The Alberta government is losing $7.2 billion a year in oil revenues due to a lack of pipeline capacity and access to markets for heavy oil, a report released Tuesday by the University of Calgary said.
The government loses about $6.60 on every barrel of heavy oil exported to the United States, making the expansion of pipelines like the Trans Mountain project particularly urgent, the report’s authors said in a news release.
“The message is we can’t back down on this one, we shouldn’t back down on this one,” Kent Fellows of the University of Calgary School of Public Policy told Global News Calgary. “There’s a ton of money sitting on the table that export partners are benefiting from that Alberta is not benefitting from.”
It comes down to Canada’s inability to get oil to market, he added.
The study’s findings will likely “add fuel to the fire” in the current B.C.-Alberta pipeline fracas, the University of Calgary School of Public Policy said in a news release.
Meanwhile, opposition United Conservative Leader Jason Kenney said Monday he would be prepared to stop permits for the shipment of Alberta oil through the Trans Mountain pipeline and place a toll on shipments of natural gas from B.C. through Alberta.
On Monday, Alberta Premier Rachel Notley said her government is sending lawyers to Ottawa this week to compare notes with their federal counterparts as they prepare for the National Energy Board (NEB) hearings on the Trans Mountain pipeline.
Notley said they’d look at preventing “stalling tactics” that could further delay construction of the pipeline project.
— With files from Doug Vaessen, Canadian Press and CHED staff