Rachel Notley to unveil Alberta's royalty review

CALGARY - Alberta Premier Rachel Notley will be in Calgary today to reveal the province's new oil and gas royalty framework.

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The announcement comes as oil hovers around US$30 a barrel and industry players have warned the government against doing anything to worsen the pain.

The new system will be based on recommendations from an expert panel led by Dave Mowat, head of Crown-owned bank ATB Financial.

In 2007 - when oil was climbing toward US$90 a barrel - royalty changes introduced by the Progressive Conservative government caused big outcry among industry players.

Industry groups say they've been happy with how the panel's consultations worked this time around and feel they've had a fair hearing.

But Mark Salkeld, with the Petroleum Services Association of Canada, says the industry is nonetheless on pins and needles as it awaits the announcement.

"It's pretty tough out there. Our members are hurting," he said.

The industry badly needs investment, so getting the formula right is crucial, he added.

"It's not going to open the floodgates tomorrow, but it will help with the process when the industry does turn around."



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