Company calls premier hypocritical as oil sands project meets with further delays

Prosper Petroleum Ltd. is “at the end of our rope” in trying to get the province to approve its oil sands project, its CEO said Tuesday after a Calgary judge adjourned the company’s injunction bid.

Prosper is seeking a court order that would force the provincial government to make a final decision on whether its proposed Rigel project north of Fort McMurray can be approved.

The small, Alberta-based company received approval from the Alberta Energy Regulator in June 2018 for a proposed 10,000-barrel-a-day project.

But since then it has been unable to convince the provincial government to pass an order in council to give the development final approval.

Justice Barb Romaine said since the project isn’t slated to come online until 2021, a one-month delay in the injunction application shouldn’t hurt Prosper.

But the company’s lawyer, Sander Duncanson said any delay has the potential to mothball the development.

“Prosper is in dire straits,” he told Romaine, in response to a government’s request for an adjournment for more time to prepare.

“This has gone on long enough.”

Romaine said a short delay to Feb. 12, would allow the province to prepare a response to Prosper’s CEO Brad Gardiner’s affidavit in support of the injunction and cross-examine him.

She also believes the Fort McKay First Nation, which has challenged the AER decision, should be notified of the application before her.

Outside court, Gardiner said Premier Jason Kenney is being hypocritical for criticizing the federal government for not fast-tracking pipeline projects because of indigenous concerns, but not acting on Prosper’s application.

“It definitely puts it in jeopardy,” he said of the impact Romaine’s adjournment might have on Rigel.

” We’ve already spent a lot of money getting it to this stage. At some point in time you gotta say do we keep spending money on a project we don’t know we’re ever going to get approved.”


Calgary Herald

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