Suncor CEO says he’s ‘encouraged’ new pipelines will be built after PM’s visit

CALGARY — The CEO of oilsands giant Suncor Energy Inc. says he’s confident new oil pipelines will be built after hosting Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at its newly opened Fort Hills oilsands mine in early April.

The message he left with Trudeau was that pipeline access must be assured if the industry is to attract the capital it needs to grow, Steve Williams said on a conference call on Wednesday.

“We don’t want these new projects to have to bear the burden of some of these (oil price) differentials,” he said, reiterating Suncor’s commitment to build no new major oilsands projects without new pipelines.

“The simple measure will be we want to see shovels in ground and pipelines being built.”

His comments came the same day First Nations chiefs from Quebec, Manitoba and British Columbia held a news conference.

They vowed to resort to large-scale civil disobedience if Kinder Morgan’s controversial Trans Mountain pipeline from Alberta to the B.C. coast goes ahead without the consent of local First Nations.

But Williams said he’s “greatly encouraged” by what Alberta and federal governments are saying recently and believes even the Trans Mountain expansion project will be built, despite proponent Kinder Morgan threatening to abandon it if it isn’t reassured about its construction by the end of May.

Later, on the sidelines of Suncor’s annual general meeting, Williams said he hopes that “good sense and reason prevail” but added Suncor has a contingency plan in case Alberta follows through with its plan to restrict oil or refined fuel exports through the existing Trans Mountain pipeline to B.C.

Suncor reported that the discount paid for oilsands blend Western Canadian Select compared with New York-traded West Texas Intermediate crude widened to an average of US$24 per barrel in the first quarter, double the US$12 per barrel average in the fourth quarter of 2017.

The higher difference is blamed on difficulty in getting heavy crude out of Western Canada because of a lack of pipeline space.

On the call, Williams said he also believes Enbridge Inc.’s Line 3 pipeline replacement project into the U.S. Midwest will proceed, despite an ongoing disagreement in Minnesota over its routing.

Suncor reported lower production in the quarter ended March 31 because of cold weather-related outages at its Base Camp north of Fort McMurray, Alta., and the nearby Syncrude Canada oilsands mine.

Just Posted

More than $25k raised for Red Deer firefighter who is recovering in hospital

‘I think the support he’s getting is because of the person he is’

Lacombe backs Blackfalds stormwater plan

Stormwater management plan will open up more land for development in Blackfalds

Two men facing charges in alleged abduction

RCMP issued alert for woman on Wednesday morning who was found safe later that day

Red Deer RCMP seek public assistance to identify suspect in indecent acts

Red Deer RCMP are looking for a man believed to be responsible… Continue reading

WATCH: Two weeks away from Canadian Finals Rodeo in Red Deer

In just two weeks, Ponoka’s Shayna Weir will compete with the best… Continue reading

Leon Draisaitl has overtime winner as Edmonton Oilers down Boston Bruins 3-2

EDMONTON — Connor McDavid set up Leon Draisaitl for the overtime winner… Continue reading

Edmonton girl guide sells out of cookies in front of cannabis store on first day

EDMONTON — She’s being called one smart cookie. As people lined up… Continue reading

New vacuum needed: Calgary family adopts three bonded St. Bernard buddies

EDMONTON — Three adult St. Bernards who couldn’t be separated because they’re… Continue reading

Film with Fan Bingbing, Bruce Willis cancelled after tax case

BEIJING — The director of “Air Strike,” featuring Chinese actress Fan Bingbing,… Continue reading

Michael Buble shuts down rumours of retirement from music

LOS ANGELES — Michael Buble is shutting down rumours that he’s going… Continue reading

After Canada legalizes pot, industry eyes rest of the world

MONTREAL — Cam Battley is a top executive at one of Canada’s… Continue reading

Facebook’s election ‘war room’ takes aim at fake information

MENLO PARK, Calif. — In an otherwise innocuous part of Facebook’s expansive… Continue reading

Military to overhaul morale-boosting trips after review finds serious problems

OTTAWA — Canada’s top general is overhauling military morale-boosting tours after an… Continue reading

Most Read