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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - November 21, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta Thursday, November 21, 1974 THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD 35 Oil sands projects in doubt CALGARY (CP) The future of two proposed oil sands projects has been made more uncertain by the federal budget. The developers of the two plants, still awaiting Alberta Energy Board Approval, said Wednesday the federal move to increase resource taxation has made the marginal economic viability of their projects even more doubtful Ian Drum, vice president of Home Oil Co. Ltd., said the current economic and political climate is "most unfavorable" to oil sands development. "We are awaiting an improvement before making a com- mitment to our project." J. E. Baugh, vice president of Petrofina Canada Ltd., said his company is developing a new set of economic projections before negotiating with the provincial and federal governments about the go ahead. The budget makes it "quite clear that oil sands are not go- ing to receive any special Mr. Baugh said, and the non deductibility of provincial royalties for federal tax pur- poses will have "very serious consequences Home Oil and Alminex Ltd. plan to start construction of a billion, 103.000 barrel per day oil sands plant in 1978 Mr Drum said the economic environment is having a great impact on Home Oil attempts to bring in new financial partners Petrofina, controlled in Belgium, is the operator for a group of companies proposing a barrel per day plant costing million. Construction is also scheduled in 1978 Both developers said their projects require access to inter- national prices and markets if they are to be economically viable Of the four projects proposed for the Athabasca oil sands in northeastern Alberta, the Syncrude Canada Ltd. project is going ahead, but the United States half of the Shell group announced recently its withdrawal from the fourth project The only operating plant in the oil sands is the one owned by Great Canadian Oil Sands Ltd., which started making marginal profits only last year after suffering millions of dollars in losses. Alberta gas supply exceeds requirements CALGARY (CP) Alberta has 2.7 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in excess of its 30- year requirements, the National Energy Board has been told. Bob Mackia. manager of contracts and forecasts for Foothills Pipe Lines Ltd.. which is proposing a Mackenzie Valley pipeline, sais this surplus would permit shipment of an additional 129 billion cubic feet annually from Alberta over the long term. This volume is equivalent to 10 per cent of Canada's current gas consumption. Expert witnesses for Foothills said Western Cana- dian gas production can be increased to more than three trillion cubic feet from 2.4, but after that production from ag- ing fields will decline and Arc- tic gas will be needed. The Beaufort Sea Mackenzie Delta gas could be brought to market by the Foothills pipeline system by 1980. said the witnesses. One Foothills witness, H. J Heweston of JLJ Exploration Consultants Ltd., said gas reserves of nine or 10 trillion cubic feet in the Mackenzie Beaufort area would likely be enough to justify pipeline construction. Mr Heweston said gas reserves in the Arctic islands amount to 8.5 trillion cubic feet. Alberta's formula, which protects the province's gas re- quirements for 30 years, is the major restriction of meeting Canadian gas requirements, he said Land annexation bid turned down CALGARY (CP) The Loral Authorities Board has rejected an application by the City of Calgary to annex 2.400 acres of land northwest of the city The city made its applica- tion to the board a year ago. and the board conducted seven days of hearings last April on the application. The decision, made by the board Monday and reported Wednesday, cites three main reasons for refusing the annexation request council, after making the application, apparently had a change of heart. A plebiscite on general annexa- tion was ordered and it was defeated in the Oct. 16 civic election. board is cognizant of the provincial government's policy of encouraging growth in centres other than Calgary and Edmonton. are substantial amounts of land within ex- isting city limits available for development B.C. premier at banquet HONG KONG