Originally posted 12 July 2016

Energy drives politics in Alberta.  Since the early days of the twentieth century when natural gas (1911) and oil (1914) was discovered in the Turner Valley, the politics of Alberta have been influenced by the growing wealth of the oil and gas sector. Three pillars of the Calgary establishment- Sir James Lougheed, R.B. Bennett and W.H. McLaws – created the Calgary Stock Exchange in 1913.  Like so many Alberta financial stories, the stock exchange grew by leaps and bounds until its building was foreclosed upon. While Alberta’s premiers have not come directly from the oil patch, premiers ignore the oil patch at their peril.

The table below illustrates the growth of production over the past 31 years.  Production has grown significantly in the past decade as crude bitumen production has displaced light crude as the dominant form of oil extraction. Synthetic crude oil production is also rising, but without a further investment in upgraders, prices obtained for the resource will be substantially less than standard industry benchmarks like WTI.

Oil production_3898_image001

A key factor in pricing is the cost of transportation and the availability of transportation. With the failure by industry (and governments?) to gain approval for new pipelines, transportation bottlenecks are occurring. Rail transport of oil products is more expensive and dangerous than conventional pipelines, however industry has been unable to gain regulatory approval (and social license) for these endeavours.

Recent articles

Suncor caps investments as pipeline projects stall3-5-18 GM

Suncor powers through pipeline crisis3-5-18 EJ

CPPIB supports Crescent Point nominees in proxy fight2-5-18 GM

Husky Energy turns to ‘distressed’ barrels to generate better returns27-4-18 EJ

Husky on defensive after fire, injuries at U.S. refinery27-4-18 EJ

Injuries reported after explosion at Husky’s refinery in Wisconsin27-4-18 GM

Oil logjam set to ease as Canadian drillers cut deals27-4-18 EJ

Cenovus to trim hedging program after hefty loss26-4-18 GM

Hit by bad hedges, Cenovus posts $914M loss26-4-18 EJ

Enbridge Line 3 faces hurdle as U.S. judge rejects route25-4-18 GM

Enbridge sticks with plan for Line 3, seeks ok from Minnesota regulator25-4-18 EJ

Proxy firms battle over Crescent Point25-4-18 EJ

Second report dismisses activist investor’s campaign to turn around Crescent Point25-4-18 GM

As MEG CEO steps down, company faces concerns over debt, bottlenecks24-4-18 GM

Financial sector warnings on carbon risks add to oil-patch pain21-4-18 GM

Activist investor’s Crescent Point shakeup gets key backing from proxy advisory firm21-4-18 GM

Vermilion boosts Saskatchewan oil production with deal for Spartan17-4-18 GM

Vermilion takes chance in ‘unloved’ Canadian rival Spartan17-4-18 EJ

Oil sands eyes Gulf Coast growth as exports to U.S. surpass Venezuela’s5-4-18 GM

Natural gas capacity cruch forces 107-year contracts4-4-18 EJ

Canadian light oil suffers heavy crude discount4-4-18 GM

Refinery could shrink oil price gap with U.S.3-4-18 EJ

Lack of trains leaves terminals, with glut of oil30-3-18 EJ

Shortage of locomotives stop crude in its tracks28-3-18 EJ

British oil and gas sector works to woo investment from Alberta firms27-3-18 EJ

Oil stocks shunned despite positive signs for industry27-3-18 GM

Shareholders demand more transparency from Imperial22-3-18 EJ

Cenovus cuts production amid low bitumen prices, bottlenecks23-3-18 GM

Encana CEO relocates to Denver, HQ stays in Calgary17-3-18 GM

Alberta crude goes to Asia without using Trans Mountain17-3-18 EJ

CEO moving to Denver, but no plans to move HQ- Encana17-3-18 EJ

Energy firms favouring buybacks over drilling new wells16-3-18 EJ

Alberta government gives $1-billion boost to petrochemicals industry13-3-18 EJ

Chinese firm exists oil sites in need of environmental cleanup8-3-18 GM

Raging River ‘repositioning’ a sign of investor apathy8-3-18 GM

Canada faces ‘second wave’ of U.S. shale6-3-18 EJ

IEA forecasts U.S. shale’s domination6-3-18 GM

Canadian Natural Resources to slow heavy oil output over steep price discount2-3-18 GM

Crescent Point shares slide2-3-18 GM

Husky Energy reinstates dividend as crude prices rise2-3-18 GM

Canadian Natural cuts drilling plans amid drop in prices2-3-18 EJ

Enerplus eyes N. Dakota expansion24-2-18 GM

Consolidation spurs Encana profit beat, production gains16-2-18 GM

Enbridge to double 2018 asset sales, sources say16-2-18 GM

heavy oil prices weigh on Cenovus16-2-18 GM

Technology to boost pipeline capacity still years from commercial deployment19-2-18 GM

TransCanada pushing ahead with $2.4 billion expansion of NGTL natural-gas system16-2-18 GM

OPEC forecasts higher oil demand in 201813-2-18 GM

Suncor to boost stake in Syncrude with $920 million purchase13-2-18 GM

Suncor boosts Fort Hills output amid heavy crude glut30-1-18 GM

TransCanada in talks to boost natural gas capacity12-2-18 GM

Pipeline delays, price drops to hit oil producers’ results5-2-18 GM

Canadian drillers moving rigs south1-2-18 GM

Driverless trucks to result in 400 oil sands job cuts-Suncor1-2-18 GM

Despite retreat from oil sands, Shell affirms commitment to Canada7-6-17 GM

Suncor boosts Fort Hills output amid heavy crude glut30-1-18 GM

Suncor hits milestone with beginning of Fort Hills production but adds to glut30-1-18 EJ

Energy firms’ rare good news spurs forecast of dividend hikes29-1-18 EJ

CP Rail seeks ‘skin in the game’ from oil shippers27-1-18 EJ

Canada-U.S. crude price gap grows to widest in four years25-1-18 GM

CP Rail won’t be ‘swing shipper’ as Canadian oil prices buckle25-1-18 EJ

Natural gas producers spar with TransCanada23-1-18 EJ

Natural gas producers cut costs as price outlook deteriorates15-1-18 GM

Peyto eyes revamp amid natural gas bust13-1-18 EJ

Oil rally ends as U.S. production expected to keep prices in check8-1-18 GM

The oil rally that left TSX energy stocks behind6-1-18 GM

Suncor reports ‘excellent progress’ as it pushes to finish $17B Fort Hills facility29-12-17 EJ

All that new shale oil may not be enough as big discoveries drop28-12-17 EJ

Oil surges past threshold for new shale drilling4-1-18 GM

CN moves forward with bitumen pellet project22-12-17 GM

Moody’s downgrades Enbridge debt depsite new financial plan22-12-17 GM

Work camps seek to sell luxury amid downturn20-12-17 GM

Energy’s weighting slips in 201719-12-17 GM

Growing output in oil sands weighs on price16-12-17 GM

Oil shippers find rail space scarce as prices slide amid oversupply16-12-17 EJ

Oilsands discounts expected to rise as output exceeds export pipeline room16-12-17 EJ

Canadian crude tumbles amid pipeline bottlenecks14-12-17 GM

Cenovus sheds executives, staff in wake of oil sands deal15-12-17 GM

Too much oil, not enough pipelines, so Canadian prices take deep plunge13-12-17 EJ

Husky to boost spending on improved price outlook5-12-17 EJ

The cracks in the Enbridge dividend story4-12-17 GM

Pipeline deals break drought in energy2-12-17 GM

All eyes on the Gulf29-11-17 EJ

Another ride on Alberta’s oil price roller coaster29-11-17 EJ

Oilfield tech firm receives $10M grant4-11-17 EJ

Buying oilsands assets a big boost for Alberta companies3-11-17 EJ

Oil sands earrnings gaining momentum3-11-17 GM

Imperial Oil gears up for new growth2-11-17 EJ

TransCanada rule change raises ire of producers1-11-17 EJ

Imperial Oil misses profit estimates for third quarter28-10-17 GM

Imperial Oil reports $371M Q3 profit, down from a year ago28-10-17 EJ

Demand for fossil fuels will max out in two years, NEB says27-10-17 EJ

Husky Energy profit beats estimates, capital spending trimmed27-10-17 GM

Husky, MEG rebound to make gains in Q327-10-17 EJ

Suncor profit surges as oil demand edges higher27-10-17 GM

Suncor reports best results since days of $100 oil in 201427-10-17 EJ

Low gas prices weigh on energy sector ahead of earnings23-10-17 GM

Cenovus finds surprising buyers for $1.3 billion of oil and gas assets20-10-17 EJ

Cenovus sells Palliser assets in Alberta for $1.3 billion

Unusual buyers cleaning up in oil patch deals20-10-17 GM

Fort Hills partners take suppliers to court16-10-17 GM

Era of oil supply certainty forcing strategy changes16-10-17 EJ

Oil sector stung by omission from supercluster program16-10-17 EJ

Natural gas prices fall into negative territory13-10-17 EJ

Sponsor contentSeeking solutions for oil patch problems10-10-17 GM

Oilpatch favours growth over dividends, despite pressure from investors10-10-17 EJ

Oil export capacity to remain tight after project nixed-analyst7-10-17 EJ

Alberta gas producers step fight for share of Ontario market2-10-17 EJ

Innovation a constant in oilsands production30-9-17 EJ

Oilweek hit by double whammy30-9-17 GM

Lundin-backed energy firm takes over Cenovus asset26-9-17 GM

Alberta shale offers hope for future beyond oil sands-NEB26-9-17 GM

OIlsands By the Numbers25-9-17 EJ

Oilsands timeline25-9-17 EJ

Cenovus nears deal on natural gas assets to pay debt19-9-17 GM

Canada ranks second to U.S. in growth of oil output-report14-9-17 EJ

Oil sands megadeal gives boost to CNRL4-8-17 GM

Work begins on Enbridge Line 3 pipeline project4-8-17 EJ

Energy firms vulnerable to climate policies22-6-17 EJ

And then there was one….CEO who made a bad deal21-7-17 EJ

Cenovus CEO steps aside as woes persist21-6-17 GM

Oilsands production expected to dip-report16-6-127 EJ

Encana asset sale a boon in oil downturn10-6-17 GM

Encana, Centrica sell gas assets worth total of $1.7B10-6-17 EJ

Despite retreat from oil sands, Shell affirms commitment to Canada7-6-17 GM

How M and A action could crimp Canadian energy stock prices30-5-17 GM

Kinder Morgan Canada seeks $1.75B for its IPO25-5-17 EJ

Kinder Morgan prices IPO below range25-5-17 GM

Investors ready their bets on Trans Mountain pipeline project24-5-17 GM

Shell plans to sell $4.1 -billion stake in CNRL24-5-17 GM

Oil’s down, bottoms up- Calgary’s mood darkens again10-5-17 GM

Slumping crude price dents Canadian oil patch firms5-5-17 GM

Suncor eyes oil sands deals, but in no rush27-4-17 GM

Cenovus seeks to assuage debt concerns27-4-17 GM

Appeal court backs decision favouring Redwater creditors26-4-17 EJ

Cenovus earnings overshadowed by unpopular ConocoPhillips deal25-4-17 GM

Cenovus faces miffed investors, but it’s not alone26-4-17 GM

Cenovus megadeal comes under fire25-4-17 EJ

Investors balk at Cenovus’s megadeal26-4-17 GMPrecision Drilling sees drop in prices25-4-17 GM

In Alberta, a rush to renewables amid bet on new energy17-4-17 GM

B.C.-Alberta’s Montney gas play gains traction17-4-17 EJ

Investing in renewable energy in a coal and oil moment18-4-17 GM

Chevron mulls sale of Canadian oil assets-source14-4-17 GMSource Energy launches first major industry IPO since 201414-4-17 GMElectric cars a growing threat to oil4-4-17 EJ

Cenovus deal- RIght place, but wrong time31-3-17 GM

Cenovus piles on debt for ConocoPhillips deal31-3-17 GM

Market not sold on Cenovus move31-3-17 EJ

Cenovus pays ConocoPhillips $17.7B for assets30-3-17 EJ

Cenovus seals massive oil sands deal30-3-17 GM

Suncor expedites Syncrude upkeep after fire28-3-17 GM

Total Energy emerges as apparent victor in the battle for Savanna28-3-17 GM

Alberta First Nation to tap bond market for energy investment24-3-17 GM

Low prices lead to Painted Pony cuts7-3-17 GM












New drilliong incentives ‘step in right direction’12-7-16 EJ

CAPP predicts decline in long-term oil output24-6-16 EJOilsands could suffer pipeline bottleneck12-7-16 GMU.S. Production is taking a bite out of natural gas exports, study says6-7-16 EJ

This entry was posted in Energy on by .

About albertarecessionwatch

Former Director, Institute for Public Economics, University of Alberta and currently Fellow of the Institute. Former executive with Alberta Treasury Branches. Worked for the Alberta government for 12 years with Federal and Intergovernmental Affairs and Alberta Treasury. Areas of focus: financial institutions legislation and policy, government borrowing, and relations with credit rating agencies. Ph.D in Political Science (Uof A), Masters of Public Administration and BComm. (Carleton University). Author of Politics and Public Debt: The Dominion, the Banks and Alberta's Social Credit. Presently working on study of Alberta provincial agency board appointments.

One thought on “Energy

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s