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Jan. 18 2015
Energy economists say that a prolonged slump in oil prices will further slow two proposed pipelines already hamstrung by court challenges and community opposition in British Columbia.
Federal Finance Minister Joe Oliver has maintained that “the strategic need is still there” for both the Northern Gateway and Trans Mountain pipelines to go through the province. But the slumping price of oil has caused enough “market instability,” as Mr. Oliver put it, to prompt Ottawa to postpone its budget to at least April.
Analysts say that kind of instability hasn’t yet changed the economic imperative for Canada’s oil industry to open up its first major conduit to Pacific markets, but most agree that a months-long downturn in oil prices could slow investment in oil sands expansion, which in turn could decrease the supply of oil available to any future pipelines.
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