Shell, Marathon Oil sell off oilsands earlier in the week
On Friday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau dismissed the recent decision by some major oil companies who have decided to sell assets in Alberta oilsands, saying the companies are acting in their own interest.
“Businesses will make the decisions they make,” Trudeau said.
This week, Shell and Marathon Oil reported they had sold operations and removed themselves from the northern Alberta oil play.
Shell sold its $11.1 billion Alberta oilsands interests to CNRL. Last month, Exxon wrote down all of its oil reserves from the Kearl oilsands project, saying extracting the oil was no longer economic at current crude prices.
Trudeau acknowledged oil and gas executives are looking for more clarity on regulations and pricing, but argued the world is ready for a low-carbon economy.
The PM said a Canadian consensus on a carbon price that would meet international climate change goals shows the northern nation can move forward on complicated and often contentious issues.
“The one thing I’ve heard consistently from leaders in the energy industry is the need for clarity in terms of what (the) frame of regulations, (and) pricing is going to be,” he said.
According to Trudeau, promotion of both renewable and conventional energy shows “investments in Canada are sound investments, not just for short term, but for the long term,” adding ” We’re going to see many people interested in partnering in drawing on Canadians’ great natural resources.”
The prime minister also said Canada and the US are working on border issues, including trade and migration.
Concerning the Trump administration’s proposal to implement a tax on imports, Trudeau cautioned details are still lacking and an agreement on the tax is not a sure thing.
“Anything that creates extra barriers and impediments to the smooth flow of goods will hurt our business and hurt our workers and limit our capacity to be competitive,” he said.
Trudeau said his government would seek to protect the country’s export jobs and “stand up for the values we hold dear,” when asked about potential repercussions from the proposed tax.