What does Trump's win mean for Canada's oilpatch?
The Derrick Digest is a weekly collection of curated content, based on events from across the oil and gas industry, that caught our eye at Pennine Petroleum Corporation. We hope you find it just as interesting as we do.
NOV. 11, 2016
He has promised, of course, to make America great again.
But will Donald Trump make the Canadian oilpatch great again?
Trump’s shocking ascendency to the White House on Tuesday has sent reverberations, most of them positive, throughout the Canadian energy industry over the past few days.
So what does it mean for the roughneck crowd? S&P Global Platts, as quoted by JWN Energy, offers these predictions on a Trump presidency, and its effect on oil and gas:
He will let markets decide what lands to drill;
He will dismantle or overhaul the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; and
He will adopt an America-first approach to trade policy.
“While Trump has given few concrete details about his energy plans, his statements during the campaign indicate he would likely adopt policies that attempt to expand fossil fuel production, ease regulations on industry and roll back President Barack Obama’s clean air policies,” remarks Platts.
That third and final bullet point is the one that has Canada’s oilpatch waiting with keen anticipation.
The primary item on the docket, presumably, is TransCanada’s Keystone XL Pipeline, of which Trump has said that he would “absolutely approve it, 100 percent.”
However . . . he’s also said that he wants a “better deal” for the U.S. on Keystone XL.
And while some are reserving judgment, others believe that Trump’s stunning victory on the U.S. presidential ballot is a massive victory for Alberta’s economy.
“The United States needs jobs and wants to become less dependent on Middle Eastern oil, and Canada is the most perfectly positioned to capitalize on this,” writes Josh Groberman, publisher of the BOE Report.
“For the first time in eight years, Alberta will finally have a major advocate in the White House—and it’s the guy in charge. What a huge win!”
BIG OIL EXPECTS LESS RED TAPE
South of the border, the U.S. energy industry is rejoicing over Trump’s election victory.
Big Oil expects Trump to advocate for more oil and gas output, and slice the red tape that’s restraining billions of dollars’ worth of investment in new projects.
Improved technology, notes Reuters, led to an energy revolution in the U.S. under Obama through unconventional oil and gas reserves. However, “even as shale expanded, the energy industry bemoaned environmental regulations that slowed development. Now, the industry expects Trump to roll back those restrictions.”
TRUDEAU’S CLIMATE STRATEGY IN DISARRAY?
And what of climate change aspirations being advanced here in Canada, by the likes of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Alberta Premier Rachel Notley and Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne?
Suddenly, prospects for an Obama and Trudeau-styled continental energy policy have virtually vaporized into thin air.
“It may force Canada to backtrack on some of its initiatives that would put Canada too far out ahead as an outlier” on climate policies, Laura Dawson, director of the Canada institute, a Washington-based non-partisan think tank, tells the Globe and Mail.
“The Trudeau government was trying to go where the puck was going under an Obama White House, but that puck might stop altogether under Trump . . . or it might turn into a basketball.”