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Thursday , 5 August 2021

CNRL will operate ECHO pipeline, jobs will be protected oil producer says

CNRL will keep the ECHO pipeline running and jobs will be protected, the oil producer said today.

They say the change stems from the province’s decision to increase production levels earlier this week.

It was reported that up to 1000 jobs could be at risk if the ECHO pipeline were to be shut-in following a change in the province’s oil curtailment formula, beginning today, Feb. 1.

“Following the Government of Alberta’s announcement of production limits easing for February and March 2019, Canadian Natural’s curtailment volume for February 2019 will be reduced,” said CNRL.

“With this increase in allowable production, Canadian Natural will be able to maintain production at levels to safely operate the ECHO pipeline. Keeping the ECHO pipeline and associated heavy oil production operating means that we will be protecting up to 2,400 jobs for contractors and service providers in the region.”

Canadian Natural says they continue to support the Government of Alberta’s decision to curtail production to protect the value of Canada’s resources and protect jobs, provided that curtailments “are implemented in an equitable, transparent and reasonable manner.”

“We’re obviously thankful…”

“We’re obviously thankful that the province did move some on their limits and that CNRL was able to find it in their abilities to keep the line open and keep the people employed,” said M.D. Reeve Greg Sawchuk.

He says the drilling situation, with large decreases could stave off the issue of storage space in the province, providing curtailments last for a couple more months.

“If we saw a huge uptick in drilling then maybe we would be there. But I don’t expect that investment to be coming anytime soon,” said Sawchuk.

MLA Dave Hanson said the province’s measures seem to have helped.

“It’s good news for February, March and hopefully we can keep the stability we need,” said MLA Hanson.

“All of the service providers were sending letters and we did our press release so I think we got the attention of the government and exactly what it would mean for our area. I think they reacted. We can be thankful that we’re not going to be facing job losses.

“I think ultimately what we need is pipelines to the coast and until we get that we’re going to be faced with this uncertainty,” said Hanson.

About Michael Menzies

Menzies is the editor-at-large for Connected Media Inc. Born and raised in Vermilion, he started in May 2018 during his NAIT Radio and Television practicum and reports on local politics, sports, and community issues. He became the Bonnyville Pontiacs play-by-play voice during the 2019-20 season. He also comments on provincial and national issues. Menzies hosts Connected! Evening Monday-Thursday at 5 o’clock. He also likes to buy books and read some of them.