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Economy

Premier Jason Kenney pitching more Alberta oil in wake of Saudi supply disruption

WATCH: Jason Kenney is pushing for more investment in Alberta's oil sector after the attack on a massive oil processing facility in Saudi Arabia. Tom Vernon reports.

The supply disruption caused by an attack on a major Saudi oil processing facility has renewed calls from Alberta politicians to get more energy from that province into the world market.

“Instability in the Middle East underscores the importance of Canada to global energy markets,” tweeted Premier Jason Kenney after a series of meetings in New York City, where he is attempting to attract more investment into Alberta.

“It’s an opportunity for Alberta to show the world this great resource that we have here,” Environment Minister Jason Nixon said in an interview with Global News.

“Not only do we have the most environmentally sound oil in the world, we have the most reliable oil in the world, produced by a jurisdiction with a great human rights record.”

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READ MORE: Suncor Energy CEO says he’s not counting on oil risk premium after Saudi attacks

Watch below: Some videos about an attack on Saudi Arabian oil facilities.

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Despite the push, increasing the amount of oil sold out of Alberta isn’t just a matter of flipping a switch.

“If there’s greater military confrontation with Iran, and there are further barrels taken off, then Alberta will somehow have to be called on, keeping in mind — of course — that pipeline capacity is an issue,” said Peter Tertzakian, the executive director of the Arc Energy Research Institute.

Pipelines leaving the province are currently at capacity.

The Enbridge Line 3 replacement, which will carry 760,000 barrels per day from Alberta to Wisconsin once completed, has been delayed until 2020.

The Trans Mountain pipeline expansion and the Keystone XL pipeline both still face legal challenges and are years away from being online.

Alberta’s opposition NDP says Kenney himself has compounded the problem by cancelling its oil-by-rail plan.

READ MORE: Alberta to offload crude by rail contracts

Unveiled before the provincial election, the $3.7-billion plan would have seen the Alberta government lease 4,400 railway cars, with the goal of moving 120,000 barrels of oil per day by 2020.

The first round of cars were scheduled to be in service by July.

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“We would have had some increased capacity by now,” said NDP Deputy Leader Sarah Hoffman.

“Albertans are paying the price by failing to get that increased revenue, and also failing to get the jobs that come along with being able to get our product to the right markets.”