Alberta puts out call for refinery proposals to prevent future oil shocks

Alberta’s government is seeking expressions of interest for adding crude-refining capacity as the oil-rich province works to extract more value from its resources.

The more that we can upgrade the product we own, the more we can return to Albertans

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley

The province will accept submissions until Feb. 8 and will consider greenfield projects and expansions at existing sites. At this point, the government is only seeking a sense of the projects companies are considering and isn’t yet ready to say how it would support those plans.

Refinery Row in Strathcona County, Alberta. The province wants to add crude-refining capacity. Ian Kucerak / Postmedia

Building new refining capacity in the province would be a longer-term solution to the persistent pipeline bottlenecks that have weighed on Alberta’s oil prices in recent months. To allay the short-term crisis, Premier Rachel Notley earlier this month announced mandated production cuts

, which have largely accomplished their mission of boosting prices.

Longer-term, Notley is buying rail cars to add more crude-shipping capacity and has announced billions of dollars in provincial support for building more upgraders and petrochemical plants to add jobs and keep more of the profits from Alberta’s oil in the province.

“The more that we can upgrade the product we own, the more we can return to Albertans,” Notley said.

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