Alberta's Problem Isn't Pipelines; It's Bad Policy Decisions
Bitumen prices are low because the province has ignored at least a decade of warnings.
Date Written: 2018-11-23
Publisher: The Tyee
Year Published: 2018
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX23106
A 2007 Alberta government report indicates that the provincial government has been aware for more than a decade that its oilsands policies were setting the stage for today's price crisis.
In 2007, a government report warned that prices for oilsands bitumen could eventually fall so low that the government's royalty revenues - critical for its budget - would be at risk.
The province should encourage companies to add value to the bitumen by upgrading and refining it into gasoline or diesel to avoid the coming price plunge, the report said.
Instead, the government has kept royalties - the amount the public gets for the resource - low and encouraged rapid oilsands development, producing a market glut.