Canadian Natural Resources Limited (CNRL) says Alberta’s new oil curtailment formula will keep the ECHO pipeline running. Announced on Wednesday, the Alberta government has raised the mandated oil production limit by 75,000 barrels per day.

In January, a letter to CNRL suppliers said that Alberta’s curtailment formula for February cut more production than January’s. It stated that unless the formula was changed, CNRL would have to close the pipeline and production associated with it. With production now capped at 3.63 million barrels per day, CNRL says the ECHO pipeline will continue to operate.

The company says this new limit will protect up to 2,400 jobs for contractors and service providers in Lloydminster, Bonnyville, Lakeland and Elk Point region. In a statement, Premier Rachel Notley says that the temporary curtailment measure isn’t quite over, but is working. She thanks energy companies who have supported her government’s step to protect Canadian oil prices.

“While it hasn’t been easy, companies big and small have stepped up to help us work through this short-term crisis while we work on longer-term solutions, like our investment in rail and our continued fight for pipelines. I want to thank Alberta producers for working with us to protect the jobs and livelihoods of thousands of Alberta families and businesses, and your cooperation has been key to easing these limits ahead of schedule,” says Notley.

The Alberta government says that since the production limit was announced in December 2018, storage levels in Alberta have dropped ahead of schedule. There are currently 30 million barrels in storage. Premier Notley says her government will continue to mandate production curtailment as necessary in order to protest commodity prices.
“I will never stop fighting for Albertans and Canadians to get top dollar for the resources that belong to them. We will adjust these production levels as necessary going forward and we will not waver in our fight for a Made-in-Alberta strategy to build new pipelines, access new markets and add value that creates jobs by upgrading more of our oil and gas here at home.”
CNRL says it continues to support the Government of Alberta’s decision to curtail production as a strong measure to protect the value of Canada’s resources and protect jobs, provided that curtailments are implemented in an equitable, transparent and reasonable manner.