Canada’s oil and gas industry hurt by overregulation: study

Canada’s oil and gas sector suffers from a widespread perception by industry executives that it’s a poor place to do business, according to a new study by the Fraser Institute.

The report by the fiscally-conservative think tank found that of 22 U.S. and Canadian oil and gas producing regions, none finished in the top 10 in terms of having a favourable climate for investment.

“The message from investors is clear — Canada’s onerous and uncertain regulatory environment continues to hurt the investment attractiveness of the country’s oil and gas industry,” said Elmira Aliakbari, co-author of the report, Canada-US Energy Sector Competitiveness Survey 2021.

The survey was completed by 71 industry executives between May and August of this year.

Texas and Oklahoma were considered the top two places to invest in oil and gas, followed by Wyoming, North Dakota, and Kansas in the top five positions.

By comparison, Saskatchewan finished in 11th place, Alberta 12th, Newfoundland and Labrador 16th, B.C. 18th and the Northwest Territories 20th out of the 22 jurisdictions surveyed.

Oil and gas executives cited uncertainty about environmental regulations in Canada, regulatory duplication and inconsistencies, and the cost of regulatory compliance as major areas of concern compared to the U.S.

For example, while only 20% of respondents said they were concerned about regulatory uncertainty in Texas, 65% expressed the same view about Alberta.

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