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Alberta forecasts economic recovery

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World Pipelines,

Outlining the budget plans of the provincial government of Alberta (Canada) for through until 2020, the province’s finance minister, Joe Ceci, has stated that the “best way” to sell its energy resources is by building pipelines.

Optimistic about new pipeline capacity in the region, Ceci stated: "As our economy recovers, we will continue to bring the deficit down to balance, and we will do so without sacrificing the supports and services families need."

“Getting a Canadian pipeline built to a Canadian coast is the best way for our world-class energy producers to sell our resources at world-class prices," he said.

The Globe and Mail reported that Alberta plans to run a CAN$10 billion deficit in the upcoming fiscal year and expects to balance the budget by 2023 -2024. Stronger energy prices will be key to recovery and two key pipeline projects will be key for the province; Kinder Morgan Corp.’s Trans Mountain expansion project and Enbridge Inc.’s Line 3 replacement.

While approved by the provincial government and expected to commence operation in 2021 and 2020, respectively, some would argue that these projects will face opposition from landowners and Indigenous groups. However, Ceci believes that both Trans Mountain and Line 3 can be completed on time.

Alberta Energy expects that should Enbridge and Kinder Morgan complete their respective projects, the additional pipeline capacity would allow oil producers in Alberta to receive between CAN$2 and CAN$7 more for each barrel of oil they sell. This would then lead to more production and CAN$9 billion more in royalties to the provincial government by 2022.

However, as reported by Fort McMurray Today: “the province is still forecasted to have CAN$71.1 billion in debt by the end of the decade, an increase from the CAN$32.6 billion today. The annual deficit is projected to reach CAN$10.3 billion, down from previous estimates of CAN$10.8 billion.”

The province’s economy is expected to expand by 2.6% this year, with growth driven by the energy sector.

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