‘A decision needs to be made': Premier Notley to announce plans for Alberta oil price crisis
Alberta Premier Rachel Notley is set to make an announcement Sunday on the province’s course of action on the oil price issue.
In an op-ed, shared with CTV News from the Premier’s office, Notley comments on how the province’s energy resources are being sold for “next to nothing” before diving deeper into what choices need to be made.
“A decision needs to be made, one with real repercussions for working people and our entire economy,” Notley wrote. “We are in a position where we can’t move our oil because government after government in Ottawa has failed to build pipelines.”
Notley went on to say that Alberta’s oil was being sold at “fire-sale prices” or around $10 per barrel while other countries' oil goes for much more.
The Premier did not outline what options were being explored only that there are two primary ideas on how to deal with the problem--to either let the free market sort out what to do or to impose temporary government restrictions on how much oil can be produced in the province until the surplus supply of oil diminishes, closing the price gap.
Notley closed her opinion piece admitting that her decision will have wide reaching implications for Alberta’s economy adding, “It is one of the toughest decisions we will make as a province, but I promise you this: your jobs, your kids, and your futures will remain our absolute focus.”
One oil market analyst says the provincial government finds itself in quite the predicament when it comes to solving the oil price gap.
“There’s nothing good here to be honest. We’re making the best out of a bad situation I think,” said Oil Market Analyst Kevin Birn.
“This is worse than we saw in the first quarter in 2016 which was the worst of the oil price collapse,” Birn continued.”It is a crisis, the problem is there’s very few short term solutions and mandatory curtailment is not the good solution but it may be the only one available to the government.”
Premier Notley will be making an appearance on CTV News on Sunday at 6 p.m. We’ll bring you the announcement and political reaction as it unfolds.