Premier outlines plans to purchase rail cars to ship Alberta oil

By Charles Lefebvre
November 28, 2018 - 11:47am

OTTAWA, ON. — Premier Rachel Notley says Alberta is in the process of purchasing more rail cars in an effort to transport Alberta oil to market faster.

The premier made the announcement in Ottawa Wednesday morning during a speech at the Canadian Club of Ottawa. The decision to purchase oil cars is in response to the currently oil price gap, which is causing Alberta oil to be sold for historically low prices.

Notley says the deal is being made without assistance from the federal government.

“We will not stand by while we’re forced to give our resources away for pennies on the dollar,” she said in a news release. “This oil price differential is about real people with real bills to pay and real concerns about the future. There’s no excuse for Ottawa to not be at the table with us, but we cannot allow delays to continue. Alberta will buy rail cars ourselves in our fight to get top dollar for the resources that belong to every Albertan.”

The goal is to create enough new rail capacity to move 120,000 barrels a day from Alberta to markets in the next three years. The goal is to have the additional capacity in place by late 2019. The timeline, a news release states, is to give time to manufacture the new cars and related facilities.

The Alberta Petroleum Marketing Commission is currently negotiating with the industry to add the additional rail cars. Notley did not release a cost for the new cars during her speech, citing ongoing negotiations. She told reporters in Ottawa she expects final details to be released before the end of the year, or very early in 2019.

Notley says the additional capacity and rail service for oil would ensure agricultural products would not have to compete for space on existing trains.

When the trains go online, the goal is to have 15,000 barrels per day shipped by December 2019. By 2022, the amount would increase to 120,000 barrels per day.

Until the rail cars online, the province will continue its focus on attracting new upgrading facilities to Alberta.

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