Home Month and Year March 2023 Some Reason for Measured Optimism

Some Reason for Measured Optimism

Cody Battershill

I’ve been noticing a new trend. Canadians are realizing the value of their growing commitment to a balanced conversation about Canada’s natural resources sector.

I know it’s not only about communications. Some tough external hurdles have been thrown in our way over the last few years – from a soft energy market to an unprecedented pandemic to a lingering war in Europe.

But since we’re still early in the new year, let’s raise a few positive examples of better things to come.

Consider the Trans Mountain Expansion project, connecting Edmonton to tidewater in Burnaby. According to reports, TMX will be mechanically complete by the third quarter of 2023, and oil will flow in the fourth quarter. With that expansion, the 300,000 barrels per day (b/d) pipeline will grow to 890,000 b/d, and Canadians will benefit.

Also scheduled for completion this year is the 670-kilometre Coastal GasLink natural gas pipeline across northern B.C. Work on the $11.2 billion Coastal GasLink is 83 per cent complete, according to a recent update by owner TC Energy.

LNG Canada is part of a trend that will allow Canadian producers to bypass the U.S. when targeting Asian markets, thus providing a quicker route on vessels that can reach east Asia in about 10 days, less than half of the 25-day voyage from the U.S. Gulf Coast.

Further, a number of Canadian proposals aim to use hydroelectricity as the power source for processing, making the end-product cleaner than some competitors’.

But the value we’re set to receive from a bright energy future in 2023 goes beyond only natural gas.

A recent analysis from London-based Evaluate Energy points to the fact Canada’s five largest oil sands companies – Canadian Natural Resources, Cenovus, Suncor, Imperial Oil and MEG Energy – produced a combined 3.2 million b/d of oil equivalent (boe/d) of crude in the first nine months of 2022, garnering strong prices for domestic light and heavy crude benchmarks.

The report’s authors explained it this way: “Bucking a global slowdown in oil and gas mergers and acquisitions, two of the world’s top 10 most valuable mergers and acquisitions (M&A) deals in Q4 involved the Canadian oilsands… (and) demonstrated some optimism for the medium-term pricing outlook.”

What’s the cause of this slowly growing optimism in the Canadian energy and resources picture? It’s hard to say exactly. But I’m prepared to go on the record in congratulating Canadians for their growing commitment to sharing a positive message about the importance of Canadian energy infrastructure, and Canada’s natural resource sector at large.

Sure, there’s still lot of work to do. But no one should underestimate the power of an informed, constructive and engaged public. With their consistent support, it’s amazing what this country can accomplish.

Cody Battershill is a Calgary realtor and founder / spokesperson for CanadaAction.ca, a volunteer-initiated group that supports Canadian energy development and the environmental, social and economic benefits that come with it.