Premier Alberta, Rachel Notley, says his government is close to finalizing investment deals on six projects to partially upgrade the oil and bitumen oils that will cost nearly $ 5 billion and create hundreds of long-term jobs.
"For decades, Albertans have talked about getting more for our oil by modernizing more here at home. We take steps to make that reality," Notley said in a statement shortly before repeating the message from Calgary Thursday before a meeting of the Canadian Association of Oil Drilling Contractors.
"By overburdening energy modernization in Alberta, we can create more jobs and open up more markets to ultimately get a higher dollar for our resources," Notley said, a day after Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau launched a fiscal update that the Alberta government did not contain specific measures to address the impact of its price gap on the national economy.
An earlier version of the story follows.
Premier Alberta Rachel Notley is speaking this morning in Calgary at a meeting of the Canadian Association of Oil Drilling Contractors.
The prime minister was busy making ads this week as part of the Alberta government's so-called strategy to gain more value for the province's energy resources.
The Western Canadian Select price collapsed in September, partly due to an oil shortage in Alberta.
As oil production grew during the year, export pipelines reached maximum capacity.
Worse, several US refineries that process heavy oil in Alberta are shutting down for maintenance.
The difference between West Texas Intermediate and Western Canadian Select was about $ 45 per barrel last month. An estimate determined the cost price of Alberta's energy sector to $ 100 million a day.
New provincial investment
On Tuesday, Notley presented a plan to increase its investment in two petrochemical upgrading programs by $ 1.1 billion for a total of $ 2.1 billion.
She also announced a new power upgrading unit in her office to prioritize the upgrading and refining of several Alberta energy resources and announced that funding announcements were awaited in a few days.
On Monday, the prime minister said he had appointed three special representatives to work with energy experts and chief executives to find solutions to close the oil price gap.
Envoys are Robert Skinner of the University of Calgary School of Public Policy, Brian Topp, former Notley Staff Chief and Deputy Energy Minister Coleen Volk.
The federal update reaction
Responding to the fiscal update of the federal government, Alberta, Finance Minister Joe Ceci said he was disappointed. Ottawa does not do much more to address the impact of the price gap it has on the national economy.
Specifically, the province pushed Ottawa to take measures to increase rail capacity in the absence of new pipelines. However, the Bill Morneau Finance Minister's fiscal update does not contain any line items for rail transport.