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Pipeline Delays Stymie New Growth in Canada’s Oil Sands

  • MEG Energy Christina Lake expansion is less probable this year
  • Imperial reevaluates Aspen; Cenovus evaluates startup timing
Pro-pipeline protesters rally on Parliament Hill in Ottawa.

Pro-pipeline protesters rally on Parliament Hill in Ottawa.

Photographer: David Kawai/Bloomberg
Updated on

Oil sands producers including MEG Energy Corp. and Imperial Oil Ltd. are reconsidering oil sands expansions as new export pipelines are delayed and the provincial government limits production.

MEG had planned to ramp up output at an expansion of its Christina Lake oil sands project in the second half of the year. Now, the “probability of that going ahead this year has decreased” after Enbridge Inc. announced a year delay on its Line 3 expansion, Derek Evans, MEG’s chief executive officer, said March 8. In November, Imperial Oil Ltd said it would push ahead with the 75,000 barrel-a-day Aspen project. Last month, CEO Rich Kruger said the company is reevaluating its assumptions about Aspen after Alberta’s oil curtailment “introduced new risk.”