Minister of Energy’s spokesperson says “CNRL is being treated fair and equitably” with oil curtailments

Photo provided by Government of Alberta, via National Observer.

A spokesperson from the Minister of Energy’s Office issued the following statement in response to the report that CNRL will shut-in the ECHO pipeline due to the province changing the oil curtailment formula, which could lead to 500-1000 people out of work.

“CNRL fought hard for this policy and we ultimately agreed it was in best interest of Albertans. Premier Rachel Notley took action to protect the value of the resources owned by all Albertans, and her leadership is instrumental in saving thousands of jobs across the sector,” a spokesperson said.

“CNRL has benefited substantially from this temporary policy. We disagree with their characterization and it’s disappointing to see them threatening suppliers with job losses when they’re being treated the same as other producers. CNRL is being treated fairly and equitably under this policy, which they support, and the company will need to be accountable for their own regional business decisions.”

The revised curtailment formula takes effect on Feb. 1.

The province’s motivation to curtail oil production was in response to the fall of Canadian oil prices in the global market.

CNRL said in a statement to their service providers last week that the changes in curtailment for February 2019 are “far beyond its voluntary and mandated January volumes.”

“This is not sustainable operationally as the ECHO pipeline will need to be shut-in along with the production associated with it. As a result, the disproportionate February 2019 curtailment numbers will hurt jobs, specifically in the Bonnyville/Elk Point/Lloydminster area,” the letter said.

“Canadian Natural will be required to curtail a third more production in February compared to January, and the reduced production will unnecessarily impact jobs significantly in the heavy oil region.”

The Minister of Energy is Margaret Ellen McCuaig-Boyd.