August 1, 2013 - 3:15pmUpdated: August 1, 2013 - 5:01pm
Brad Wall speaking on TransCanada pipeline announcement Aug 1, 2013. Photo by Newstalk's Francois Biber
Premier Brad Wall said the green-light from TransCanada for an eastern pipeline will not only strengthen to province’s economy, but it will also help him make a case for other pipeline projects such as Keystone XL.
“Some American legislatures would say, ‘you don’t even have a pipeline in your own country’ and so this will help in that regard so the next time we go to Washington we can say that we do,” Wall said in a media conference in Saskatoon on Thursday.
“It involves a number of other provinces, Quebec, New Brunswick, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta, so that will be helpful.”
Thursday morning TransCanada announced their support for a $12 billion plan to move Western Canadian crude oil to refineries and shipping ports in Atlantic Canada, specifically New Brunswick. The pipeline project includes new storage and refinery infrastructure in the southeast corner of Saskatchewan, as well as the conversion of an existing natural gas pipeline, to carry oil instead.
Premier Wall said this will boost the Saskatchewan economy, creating more jobs and maximizing profits from the sale of oil to other countries.
“The reason we haven’t been able to maximize the value … is because there’s been pipeline capacity issues and there’s been for a time a differential between the rent price and the world price for crude and west-Texas intermediate, which is our price,” Wall said, adding international sales will result in greater profit margins.
“We should get the best possible price for our oil so that we can build infrastructure, pay off debt, keep taxes low; and because of pipeline capacity issues … we have not been able to do that, this project will help us do that.”
The West-to-East pipeline is expected to ship up to 1.1 million barrels each day, higher than the expected 850,000 per day originally anticipated.
Wall told reporters the support from TransCanada is welcomed, especially after Wall threw in his support for the northern Gateway pipeline, which was not going to carry one drop of Saskatchewan oil over to Asia.
Wall said that support was about the greater good for Canada, adding if Canada wants to be an energy superpower in the future, they should start acting like it right now.
“What we meant by that is we need to move oil across our country,” Wall said.