NEWS
06/17/2015 13:52 EDT | Updated 06/17/2016 01:12 EDT

CNRL president expects 'reasonable' NDP changes, but uncertainty remains

CALGARY - The president of one of Canada's biggest oil and gas producers says he doesn't believe Alberta's NDP government is out to hurt the industry and is assuming new burdens will be reasonable.But Steve Laut, with Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. (TSX:CNQ), says when it comes to royalty and regulatory changes, there's a high risk of getting it wrong, especially when many issues are being dealt with at once.Laut says he's met with Energy Minister Marg McCuaig-Boyd and has the impression the NDP government is committed to having a strong oil and gas sector and that it wants to avoid job losses.He says the last Alberta royalty review in 2007 and fiscal changes in the U.K. in 2011 serve as cautionary tales.In the U.K., Laut says the industry may have been irreparably harmed by changes that were made in 2011, even though the government has reversed course on many of them.Canadian Natural hosted a conference call with investors instead of its usual day-long open house because it says uncertainty over royalties and environmental regulations makes it tough to develop detailed plans for the future.Follow @LaurenKrugel on Twitter