Diana McQueen, Alberta’s minister of Energy, and local Saskatchewan MLA Tim McMillan were at the Lloydminster Heavy Oil Show last week, and they both agreed that the outlooks for the energy sector in the their respective provinces are looking good, and they expect to see growth in the coming year.
McQueen said that the energy sector in Alberta has been really positive, whether you look in Lloydminster or in areas like Fort McMurray, where that energy sector is growing.
“I think that it’s in good shape right now, the outlook for the upcoming year is also positive,” she said. “We are in a really good year, and so I think for Alberta we look at the numbers of applications with the regulators.”
McQueen said that since Alberta moved to a single energy regulator, the province’s energy sector has benefited and moved in the right direction.
“We have an economy that is hot, and we have a good regulatory system in place. And with one regulator in place, we are able to move forward. It’s an exciting time in the province,” she said.
McMillan said that the heavy oil show is a great way to see how Saskatchewan and Alberta are seeing growth in the energy sector.
“I think that it’s great that more companies want to showcase their products here at the heavy oil show in Lloydminster,” he said. “I think that it speaks to the well-organized oil show, and the oil show in this business. It also speaks to Lloyd- minster and the prospects, and the economic prospect of who want to make investments here in Lloydminster.
“In full accounts, I’m very pleased to see that the heavy oil show has grown substantially this year.”
McMillan said that the heavy oil show comes at a time when the energy and oil industry in the province is seeing a boom.
“There is always challenges and we have had the challenges of the last few years, of pipeline capacity and the differentials,” he said.
“It gets better and worse as the differentials grow and shrink, there are challenges that way. So there always challenges of producing oil more efficiently, more environmentally soundly, and safely.”
Some of the technology that McMillan said he saw over the day that he spent at the oil show, address some of the areas that he said were challenging to the energy sector in the province.
“In raw numbers, we saw consistently over the last five years, oil production in the province of Saskatchewan increase,” he said. “We have broken our all-time oil production in 2012, 2013, and we are on pace to break that record again in 2014.
“With those types of fundamental numbers we are sitting very positive right now,” McMillan said.
McQueen said that oil sector in the province is one industry under the energy sector umbrella that has seen an increase over the last couple of years.
“It’s riding a wave of highs and lows, but if you look at the longer term with the oil and gas, it’s a good time,” she said.
McMillan agreed with McQueen, but said that in a sector like the energy field one only can be optimistic about the future.
“I think that we have seen consistently, over history, that predictions are very pessimistic,” he said.
“Through investment and new technology here and around the province we continue to produce more and more oil.
“I guess I’m optimistic in the intellectual capacity in this field of those who are on the well sites every day to continue to come up with better ways to produce oil.”