS hit Canada in 2003

Sports fishers protest Fraser River Chinook closures

Public Fishery Alliance wants hatchery fish open for harvest

Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

B.C. man prepares to be first to receive double-hand transplant in Canada

After the surgery, transplant patients face a long recovery

Grocers appear before MPs to explain decision to cut pandemic pay

Executives from three of Canada’s largest grocery chains have defended their decision to end temporary wage increases

Bringing support to Indigenous students and communities, while fulfilling a dream

Mitacs is a nonprofit organization that operates research and training programs

Most Read