Exclusive: Canadian province Alberta open to potential global oil cut deal - premier

WINNIPEG, Manitoba (Reuters) - The Canadian province of Alberta, home to the world’s third-largest oil reserves, is open to joining any potential global pact to reduce a glut of crude production, Premier Jason Kenney told Reuters on Thursday.

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney delivers a statement on the construction of the long-delayed 8 billion dollar Keystone XL crude oil pipeline project, in Calgary, Alberta, Canada March 31, 2020. REUTERS/Todd Korol

“We would certainly look at it, but really it’s the Saudis and the Russians here who are the problem, not Canada,” Kenney said in an interview. Alberta has limited its oil production since January 2019.

“If we see an effort at a global reduction in production, we would be open to further measures on our part,” Kenney said.

U.S President Donald Trump said on Thursday he had brokered a deal with Russia and Saudi Arabia to cut crude output and arrest an oil price rout amid the global coronavirus pandemic, though details of how a cut would work were unclear. [nL8N2BQ36Q]

Canada, the world’s fourth-largest producer, produces some 4.8 million barrels of oil per day, mostly in Alberta.

Kenney said last week that further mandated cuts in Alberta alone made no sense because low prices amid the Saudi-Russia price war were resulting in voluntary curtailments.

On Thursday, he said a broader effort was appealing.

“The current price environment is unsustainable and could do deep damage to North American energy production in particular,” Kenney said. “I hope cooler heads prevail.”

Kenney has spoken recently with U.S. legislators about potentially managing North American energy production, but Trump was not planning to ask U.S. oil producers for coordinated cuts, according to a senior administration official. [nL1N2BQ1MS]

Kenney said he has not spoken with oil-producing countries about coordinating oil cuts, and declined to say how much more crude Alberta would be willing to reduce.

“We’re not like the Saudis, we can’t just dump oil on global markets,” Kenney said. “They’re the ones who started the fire in global oil markets and they’ve got to put it out.”

Reporting by Rod Nickel in Winnipeg, Manitoba; Editing by Sandra Maler and Leslie Adler