Wednesday , 22 September 2021

Provincial oil curtailments takes effect, but no comment from CNRL on jobs, ECHO

There is no word from CNRL regarding shutting-in the ECHO pipeline, a move that may result in 500-1000 people in the lakeland area out of work.

Yesterday, the province eased limits on oil producers, allowing an increase of 75,000 barrels a day.

Although it was previously reported that the increase would affect curtailments, that is not the case.

There is no comment from CNRL whether jobs will still be hurt, or whether the ECHO pipeline will still operate as of Jan. 31 since that decision does not affect the curtailment formula.

The press release from the province did not state whether the increase was related to CNRL’s original letter to service providers.

CNRL’s letter said that the province’s change in the oil curtailment formula would force them to shut-in the ECHO pipeline as of Feb. 1, today, and “hurt jobs in the Bonnyville/Elk Point/Lloydminster area.”

Reeve Greg Sawchuk said he’s waiting to hear if the province’s decision affects the region.

“The announce the government made yesterday, although it takes about production increases it really didn’t identify what they were going to do with the curtailment numbers directly, so until we hear that, we don’t know what CNRL’s response is going to be,” said Sawchuk.

“It’s dependent on how it’s put out amongst all the companies. When you have a lot of big players it’s going to be spread across. It depends on whether or not it’s going to make a difference,” he said.

The original curtailment method, which CNRL agreed to, used the average of the six highest months of production from Nov. 2017 to Oct. 2018 to calculate January 2019’s allowed volume.

The province changed it so that February onward production will be based upon the highest production month in the same time period, instead of a six-month average.

The changes were made for operators who made “significant recent investment” and were increasing production when the government announced curtailment.

Municipal officials to meet with federal Senators

Today, a meeting is scheduled with municipal officials, including Bonnyville Mayor Gene Sobolewski and Reeve Greg Sawchuk, with federal Senators in Edmonton about the oil-related issues in the region.

“We actually have a good news story about the oil industry up here. I’m reaching out to a lot of folks that if you have pictures of wildlife wandering amongst the plants or near the pipelines – because that’s the story we want to get out,” said Sawchuk.

“The oil industry in this area has learned to work with the environment, the farmland and in close with communities. Whereas quite often all we see from the eastern press is that great big open pit mine…that’s not the oil industry around here. I think we need to do a better job of getting that story out,” said Sawchuk.


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.