‘A stronger Alberta:’ Ottawa announces $1.6B for Canada’s oil and gas sector

Price of Alberta oil plummeted so low that Alberta’s Premier said Canada was practically giving it away

Ottawa is spending $1.6 billion to help struggling energy companies stay afloat, buy new equipment and diversify as Alberta grapples with bargain basement oil prices.

Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi says $1 billion is to be set aside through Export Development Canada for oil and gas companies to make capital investments and purchase new technology.

Another $500 million is to be made available through the Business Development Bank of Canada over the next two years to help smaller oil and gas companies navigate the downturn.

Sohi says a further $150 million is to be used for clean growth and infrastructure projects.

The package does not include money for more rail cars that Alberta is planning to purchase to help move a glut of oil behind the low price of Canadian oil.

Sohi says the money, largely in the form of commercial loans, is available immediately.

READ MORE: Speaker at rally says Alberta oil ‘puts tofu on the table in Toronto!’

“We understand that when Alberta hurts, so does Canada,” Sohi said Tuesday. “Together we can build a stronger Alberta (and) a more prosperous Canada.”

The price of Alberta oil plummeted so low last month that Alberta Premier Rachel Notley said Canada was practically giving it away. While the world sells its oil at about $50 a barrel, Alberta’s oil at one point fetched only $11 a barrel.

Notley plans to buy as many as 80 locomotives and 7,000 rail tankers — expected to cost hundreds of millions of dollars — and has announced an oil production cut to begin next year. That has helped push the price back up.

She has said Canada’s economy is still losing as much as $80 million a day because of the discount.

“We understand that for the long-term success and growth of the oil sector, nothing is more important than building the pipeline capacity to expand our non-U.S. global markets,” Sohi said.

The Trans Mountain expansion project, which would triple the flow of oil to the British Columbia coast, is in limbo despite being approved two years ago. Ottawa is revisiting the potential impacts on First Nations and B.C.’s marine environment.

Dean Bennett, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sidney company tastes sweet success with sugar kelp

Cascadia Seaweed is experiencing rapid growth after launching six months ago

Westin Bear Mountain invests $2 million to renovate newly-named spa

‘Amatista Spa’ has yet to announce official opening date

North Saanich floats tougher policies for buoys and moorings near Tsehum Harbour

Municipality also considers additional collaboration with Sidney and other communities

HarbourCats team up with Bastion Books to bring back Harvey’s Reading Club

HarbourCats and Bastions Books offer students free game tickets in an effort to promote child literacy

Central Saanich newspaper carrier gets letter of thanks, chocolates from her community for note

Ava Verscheure started her first very job by introducing herself to residents along newspaper route

VIDEO: Minister reports ‘modest progress’ after blockade talks with First Nation

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs say Coastal GasLink does not have authority to go through their lands

Henrique scores 2 as Ducks soar past Canucks 5-1

Vancouver tumbles out of top spot in Pacific Division

Trudeau cancels Caribbean trip amid pipeline protests across Canada

Protests against Coastal GasLink have disrupted rail service

B.C. VIEWS: Inaction on pipeline protests not a viable response

Columnist Frank Bucholtz on how the Coastal GasLink pipeline dispute got so bad

PHOTOS: Top 10 memories of the 2010 Olympics

Black Press Media’s Jenna Hauck, shares some of her most memorable images of 2010 Winter Games

#FoxForFiver: Support grows in B.C. to put Terry Fox on new $5 bill

Terry Fox’ Marathon of Hope raised money for cancer research

Trudeau confers with cabinet ministers as rail blockades continue

The Trudeau government has been criticized for not doing more to end the blockades

Canadian nurses’ unions warn national standards for coronavirus protection too low

President says safety protocols nationwide are inadequate compared to those in Ontario and other countries

Most Read