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Alberta govt in talks with private sector about offloading crude-by-rail contracts

CALGARY, Alberta, June 11 (Reuters) - The Alberta government has started talks with the private sector about Canadian oil producers taking over crude-by-rail contracts signed by the previous government, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said on Tuesday.

The talks follow newly elected Alberta Premier Jason Kenney’s campaign promise to scrap the former government’s C$3.7 billion ($2.78 billion) crude-by-rail deals, which he has slammed as poor value for taxpayers.

“There are confidential conversations going on between our government and private sector actors. Our strong preference is that the private sector take over those contracts,” Kenney said.

“We always thought and believed and knew the private sector was willing to move crude by rail, that the taxpayer did not have to be on the hook for that, so there are ongoing discussions.” ($1 = 1.3292 Canadian dollars) (Reporting by Nia Williams Editing by Denny Thomas and Marguerita Choy)