Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - January 16, 1975, Lethbridge, Alberta
Companies suing Atlantic Richfield lor Syncrude pullout EDMONTON (CP) The withdrawal of one of the participants in the troubled Syncrude consortium to develop the oil sands produced repercussions on three fronts Wednesday. Two of the remaining participants, Imperial Oil Ltd. and Gulf Oil Canada Ltd., tiled civil suits totalling million against Atlantic Richfield Co. and its Canadian sub- sidiary. The suits, filed in Alberta Supreme Court, allege that Atlantic liichfield breached its contract by withdrawing its 30-percent ownership of the project. At the same time, a spokesman for the United States head office of another remain- ing Syncrude partner, Cities Service Ltd., an- nounced that Texaco Canada Ltd. and Shell Canada Ltd. are investigating the possibility of taking over all or part of the dropped share. Dick Galbraith, of Cities Service, said an audit team from Shell Canada now is studying Syncrude's Texaco is also interested in the finances. The dropped share caused direct problems at the oil sands site in northeastern Alberta where it was announced Wednesday that about 80 per cent of the carpenters at the construction site have been laid off. A spokesman for the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners said only 56 of 160 carpenters were still working. He said similar reductions have been made in other trades at the site where construction had been due for completion in 1976. The labor force fell to about this week from in mid-December, half from lay- offs. Atlantic Richfield said the trouble that caused its withdrawal and produced the other repercussions resulted mainly from an increase in the cost of the project in less than a year to about billion from less than billion. The LetKbrtdge Herald LETHBRIDGE, ALBERTA, THURSDAY, JANUARY 16, 1975 IS Cents 4Gov't spending to zoom OTTAWA (CP) The Globe and Mail says that the federal government's spending estimates for the 1975-76 fiscal year will be more than 20 per cent higher than last year although the government has promised restraint in government spending. Spending estimates are to be tabled in Parliament next Truce ends DUBLIN (Reuter) The Irish Republican Army (IRA) ended its 25 day ceasefire in Nortl Ireland and mainland Britain tonight. The announcement came in a statement from the IRA army council with only six hours of the truce left. month. Supplementary esti- mates for the current fiscal year will be presented in March. The Globe and Mail says Mr. Turner estimated total government expenditure will reach billion, a 24-per- cent increase over last year. He has promised, however, that next year's increase will be limited to 15 per cent by the time final estimates are calculated, the newspaper says. Treasury Board Chairman Jean Chretien said last month he and his colleagues have been vigorously opposing spending proposals from various departments, The Globe and Mail says. Mr. Chretien will not divulge which projects he has refused to fund on the basis the information is confiden- tial, the newspaper says. BILL GROENEN photo Awaiting loads Part of an 82-car train waits to be filled with ex- port wheat at the Canadian Government Elevator here. The train is scheduled to leave Friday at noon. The unit trains each haul bushels of clean grain to Vancouver. A program of trucking grain from 100 miles around Lethbridge has been extended to the end of February. About 100 truck loads of wheat are hauled to the elevator daily, keeping the 1.25-million- bushel elevator asbout half full most of the time. Municipal grant hike gives city A 15 per cent increase in direct municipal assistance grants by the province an- nounced by Dave Russell, minister of municipal affairs Wednesday, will give the city an additional But City Manager Allister Findlay said today the increase is not that significant. "It's no major relief at all with inflation it will soon be eaten he said. Last year the city received in direct grants from the province out of total revenue from taxation and other sources of about The province increased grants to municipalities by 15 per cent last year as well. A more significant figure for Lethbridge taxpayers, Mr. Findlay said, is a 10.8 per cent increase in the city's tax base from million in 1974 to an estimated million this year. Feedstock uncertain for ammonia plant By AL SCARTH Herald Staff Writer Suppliers of the natural gas feedstock for a huge fer- tilizer plant at Raymond have grave doubts about the future of the project and are looking for other markets, The Herald has learned. "They're getting the feeling now that this thing isn't going to go and they can't just sit there without any con- tingency Duncan Sim, president of Alberta Am- monia, confirmed today. "There's nothing to stop them from backing out as things Mr. Sim said in a telephone interview from Calgary. Sadat demands Israeli pullback Costs escalating Meanwhile, Alberta Am- monia, which proposes to build a plant eventually producing tons of nitrogen fertilizer per day at the town, 17 miles south of Lethbridge, has moved back its order for plant equipment. The firm announced its proposal 10 months ago. The company was hoping to put the ton per day first phase into production by 1977. It could still go in 1978, but Mr. Sim says the necessary permits from the province would have to be granted by early spring to meet even that schedule. The project faces costs escalating by million a month, Mr. Sim said earlier. M. W. Kellogg Company of Houston is still going to manufacture the two units necessary for the first phase, Ed Hoffing, vice president in charge of sales, said Thurs- day in a telephone interview from Houston. "But I'm not sure where they're Dr. Hoffing said. "The equipment is the same no matter where it is go- ing to be used." Other buyers sought Great Basins Petroleums Ltd., which would supply half the 100 million cubic feet of natural gas required per day by Alberta Ammonia, is "looking for other purchasers." "There is no doubt about Jack Wahl, chairman of the board, said Thursday in a telephone interview from Calgary. "This thing has been hatch- ed and mothered by the governing bodies in this province to the point we can't afford to be hit in the head any more." In a blast at the provincial government and the "god- damn" Energy Resources Conservation Board, which he said the petroleum industry paid for, Mr. Wahl said the province "seemed to want to do nothing and study it to death." "We have lost a very sub- stantial amount of money by Mr. Wahl said. The company started looking for new customers about three weeks ago. "We're most dis- appointed in the fact this thing could not have been started in a more timely way." Meanwhile, Sulpetro Canada Ltd., the other gas supplier, has altered its development plans for gas fields originally intended to supply Alberta Ammonia. "We are going ahead developing our reserves, Sulpetro vice president Rick Harrop said Thursday. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS President Anwar Sadat of Egypt set a three-month dead- line today for a simultaneous Israeli withdrawal from some of the Egyptian, Syrian and Jordanian territory it oc- cupies. Otherwise, he said, he will abandon U.S. State Secretary Henry Kissinger's attempts to advance Israel and its Arab adversaries toward a settle- ment by negotiation of bilateral, step-by-step agreements between Israel and Egypt, Israel and Syria and Israel and Jordan. "I will accept nothing less than an Israeli move on all three fronts within three Sadat told an inter- viewer from the Beirut news- paper An Nahar. "This is a decisive year be- cause next year is an election year in America. If nothing is accomplished very soon, we will go to Geneva, all of us Arabs including the Palestinians, and explode everything there." Sadat said if the Geneva conference becomes the forum for Arab-Israeli negotiations, "it will have to be final and conclusive, not merely to discuss a few kilometres under dis- engagement agreements." Kissinger contends that the propaganda warfare and publicity accompanying any such confrontation would freeze the positions of both the Arabs and the Israelis and prevent the compromises necessary to reach an agreement. He also argues that a lasting peace settlement can only be achieved after a series of lim- ited agreements that foster the gradual development of relations between the Arabs and Israelis and eventual acceptance by each side of the other's rights. Bob retiring before November HALIFAX (CP) Con- servative Leader Robert Stan- field said Wednesday he ex- pects to retire before Novem- ber. "I'll need good reasons to stay any later than he said in an interview- Mr. Stanfield said he has discussed the timing of a lead- ership convention with the caucus and the national party executive. But he said a convention is not likely before the fall be- cause of the mechanics in- volved. Only special circumstances, such as the calling of an On- tario provincial election, would carry his leadership beyond November, he said. U.S. SvelshedT on tanker accord Could be shelved "But if and when Alberta Ammonia goes ahead, its gas may be from different fields than specified to the Energy Resources Conservation Board." Mr. Harrop said he did not know if the project was doubt- ful, but it could be shelved if faced with continuing delays. Plants proposed by PanCanadian at Brooks, Canadian Fertilizers at Medicine Hat and the Alberta Ammonia proposal are all waiting for word from the Alberta cabinet. Alberta's Energy Resources Conservation Board, which advises the cabinet, will not report on the Alberta Am- tax accord a 'compromise9 Herald Ottawa Bureau OTTAWA The so-called "close agreement" between B.C. and Ottawa on federal re- source taxation of B.C. natural gas companies actual- ly represents all victory for Ottawa and all compromise by and for Victoria. Government sources, who attended the closed-door stim- mit meeting between ministerial delegations led by B.C. Premier Dave Barrett and Federal Energy Minister Donald Macdonald here late Tuesday, confirmed Wednes- day that British Columbia wants a compromise whereby the provincial government would pay a tax "rebate" directly to the federal govern- ment. The rebate, to be calculated on a B.C. petroleum company by company basis, would be designed to cover all ad- ditional tax liabilities being demanded by Ottawa from the companies under the new and controversial federal "fair market value" resource taxa- tion of B.C. as companies. Thus, the only issue now un- der discussion between Ot- tawa and B.C. is the method of payment by B.C. of Ottawa's claim on its fair share of resource taxes in the province. Federal sources stressed that Ottawa has not com- mitted itself one way or the other. monia proposal until February, a board official said Thursday. The cabinet then faces the problem of deciding how fer- tilizer plants rank as an investment for Alberta's natural gas. Ottawa, too, has an urgent study under way which could be released within a month and a half, federal officials today. Both Alberta and Ottawa are concerned about nitrogen fertilizer plants sending huge amounts of natural gas out of Canada under the guise of fer- tilizer. The exports thus sidestep national Energy Board regulations which control export of hydrocar- bons such as gas and oil. The regulations do not cover ex- ports of ammonia even if it is made from natural gas. Ottawa has already held initial discussions with Alberta on the topic and the province may well be influenced by Ottawa's study, being conducted by the federal department of trade and commerce. A division of the province's own 'department of industry and commerce is devoting itself to studying petrochemical problems. WASHINGTON (CP) The U.S. department of trans- portation was accused Wednesday of welshing on an understanding that super- tankers plying Canada's West Coast waters would be re- quired to be built with double bottoms. That there will be no such stipulation when the new U.S. Coast Guard regulations come out next month was confirmed by Cmdr. Richard Sutherland. The coast guard comes under the jurisdiction of the trans- portation department. Jared Carter, deputy under- secretary of the interior, said: "We still favor double bot- toms, but the department of transportation welshed on us." Seen and heard About town Members of the Lethbridge Naturalists' Society drinking coffee from non recyclable plastic cups following a weekend meeting Sen. Earl Hastings telling local Liberals he might give them a speech by Ezra Taft Benson. "It's another threatening fetter from Kissinger. It reads: 'My dearest, warmest Shah...' inside 32 Pages Classified........24-27 Comics............22 Comment......... 15-17 Family..........18-20 Markets...........23 Sports...........12-14 Theatres...........7 TV.................6 Weather............3 Youth..............8 LOW TONIGHT 10; HIGH FRI. 35; BRISK WINDS.