Alberta Premier Rachel Notley responds to recommendations by the National Energy Board to proceed with the Trans Mountain pipeline, at a media availability in Calgary on Friday, Feb. 22, 2019.
Dave Chidley / The Canadian Press, file
The province will bump oil production to 3.66 million barrels per day in April, marking a slight increase from the threshold limit announced last month.Alberta will increase production by 25,000 barrels per day in April on top of the 100,000-bpd boost set out for February and March, the province said.“The decision to temporarily limit production was applied fairly and equitably, and our plan is working to stop allowing our resource to be sold for pennies on the dollar,” said Premier Rachel Notley in a statement Thursday.The uptick is due to several reasons, including storage levels trending down, a narrow oil differential and warmer weather in the spring, which can increase pipeline capacity due to less need for diluent, said a news release.In January, there were still 30 million barrels left in storage.Last year, Notley announced that Alberta would cut oil production by 8.7 per cent, with a targeted reduction of 325,000 bpd starting Jan. 1. There were 28 companies affected.As of February, the province has started the process to phase-out curtailment. The province plans to reduce production by an average of 95,000 bpd until the policy ends.Finance Minister Joe Ceci released the latest fiscal update Wednesday, showing less than four per cent growth in oil production for 2019 as a result of the curtailment policy.February marks the beginning of a new curtailment formula that bases cuts on each company’s single best production month in the last year, instead of averaging out the best six months.It drew criticism from certain companies, such as Canadian Natural Resources Limited (CNRL), which argued its product was being disproportionately affected by the policy.Notley instituted curtailment after the price discount on Canadian heavy crude compared to the U.S. benchmark hit a record high in October. At its worst, the differential reached upwards of US$50 per barrel.The latest fiscal update forecasted the differential to average US$23.50 per barrel in email@example.com/clareclancy