Flying under the Radar- Opinion and Analysis

Alberta Treasury Branches (ATB Financial) released its financial statements on 24 May corresponding with its Annual Public Meeting in Calgary. Uncharacteristically for the media-savvy provincial agency, it did not receive any major media mentions in spite of higher than anticipated net income ($150 million) compared to the projection released in last April’s provincial budget of $27 million. Still, there were several aspects in the report that bear further scrutiny. Continue reading

Fault(y) (head)Lines :Opinion

In the course of one day last month, three separate news articles appeared in the Edmonton Journal (2) and The Globe and Mail, that had the capacity to mislead or mis-state certain facts about developments in Alberta’s energy sector. The headline “Oil sands firms face stringent emissions caps” was published on 16 June.  Written by Kelly Cryderman and Jeff Lewis, the use of the words “stringent emissions caps” seemed a stretch headline.  Oilsands firms face stringent emissions caps16-6-17 GM

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Redwater Resources

Since our last post on the Redwater decision, the Alberta Court of Appeal, in a two-one decision, upheld the earlier judgment of Chief Justice Neil Wittman. The judgment was rendered by Justice Frans Slatter with Madam Justice Frederica Schultz concurring. Madam Justice Sheilah Martin’s dissent is the first ray of hope for the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) and the Orphan Well Association (OWA) which has contested the Trustee in Bankruptcy’s right to disclaim unproductive oil wells.  The trustee, Grant Thornton LLP, acting on behalf of Alberta Treasury Branches (ATB Financial), sought only to claim the productive wells.  The ultimate outcome in this case is central to the relationship between oil and gas producers and lenders and to the financial viability of oil and gas producers, and in fact to the whole province’s economy. The case pits environmental values and interests against financial values and interests. Who cleans up when oil companies go bankrupt15-7-17 GM

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