06/17/2014 06:25 EDT | Updated 08/17/2014 05:59 EDT

Saskatchewan says Northern Gateway approval will have big impact on economy

REGINA - Energy Minister Bill Boyd says the federal government's conditional approval of the Northern Gateway project is good news for Saskatchewan, even though the province isn't pumping oil into the pipeline.

Boyd says the pipeline will help address concerns Saskatchewan has about overall capacity and about getting oil to international markets.

He says better international prices will lessen what is called the differential — the price gap between light and heavy oil.

The minister says Saskatchewan is losing about $300 million a year because of the differential, so the pipeline will have a big impact on the economy.

Ottawa has given a conditional green light to the Northern Gateway pipeline which would connect Alberta oilsands to the B.C. coast.

The decision is contingent on Enbridge (TSX:ENB) satisfying 209 conditions and holding more consultations with aboriginal communities.