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In Wake of President Obama’s Georgetown Speech This Week, TD Announces Plan to Transition Away From Investments in Keystone XL and Other Oil Sands Projects
June 28, 2013
CHERRY HILL, N.J., June 28, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Citing President Obama’s recent statement about potentially denying the permit for TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline and due to increasing controversies and economic difficulties for Alberta’s oil sands, TD will begin selling its shares in Keystone XL and other oil sands related ventures.
TD will gradually sell its $1.6 billion stake in Keystone XL as the first step toward transitioning away from investment in oil sands extraction entirely.
Alberta oil sands are plagued by a shortage of workers and rising labor costs as well as a discount for the price of Canadian heavy crude as U.S. oil output exceeds expectations. Earlier this year, Total SA, Europe’s third largest oil company, took a $1.65 billion loss by abandoning a joint venture with Suncor Energy Inc. to increase oil sands processing capacity in Fort McMurray, Alberta. Suncor later canceled the project.
The price of Canadian crude is not expected to improve much in the near term.”Keystone would help alleviate the lack of pipeline infrastructure but only temporarily,” says David Bouckhout, senior commodity strategist at TD Securities. “Growth of supply on both sides of the border will outpace what Keystone’s capacity will provide in likely two or three years.”
Given the uncertainty of the Keystone XL project in the face of increasingly robust environmental protest in the US and Canada, the political viability of additional mega-pipelines in 2015 and beyond is far from assured.
“Divesting from Keystone XL not only makes financial sense given the uncertainties surrounding the project, but it fits with out pledge to be ‘As Green As Our Logo’,” says TD Bank Environmental Director Diana Glassman.
“The short term dictates of the market and the concerns of our shareholders are of course the primary motivation behind the move away from oil sands, but thankfully, doing so will serve to protect other investments in the long term.” says TD Chief Economist Craig Alexander, “Climate change is bad for business and economic stability in general, and the scientific community has been very clear about the climate change impacts of Alberta’s oil sands.”