Quebec and New Brunswick will form a working group to weigh the risks of piping oil sands crude across their provinces, the two premiers announced February 18, 2013.
Quebec's Pauline Marois and New Brunswick's David Alward met in Montreal to discuss pipelines as Alberta waits nervously to understand its future potential to transport oil sands crude to international markets. If New Brunswick is selected as a destination for Western Canada crude, as supported by Alward, the estimated $5-billion oil pipeline would have to cross through Quebec.
After the Montreal meeting at Marois’ office, the premiers issued a joint statement to media in lieu of a press conference.
“We agreed that more information and analysis is required to ensure that all technical, environmental, and economic issues related to this project respond to the interests of Quebecers,” stated Marois.
Alward went on record earlier in February 2013, publicly stating that a 300,000-barrel-per-day refinery in Saint John would be an ideal location for oil sands crude.
“I am looking forward to the information that will be gathered by the working group to help us better understand the scope of this important opportunity to drive job creation and innovation in our natural resources,” Alward said in the joint statement.
Federal Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver has stated that upwards of $50 million is lost each day due to a lack of pipeline capacity out of Western Canada and the U.S. Midwest.
The Canadian industry is also awaiting a U.S. decision on the controversial Keystone XL pipeline to send oil sands crude to the Gulf Coast.