INDEPTH: PETRO CANADA|
CBC News Online | September 17, 2004
In 1969, fresh from Expo '67 and Canada's centennial celebrations, Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau continued to wave the flag of Canadian nationalism. Canada, he said, should not "project itself as a mirror image of the United States."
"Living next to you is in some ways like sleeping with an elephant. No matter how friendly and even-tempered is the beast
one is affected by every twitch and grunt," Trudeau famously said of the Canada-U.S. relationship.
Trudeau wanted Canada to be less dependent on the United States. He lobbied for increased Canadian ownership and protection of the country's resources. Creating Petro-Canada in 1975 was part of that plan. The Crown-owned company would develop and control Canada's presence in the energy sector.
But throughout the energy crisis of the 1970s, a sense of bitterness grew in Western Canada as Central and Eastern Canada increasingly relied on western oil wealth. "Where were Bay Street and Montreal when we needed them in the 1930s and '40s?" the West asked.
In 1980, Trudeau's national energy program (NEP) further angered the West. The program aimed to give Ottawa more control over the country's energy, increase Canadian ownership of the oil industry and share Alberta's oil wealth with the rest of the country. It also included an expanded role for Petro-Canada.
When he became prime minister in 1984, Brian Mulroney dismantled the NEP and ordered Petro-Canada to focus on profits.
1975 - Pierre Trudeau's Liberal government passes Petro-Canada Act, establishing Crown-owned corporation to develop and protect Canadian presence in oil industry.
1978 - Alberta's Syncrude starts up. It's the world's largest producer of crude oil from oilsands. (Petro-Canada owns 12 per cent of Syncrude.)
1979 - Petro-Canada buys Calgary-based Pacific Petroleums. The company discovers (with partners Chevron, Mobil and Gulf) the Hibernia oilfield off Newfoundland.
1980 - First offshore wells drilled as part of oil exploration program off Labrador.
1981 - Petro-Canada buys Petrofina Canada, Canadian subsidiary of Belgian petroleum conglomerate, Petrofina SA. The move establishes a refining and marketing presence in Eastern Canada.
1983 - Company buys BP Canada, enlarging operations in Ontario and Quebec.
1984 - Petro-Canada announces discovery of Terra Nova oilfield on the Grand Banks, off Newfoundland. It's the second-largest oilfield off Canada's East Coast. Tory Prime Minister Brian Mulroney tells Petro-Canada to operate as a profit-driven company.
1991 - Mulroney begins process to privatize Petro-Canada. First shares of Petro-Canada sold to public at $13 per share, raising $525 million.
1992 - Petro-Canada sells off shares in several projects, including Wolf Lake oilsands (50 per cent), Westcoast Energy (37 per cent) and Internationals de Services Industriels et Scientifiques (27 per cent).
1995 - Jean Chrétien's Liberals reduce the government's interest in Petro-Canada to 20 per cent.
1996 - Company increases western presence with purchase of Amerada Hess Canada
Ltd.; forms strategic alliance with Norway's Norsk Hydro.
1997 - Hibernia production platform in place, begins initial oil production.
1998 - Development of Terra Nova project begins.
1999 - Hibernia producing 150,000 barrels per day.
2000 - Begins oilsands development at MacKay River in northeastern Alberta.
2002 - Terra Nova produces oil.
2003 - Announces closure of Oakville, Ont., refinery, plus 125 gas stations in Eastern Canada. Announces plans to scale back oilsands expansion project.
2004 - Lowers production and reserve estimates; fourth-quarter profit is 45 per cent less than previous year. Stock falls more than 12 per cent.
March 23, 2004 - Liberal Finance Minister Ralph Goodale says Ottawa plans to sell remaining 19 per cent stake in Petro-Canada.
Sept. 16, 2004 - Petro-Canada files a preliminary prospectus with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission saying Ottawa would sell its 49.4 million shares in the company, worth just over $3.04 billion. The sale, expected to close around Sept. 29, would be the biggest single stock sale in Canadian history.
Ottawa to sell remaining stake in Petro-Canada (Sept. 16, 2004)|
Ottawa to sell Petro-Canada stake (March 23, 2004)
Syncrude costs balloon by $2.1 billion (March 4, 2004)
Petro-Canada closing Oakville, Ont. refinery, 350 jobs lost (Sept. 3, 2003)
Petro-Canada buys Veba Oil and Gas for $3.2 billion (Jan. 29, 2002)
Husky, Petro-Canada to pump billions into White Rose oil field off Newfoundland (Jan. 28, 2002)
Petro-Canada launches $5.8 billion oil sands project (Dec. 4, 2001)
Petro-Canada unloads Norwegian assets (Sept. 25, 2000)
Hibernia and Terra Nova oil projects may merge (March 18, 1999)
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