The Canadian parliament has passed a bill imposing a halt on tankers carrying more than 12,500 tonnes of crude oil or persistent oils calling at ports along the north western coast.
The Oil Tanker Moratorium Act (Bill C-48) encompasses ports or marine installations located along British Columbia’s north coast, from the northern tip of Vancouver Island to the Alaska border. The Act prohibits loading if it would result in the oil tanker carrying more than 12 500 metric tonnes of those oils as cargo.
C-48 is designed to maintain the ecological and cultural significance of the region and was supported by most of the First Nations leaders. The impact of C-48 is to close debate on the construction of crude oil pipelines from the shale oil hinterland to the coast.
The moratorium formalises a situation that has been in place for the last 20 years, but effectively ends the incentive to invest in crude oil transportation in the regions along the coast.
This includes the proposed Northern Gateway project that had secured support and financial incentives from 21 First Nations along the route.
The bill was opposed by the state and industry leaders from the ‘oil patch’ of the Alberta oilsands, who fear the lack of pipeline development will hinder Canada’s crude oil exports to Asia.
Asian crude oil imports are the subject of debate at the Asian Tanker Conference, to be held at Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre, Singapore, on 26-27 February 2019