Energy company files $400-million lawsuit against Alberta over stalled oil sands project – The Lawyer’s Daily

Sander Duncanson

Feb 9, 2021

Osler partner Sander Duncanson tells The Lawyer’s Daily that the longer the Rigel Oil Sands project “drags on the worse it gets...” In his article, author Ian Burns discusses how Prosper Petroleum, which bought the mineral rights for the proposed Rigel project in 2012, brought a $400-million “claim of negligent misrepresentation and misfeasance of public office against Alberta,” saying the province “misrepresented itself as the company went through the regulatory process of the project.” Sander, a partner in Osler’s Regulatory, Environmental, Aboriginal and Land Group who represents Prosper, says the delays for this project have been long and unnecessary.   

The project has been a “very long saga” and Sander says he has “never seen one company and one project encounter so many things which were outside their control.”

“[Prosper] had no reason to think there was going to be any problem with developing a project in this area,” Sander tells The Lawyer’s Daily. “It is still not perfectly clear to anybody other than Fort McKay and the government exactly what was committed to as, but the fact that the government was making these promises or commitments behind the scenes that was something that was not known to Prosper or anyone else in the industry for years.”

Sander says that this case concerns “long-standing and complex issues which involve governments of different political stripes.”

“The longer this drags on the worse it gets, not just for companies like Prosper but Fort McKay as well,” Sander tells The Lawyer’s Daily. “They have commenced litigation against the province over this issue and they have been very vocal about how frustrated they are about the process, and it is hard not to sympathize with them also — commitments were made to them and the government has not followed through.”

For more information, read author Ian Burns’s article “Energy company files $400-million lawsuit against Alberta over stalled oil sands project,” on February 9, 2021 in The Lawyer’s Daily.