Canadian Energy Weekly Round-Up: November 23, 2020

Here are the top news stories covering Canada’s energy landscape:

Minister of Natural Resources Unveils Multi-Million Dollar Support for Indigenous Partnerships

Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources Hon. Seamus O’Regan announced up to $12 million in funding through the next two years for a program to help support Indigenous communities that rely on and contribute to the success of Canada’s oil and natural gas industry.

O’Regan announced that through 2022, the Canadian Government would contribute millions of dollars to support the Indigenous Natural Resource Partnership (INRP) program. Overall, the goal is to increase participation amongst Canada’s Indigenous and Native communities with oil and natural gas infrastructure projects located in Alberta and British Columbia.

Canada’s First Nations Major Projects Coalition (FNMPC), a non-political, business-focused division of the First Nations Financial Management Board (FMB), is a partner to the Canadian government on the project. Chief Sharleen Gale, Chair of the FNMPC, says the federal aid enables Indigenous groups to continue delivering its services to its members:

“This funding enables FNMPC to continue our core service delivery to our member First Nations so they have access to the capacity tools and options upon which informed business decisions can be made regarding their participation in major projects.”

The new funding builds on a successful, smaller first iteration of the program that occurred in 2019 and 2020. As it stands, the project for the next two years will be focused on enhancing the capacity of Indigenous communities to capitalize on business opportunities, facilitating access for Indigenous communities and organizations to resources, and supporting community and regional engagement related to oil and gas infrastructure projects.

Drilling Forecasts Call For 14 Percent Rebound in 2021

The Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors anticipates a 14 percent increase in the number of oil and gas wells to be drilled in 2021, The Canadian Press reports. In total, CAODC expects 3,771 wells to be drilled next year, up 475 from the projected total of 3,296 in 2020.

CAODC CEO Mark Scholz in a statement to The Canadian Press said that while the industry continues to incur challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic, it remains focused on long-term growth in energy demand:

“Although the industry’s short-term challenges endure, we continue to be bullish in the medium and long-term as the world continues to demand Canadian energy resources.”

The latest forecast by the CAODC is far larger than estimates by a similar industry association a couple weeks ago. In October, Petroleum Services Association of Canada Petroleum Services Association called for a total of 2,600 wells in 2021, down 8.8 percent from an expected 50-year-low total of 2,850 wells in the current year.

Alberta Reaches Methane Emissions Deal

Jonathan Wilkinson, Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change, recently announced the federal government finalized equivalency agreements with Alberta and two neighbouring provinces.

Wilkinson, in a press release, applauded the new agreement as a sign of progress for the climate amid the COVID-19 pandemic:

“Canadians want their governments to continue to take action on climate change during the COVID-19 pandemic. I am pleased the federal government has reached equivalency agreements with Alberta, British Columbia, and Saskatchewan to reduce methane emissions from their oil and gas sectors. These efforts lay the groundwork for the next steps we need to take as a country to exceed our 2030 climate target.”

The new agreements are a direct response to federal methane emissions regulations that went into effect earlier this year in January. Now, with the new equivalency agreements set in place, Alberta can independently manage its own emissions regulation compliancy.

On top of reducing administrative costs for the oil and gas industry, the new figures project emissions reductions will remain on target for 2025. Within the next five years, the Canadian federal government plans on reducing methane emissions by 40 to 45 percent below 2012 records.

Jason Nixon, Alberta’s Environment and Parks Minister, said the new agreements will allow the industry to drive down costs while also reducing emissions:

“Alberta’s methane regulations will save job creators time, money and resources. It will cut the same amount of emissions as the federal system by 2025, but with the added benefit of cost savings for our industry.”

For more Canadian energy news and setting the record straight on the day’s top stories about the oil and natural gas industry, visit Canadian Energy Network.

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