Photo courtesy of Brendan Pawliw - My PG Now
Husky’s light oil refinery in Prince George | Husky PG/Handout photo
The Senior Petroleum Analyst for Gasbuddy.com is a little stunned with Husky’s decision to put its Prince George refinery up for sale.
This is the second major oil and gas company to make this move as Shell is also looking at getting out of the sector by putting up its Sarnia, Ontario refinery on the market.
With only 13 refineries in Canada, Dan McTeague states seeing these announcements back-to-back is little surprising.
“We’re not a country of a lot of refineries and when two of thirteen are suddenly up for sale in a very short period of time from each other with at least one very clear and that’s while refineries are doing very well, it is retailers that are seeing a much different market.”
McTeague is curious if the federal government’s recent announcement of its Clean Fuel Standards Act may be at play here, with Ottawa asking refineries to produce gas with the lowest emissions in the world.
Husky announced on Wednesday, it’s looking to sell all of its gas stations as it looks to focus more on its integrated business in Atlantic Canada as well as the Asia-Pacific region.
McTeague believes the unrest revolving around the Coastal Gas Link project in Northern BC as well as the lagging crude oil sales in Alberta aren’t helping matters either.
“What we have seen here with the respect to the gas coastline decision and attempt by the protesters to block and of course the very public removal is certainly sending a message to the rest of the world that when it comes to energy, Canada is not a place for doing business.”
“We have sort of stood on the sidelines and said it is OK to protest and block to have successive legal challenges to the building of energy infrastructure in Canada but I think it is clear to everybody that the country’s future and it’s economy may be grinding to a halt if the federal government is not prepared to stand up and be assertive.”
The last time he saw a refinery shut down in Canada was back in 2010 when the Shell Refinery in Montreal, as well as the Petro Canada facility in Oakville Ontario in 2004, closed its doors due to environmental regulations.
McTeague adds we’re hitting a tipping point in Canada where we’re going to have to re-take and take into consideration the country operated by the rule of law and not mob rule and if the problems aren’t addressed decisively at the top levels in the country and the province, the public could lead themselves exposed to the reality emerging in many parts of the world that Canada is not a safe place to invest money in.