Canadian Oilfields Would Be More Productive With Less Regulations, Alkam’s Director Says

Director of the North American Division of Alkam Energy, Wee Hui Hock, says Western Canada’s Montney oil and gas region would be two to four times more productive if it was in the United States with its more efficient regulatory systems.

Wee Hui Hock says the enormous hydrocarbon-bearing formation that underlies the Alberta-B.C. border can compete with premier Texas shale oilfields but it’s being held back by a “cumbersome” regulatory system, along with the inability of smaller Canadian producers to access development capital.

He says Alkam Energy has built some of the most energy-efficient facilities in the region with its partner to process the gas it produces, but it’s “ridiculous” that the years it takes to get permits is longer than the time required to build the plants.

Hock made the comments during a panel discussion at a International Energy Agency energy forum in downtown Calgary that examined what Canada’s energy sector can do to compete more effectively.

IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol says it’s vital that the country get pipelines built to take products to market, starting with the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion that could be approved by the federal government next month.

She says Canadian politicians also need to co-operate to establish a credible national energy policy.

Wee Hock said the “complexity and uncertainty in the regulatory process is orders of magnitude higher” in Canada, where Alkam projects to produce about one-sixth of its oil and gas, compared with the U.S.

“The Montney now is the biggest area of growth in Canada, it’s where we’re focusing our attention, and if it sat in the United States it would probably be producing two, three, four times what it is producing today,” he said.

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