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Enbridge defends decision to sell onshore renewables as climate action increases

CALGARY — Enbridge defended its plan to sell its onshore renewable assets Tuesday on a day that saw major climate change commitments emerge from a conference in Paris.
Speaking at an investor conference in New York, company CEO Al Monaco said the sell…

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U.S. Fuels the World as Shale Boom Powers Record Oil Exports

The silhouette of an electric oil pump jack is seen at dusk in the oil fields surrounding Midland, Texas, U.S., on Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017. Nationwide gross oil refinery inputs will rise above 17 million barrels a day before the year ends, according to Energy Aspects, even amid a busy maintenance season and interruptions at plants in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico that were clobbered by Hurricane Harvey in the third quarter. Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg

  Dec 12, 2017 by Laura Blewitt (Bloomberg) The world’s largest oil consumer exported more hydrocarbons than ever before in 2017 and shows no signs of slowing down. You name it — crude oil, gasoline, diesel, propane and even liquefied natural gas — all were shipped abroad at a record pace. While the surge comes … Read more

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Canadian Natural Resources appoints new president to succeed Steve Laut

CALGARY — Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. is promoting a 27-year veteran of the company to president as part of a management succession plan.
Canada’s largest producer of natural gas and one of its biggest oilsands companies says president Steve Laut …

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Trump Is Said to Open Door for Oil Drilling Off U.S. East Coast

Trump Thumbs Up

Dec 11, 2017 by Jennifer A. Dlouhy (Bloomberg) The Trump administration is preparing to unveil as soon as this week an expansive offshore oil plan that would open the door to selling new drilling rights in Atlantic waters, according to people familiar with the plan. President Donald Trump ordered his Interior Department to write the … Read more

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5 Things in World Business Today

December 12, 2017 by Lorcan Roche Kelly (Bloomberg)  U.K. inflation hits highest in more than five years, a cracked pipe pushed Brent crude over $65, and it’s Senate election day in Alabama. Here are some of the things people in markets are talking about today. Inflation Bank of England governor Mark Carney’s job got more difficult … Read more

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Austrian Gas Pipeline Explosion Disrupts Key EU Supply Hub

December 12, 2017 by Jonathan Tirone and Matthias Wabl (Bloomberg)  An explosion at a key European natural gas hub in Austria killed at least one person and caused supply disruptions that roiled the continent’s energy markets. At least 21 people were injured and one missing and presumed dead after the blast at Gas Connect Austria’s … Read more

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Forties pipeline outage is a gift to U.S. oil exporters, others: Russell

December 12, 2017 Reuters The shutdown of Britain’s largest crude oil pipeline is an early Christmas gift to U.S. exporters shipping to Asia, and a complication for Middle Eastern and African producers seeking to maintain market share in the world’s top importing region.The Forties Pipeline System, which carries about 450,000 barrels per day (bpd) from the … Read more

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Phillips 66 and Enbridge Announce Open Season for West Texas Crude Oil Pipeline System

December 11, 2017 HOUSTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Phillips 66 (NYSE: PSX) and Enbridge Inc. (NYSE: ENB) today announced an open season for the Gray Oak Pipeline. The Gray Oak Pipeline will provide producers and other shippers the opportunity to secure crude oil transportation from West Texas to the destination markets of Corpus Christi, Freeport, and Houston, Texas, with … Read more

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Oil Holds Steady on OPEC Oil-Cuts Review, Increase in U.S. Rigs

December 11, 2017 by Ben Sharples and Alex Longley (Bloomberg) Oil held steady as U.S. drilling expanded and two OPEC nations signaled the group may phase out production cuts if the market improves by the middle of the year. Futures were little changed in New York after climbing 2.5 percent the previous two sessions. Drillers … Read more

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U.S. Stocks Rise Despite NYC Explosion; Oil Gains: Markets Wrap

US Stocks raise

December 11 by Eric J. Weiner (Bloomberg) U.S. stocks were higher after an explosion rocked midtown Manhattan. The dollar fell and Treasuries rose. Major equity gauges climbed, led by roughly 1 percent gains in media and energy shares, as markets digested news of the blast at the Port Authority bus terminal on 42nd St. Gold … Read more

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Russia’s Arctic Threat to OPEC’s Grand Oil Price Strategy: Gadfly

Arctic Threat to the Price of Oil

December 10, 2017 by Julian Lee (Bloomberg Gadfly)  When Saudi Arabia’s oil minister attended Friday’s grand opening of a giant liquefied natural gas plant in northern Siberia, he’d have known this was just part of a bigger energy story developing in Russia’s icy north. It’s not just gas that’s a big deal there. Russia’s Arctic oil flows are soaring … Read more

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Canadian Solar CEO seeks to take it private in cash deal, board considering

GUELPH, Ont. — Shares in Canadian Solar Inc. rose Monday after the company revealed it has received a non-binding takeover offer from its chairman, Shawn (Xiaohua) Qu, who is also CEO and president.
Qu is tentatively offering US$18.47 in cash for each…

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Trump Lifeline for Coal Hits a Snag as New Chief Seeks Delay

Coal

Dec 8, 2017 by Catherine Traywick (Bloomberg) — The Trump administration’s latest bid to bail out coal country appears to be faltering amid opposition and disagreement among the nation’s top energy regulators. Kevin McIntyre, sworn in Thursday as chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, has asked to delay acting on Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s sweeping … Read more

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Federal Court judge finds Packers Plus fracking technology patent is invalid

CALGARY — A long-running dispute over a well completion technology that helped usher in the shale oil and gas boom in North America has resulted in a Canadian court decision declaring invalid a patent held by Packers Plus Energy Services Inc.
In the d…

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Trump says fines against Wells Fargo won’t be dropped

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump took aim at the country’s third-largest bank on Friday tweeting that government fines and penalties against Wells Fargo & Co could be “substantially increased” amid an on-going sales scandal. “Fines and penalties against Wells Fargo Bank for their bad acts against their customers and others will not be … Read more

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Excite Energy Offers Energy Savings For Texas Food And Beverage Manufacturers

AUSTIN, Texas, Dec. 8, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — In 2015, the Food and Beverage Manufacturing sector of Texas comprised 5.6% of the Texas gross domestic product. This percentage equals to $14,383,000 in revenue which is growing annually.  Approximately half of all energy consumption in the food & beverage industry is used to change raw materials into products. Most of the remaining energy is used … Read more

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Presidential Permit Application for Emera’s Atlantic Link Subsea Transmission Project

BOSTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Clean Power Northeast Development, a subsidiary of Emera Inc., has applied to the U.S. Department of Energy for a Presidential Permit, requesting authorization to build the Atlantic Link subsea electric transmission project. The application has been deemed complete and the project’s submission notice was published today in the U.S. Federal Register. Atlantic Link is … Read more

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Kinder Morgan Announces 2018 Financial Expectations

HOUSTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Kinder Morgan, Inc. (NYSE: KMI) today announced its preliminary 2018 financial projections. “Through three tough years for the energy sector, our business has proven robust and resilient,” said Steve Kean, KMI President and CEO. “For 2018, we expect to generate $4.57 billion of distributable cash flow (DCF).” Below is a summary of KMI’s expectations … Read more

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World Business: Five Things You Need to Know to Start Your Day

European commission

December 8, 2017 by Lorcan Roche Kelly (Bloomberg)  It’s jobs day, deal reached to progress Brexit talks, and banks win in final Basel III agreement. Here are some of the things people in markets are talking about today. Payrolls At 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time the Bureau of Labor Statistics will publish jobs data for November, with expectations … Read more

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U.S. Shale Has a Panama Canal Problem That’s Got No Easy Fix

The control tower, back right, stands during construction of the new lock at the Panama Canal in Cocoli, Panama.

December 8, 2017  by Michael McDonald and Naureen S. Malik (Bloomberg)  It seemed at the time like a somewhat random, and amazingly fortuitous, coincidence. Just as the Panama Canal was unveiling a new, fatter set of locks, U.S. shale drillers were readying their very first exports of liquefied natural gas. While the wide-body tankers that … Read more

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Why It’s So Hard to Find Bargains in America’s Pipelines: Gadfly

Bargains in America's Pipelines - bloomberg

(Bloomberg Gadfly) — In theory, America’s pipelines sector should be a candy store for value investors. The benchmark Alerian MLP Index remains 52 percent below its August 2014 peak and yields a heady 8.3 percent. Oil prices, while nowhere near the levels of three years ago, have stabilized, and this year should be the first since 2013 in … Read more

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U.S. Stocks Climb as Pound Jumps, Crude Rebounds: Markets Wrap

US Stacks Climb - bloomberg

(Bloomberg) — U.S. stocks rose as investors evaluated the outlook for a final tax bill while the dollar advanced for a fourth day and oil rebounded from its worst selloff in two months. The S&P 500 ended a four-day losing streak, with industrial and consumer discretionary shares among the best performers in a modest but broad rally … Read more

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National Energy Board rules in favour of Trans Mountain on Burnaby bylaw impasse

CALGARY — The National Energy Board has allowed Kinder Morgan Canada to bypass some bylaws in Burnaby, B.C. that stand in the way of its Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project.
The decision released on Thursday was met with outrage with those oppos…

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Trump Urges Republicans to Overcome Ethanol Obstacles

Ted Cruz

(Bloomberg) — President Donald Trump urged Republicans to settle their differences over the U.S. biofuel mandate at a White House meeting Thursday with Ted Cruz and other senators critical of the requirement for ethanol use, according to lawmakers who attended. “There wasn’t a resolution. It was we need to get to resolution,” said Senator James Lankford, … Read more

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Alberta court grants Unifor injunction blocking Suncor from random drug testing

EDMONTON — A union that represents 3,000 oilsands workers at Suncor Energy sites in northeastern Alberta has won a court injunction against random drug testing.
Unifor Local 707-A had argued that random testing would be a violation of workers’ rights …

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Opposition calls for names of power generators that billed ineligible expenses

TORONTO — Ontario’s opposition parties are calling on the province’s Independent Electricity System Operator to release the names of power generators that billed millions in ineligible expenses and for it to recoup all of that money.
The IESO said Thu…

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Alberta Energy Regulator to ask tougher questions of oil well applicants

EDMONTON — Alberta’s energy regulator wants to keep bad operators out of the oilpatch to reduce the ballooning number of bankrupt companies who have walked away from unprofitable wells.
“We will be requiring more information at the time a person or a …

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Alberta sets out plan to reduce carbon emissions from big industries

CALGARY — Alberta has set out its competition-based plan to reduce carbon emissions from the province’s big industries, but it’s raising concerns from some about jobs and costs.
The regulations will give companies credits if their facilities produce l…

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Quebec credit union Desjardins Group lifts moratorium on pipeline lending

CALGARY — A moratorium on loans for energy pipeline projects has been lifted, Desjardins Group said Wednesday, as it vowed to consider environmental, social and governance practices of clients in all future lending decisions.
The decision in July to t…

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Kinder Morgan pushes back planned spending on Trans Mountain expansion project

CALGARY — Kinder Morgan Canada (TSX:KML) says it is still not in a position to start significant construction on the Trans Mountain expansion project and expects spending on the project for at least part of next year to focus mostly on permitting.
In …

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Saskatchewan’s climate-change plan includes buying carbon offsets, no carbon tax

REGINA — The Saskatchewan government has introduced a climate-change strategy that inches toward a price on carbon emissions, but leaves large parts of its economy untouched.
And it doesn’t include a carbon tax, which Environment Minister Dustin Dunca…

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Kinder Morgan and Burnaby clash in NEB hearing over Trans Mountain project

CALGARY — Kinder Morgan Canada and Burnaby, B.C., clashed in a National Energy Board’s hearing room Monday over the fate of local permitting for the controversial Trans Mountain expansion project.
The company (TSX:KML) argued at the NEB’s Calgary head…

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Husky Energy plans for higher 2018 capital budget compared with this year

CALGARY — Husky Energy Inc. (TSX:HSE) is planning to increase its capital spending in 2018 to between $2.9 billion and $3.1 billion.
That includes up to $1.1 billion on growth projects and up to $2 billion on sustaining and corporate spending. 
The 20…

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Supreme Court’s Yukon land ruling welcomed as new chapter for territory

OTTAWA — First Nations, environmental groups and Yukon Premier Sandy Silver welcomed a Supreme Court of Canada ruling on wilderness lands Friday as a victory for the northern territory.
The unanimous high court ruling is likely to ensure ecological pr…

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Unifor says ruling on its Suncor Energy random drug testing injunction on Dec. 7

EDMONTON — A judge hearing an application from a union for an injunction to stop Suncor from starting random drug tests at oilsands facilities in northeastern Alberta is to make his ruling next Thursday.
Unifor Local 707-A says such random testing wou…

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Sales tax not the answer to Alberta’s fiscal woes: Finance minister

EDMONTON — Alberta Finance Minister Joe Ceci says he is not considering introducing a sales tax to help cure the province’s financial woes because Albertans don’t support it.
Ceci says the idea of a sales tax came up today when he had a roundtable mee…

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B.C. tells feds to back off, stop interfering in Trans Mountain pipeline

VANCOUVER — British Columbia says the federal government needs to back off and stop interfering in an independent review process over the approval of Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline.
Environment Minister George Heyman said he is “very disturbe…

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Pembina Pipeline approves construction of $260M propane export facility

CALGARY — Pembina Pipeline Corp. (TSX: PPL) says its board of directors has approved construction of an export terminal at Prince Rupert, B.C., to be used to send liquefied Western Canadian propane to markets in Asia and Central America.
The Calgary-b…

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Enbridge to pay higher dividends to shareholders next year and sell some assets

CALGARY — Enbridge says it is going to sell off at least $3 billion of its assets next year.
The Calgary-based energy giant said it has identified $10 billion of what it describes as non-core assets.
Enbridge announced a strategic update late Wednesda…

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Ottawa wants conflict resolution panel for Trans Mountain pipeline project

OTTAWA — The federal government wants to see a new process established to resolve conflicts over permits that Kinder Morgan says is delaying construction on its Trans Mountain pipeline expansion in British Columbia.
Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr…

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Enbridge Completes Strategic Plan and Financial Outlook; Announces Dividend Increase of 10% for 2018 and Confirms Growth Through 2020

FOR: ENBRIDGE INC.NYSE SYMBOL: ENBTSX SYMBOL: ENBDate issue: November 29, 2017Time in: 4:46 PM eAttention:
CALGARY, ALBERTA–(Marketwired – Nov. 29, 2017) – Enbridge Inc. (Enbridge or
the Company) (TSX:ENB)(NYSE:ENB) today announced the finalization o…

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Enbridge Income Fund Holdings Inc. Releases 2018 Guidance and Long Term Financial Outlook

FOR: ENBRIDGE INCOME FUND HOLDINGS INC.TSX SYMBOL: ENFDate issue: November 29, 2017Time in: 4:34 PM eAttention:
CALGARY, ALBERTA–(Marketwired – Nov. 29, 2017) – Enbridge Income Fund Holdings
Inc. (TSX:ENF) (“ENF” or the “Company”) announced today its…

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Sanjel Energy Services Executes Growth Strategy with Appointment of New President and Remediation Business Line

FOR: SANJEL ENERGY SERVICES
Date issue: November 29, 2017Time in: 9:00 AM eAttention:
CALGARY, ALBERTA–(Marketwired – Nov. 29, 2017) – Sanjel Energy Services today
announced that as part of the company’s growth strategy, Mr. Murray Bickley
will assum…

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Alberta still on track for $10.3B deficit, but signs point to growing economy

EDMONTON — Alberta remains on track to rack up a $10.3-billion deficit this year but Finance Minister Joe Ceci says the economy is rebounding and it’s time public sector workers step up to help keep it going.
“Alberta is back in the saddle,” Ceci said…

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United Hunter Oil and Gas Corp. Announces a Non-Brokered Private Placement Closing of the First Tranche

FOR: UNITED HUNTER OIL & GAS CORP.TSX VENTURE SYMBOL: UHOFRANKFURT SYMBOL: 18UDate issue: November 28, 2017Time in: 5:00 PM eAttention:
TORONTO, ONTARIO–(Marketwired – Nov. 28, 2017) – United Hunter Oil and Gas
Corp. (TSX VENTURE:UHO)(FRANKFURT:18U) …

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TransCanada says it is engaging with landowners on new Keystone XL route

CALGARY — TransCanada Corp. (TSX:TRP) said Tuesday it has started to engage with Nebraska landowners along the alternate route of its Keystone XL pipeline approved last week.
Speaking at an investor day in Toronto, Dean Patry, senior vice-president of…

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East Coast offshore oil project Hebron produces first crude ahead of schedule

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Exxon Mobil Corp. says first oil has been produced ahead of schedule from the $14-billion Hebron project in the Jeanne D’Arc Basin about 350 kilometres southeast of St. John’s.
It had been expected to begin production in December. A…

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Couche-Tard hasn’t given up hope of selling cannabis in Western Canada: CEO

MONTREAL — Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. hasn’t given up hope of selling cannabis as some Western Canadian provinces turn to the private sector for over-the-counter sales, the convenience store operator’s CEO said Tuesday.
Brian Hannasch said the larg…

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Point Loma Announces Filing of Preliminary Short-Form Prospectus related to the proposed Offering of CEE Flow-Through Shares for up to $3.0 Million

FOR: POINT LOMA RESOURCES LTD.TSX VENTURE SYMBOL: PLXDate issue: November 28, 2017Time in: 3:10 PM eAttention:
CALGARY, ALBERTA–(Marketwired – Nov. 28, 2017) –
NOT FOR DISTRIBUTION TO U.S. NEWSWIRE SERVICES OR DISSEMINATION IN THE UNITED
STATES
Point…

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Eagle Energy Inc. Announces Positive Initial Production Test Results from its First North Texas Well

FOR: EAGLE ENERGY INC.TSX SYMBOL: EGLDate issue: November 28, 2017Time in: 11:55 AM eAttention:
CALGARY, ALBERTA–(Marketwired – Nov. 28, 2017) – Eagle Energy Inc. (“Eagle”)
(TSX:EGL) is pleased to announce initial production test results from its fir…

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Gran Tierra Energy Inc. Reaches New Milestones in the Middle Magdalena Valley Basin

FOR: GRAN TIERRA ENERGY INC.NYSE MKT SYMBOL: GTETSX SYMBOL: GTEDate issue: November 28, 2017Time in: 9:15 AM eAttention:
CALGARY, ALBERTA–(Marketwired – Nov. 28, 2017) – Gran Tierra Energy Inc.
(“Gran Tierra” or the “Company”) (NYSE American:GTE)(NYS…

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TransCanada to Highlight Sustainable Long-term Growth at Investor Day; Reaffirms Dividend Growth Expectations to 2020 and Provides Outlook for 2021

FOR: TRANSCANADATSX SYMBOL: TRPNYSE SYMBOL: TRPDate issue: November 28, 2017Time in: 6:00 AM eAttention:
CALGARY, ALBERTA–(Marketwired – Nov. 28, 2017) – News Release – TransCanada
Corporation (TSX:TRP) (NYSE:TRP) (TransCanada) will host its annual I…

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Fraser Institute News Release: B.C. and Alberta least-attractive Canadian provinces for oil and gas investment, according to annual global survey

FOR: THE FRASER INSTITUTE
Date issue: November 28, 2017Time in: 5:00 AM eAttention:
CALGARY, AB –(Marketwired – November 28, 2017) – British Columbia now ranks
as the least-attractive Canadian jurisdiction for oil and gas investment —
followed by A…

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Former Alberta premier Alison Redford lands job advising Afghanistan on energy

CALGARY — Former Alberta premier Alison Redford has taken a new job as policy adviser to Afghanistan’s minister of energy.
The World Bank says Redford has been hired as a consultant, but wouldn’t confirm her specific job title. 
Her LinkedIn page says…

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Federal government should manage Alberta’s threatened caribou: letter

EDMONTON — Several First Nations and Indigenous groups have asked the federal government to step in and protect some endangered caribou herds on provincial land in Alberta.
In a letter to federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna, the coalition s…

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Enbridge reaches deal with Michigan on underwater Great Lakes pipeline

CALGARY — Enbridge Inc. says it has reached a deal with the State of Michigan on the aging Line 5 pipelines that run along the bottom of a channel between Lakes Huron and Michigan.
The twin pipelines were laid in 1953 and have raised increasing concer…

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‘Somebody could actually die’: Cybercrime’s grave threat to automated resource firms

CALGARY — Data theft from high-profile hacks against companies like Uber and Equifax can cost consumers thousands of dollars but resource companies worry about millions in damage, along with potential injuries and death, if their technology is comprom…

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A cybersecurity checklist for industrial, mining or oil and gas systems

CALGARY — Mining and oil and gas companies not only face threats from cybercriminals hoping to gain financially but may also be targeted by “hacktivists” who want to make a political or environmental point, says Yogen Appalraju, EY Canada’s cybersecur…

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Alberta Premier Rachel Notley’s pro-pipeline tour well-received in Calgary

CALGARY — Alberta Premier Rachel Notley took her pro-pipeline tour to the heart of the energy industry in Calgary on Friday where she urged business leaders not to let up on the message that Canada’s climate progress depends on pipeline progress.
Spea…

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CEO Suzanne West vows to pursue greener path after oil firm splits with backers

CALGARY — One of the few female CEOs in the Canadian oilpatch says she is looking forward to creating a “clean hydrocarbons” company after she parted ways with the American financial backers of her oil and gas producing firm.
Suzanne West said Friday …

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Potent greenhouse gas methane could be partially cut for ‘near-zero’ cost: study

OTTAWA — Canada’s oilpatch could get a big head start on reducing emissions of a powerful greenhouse gas for a “near-zero” cost, says an academic study on the price of methane reduction.
“Industry, as a whole, doesn’t suffer,” said David Tyner, a Carl…

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Notley pleads with political friends, foes to support Alberta pipeline projects

OTTAWA — Alberta Premier Rachel Notley is warning all political parties to take off their partisan blinders or both the environment and Canada’s energy industry will fail.
Notley was in Ottawa this week as part of a campaign to build support for pipel…

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U.S. hedge fund reports owning more than a 5% stake in Obsidian Energy

CALGARY — Activist investor FrontFour Capital says it will attempt to influence decisions at Calgary-based Obsidian Energy Ltd. (TSX:OBE) after accumulating more than 27 million shares.
The Greenwich, Conn.-based hedge fund says in a declaration filed…

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‘We are very pleased:’ Notley says Nebraska’s Keystone OK means energy security

TORONTO — Alberta Premier Rachel Notley says Nebraska’s decision to allow TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline to run through that state brings North America closer to greater energy security.
Nebraska’s Public Service Commission on Monday approved the …

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‘These things are costing us:’ Arctic climate change affecting the south

An international summary of five year’s worth of research on Arctic climate change concludes the top of the world is getting warmer faster than anyone thought.
And if it all sounds interesting but a little far removed from southern concerns, David Bar…

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Loblaw pre-orders 25 Tesla all-electric trucks for undisclosed price

MONTREAL — Loblaw Companies Ltd. says it is among the first purchasers of Tesla’s new electric truck.
Canada’s largest supermarket chain (TSX:L) says it has pre-ordered 25 of the vehicles called the Tesla Semi.
“It’s part of our commitment to electrif…

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Canadian funds like energy stocks despite potential rejection in Norway

CALGARY — Oil and gas investments may have soured for managers of the Norwegian sovereign wealth fund but two Canadian funds say they have plenty of room for such securities in their portfolios.
In a letter this week, Norway’s central bank urged the N…

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TransCanada says spill clean up underway in South Dakota as pipeline vote looms

CALGARY — TransCanada Corp. said Friday that work is well underway to clean up a sizable oil leak at its Keystone pipeline in South Dakota that occurred days before a vote on the fate of the company’s flagship pipeline proposal.
The company said about…

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Quebec biofuel company partners with Qantas in first long-term airline deal

MONTREAL — A Quebec biofuels company has signed its first deal to power an airline’s jets with energy grown from Canadian oilseeds.
Agrisoma Biosciences Inc. of Gatineau will supply biofuel to Australia’s Qantas Airways made from Carinata seed, a non-…

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TransCanada Keystone pipeline leaks 795,000 litres of crude oil in South Dakota

CALGARY — TransCanada Corp. said its original Keystone pipeline has leaked an estimated 795,000 litres of oil in Marshall County, S.D. just days before Nebraska is set to decide the fate of plans to expand the pipeline network.
The company (TSX:TRP) s…

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Seven Generations shares slide after it increases 2018 capital spending plan

CALGARY — Negative market reaction to a slight rise in its 2018 spending plan by natural gas producer Seven Generations Energy Ltd. (TSX:VII) shows how little patience investors have for anything but conservative management in the oilpatch, analysts s…

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Obsidian Energy settles with U.S. Securities Commission over fraud charges

CALGARY — Obsidian Energy Ltd. says it has reached a US$8.5-million settlement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission over fraud-related charges filed earlier this year.
The SEC had alleged the company and three executives participated in a …

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New Cenovus Energy CEO says he will fix balance sheet and regain trust

CALGARY — The new CEO of Cenovus Energy Inc. (TSX:CVE) says he will focus on paying down debt through asset sales as he works to regain the trust of investors.
Alex Pourbaix, 52, says he wants to ensure the Calgary-based company produces oil and gas t…

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Ambitious Canadian coal plan vulnerable to provincial ‘slippage,’ critics say

Canada’s drive to shut down all of its coal-fired power plants by 2030 could be undermined by provincial side-deals like the one currently being negotiated with Nova Scotia, critics say.
“A 2030 date, overall for Canada, is achievable and ambitious — …

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Newfoundland and Labrador’s deficit grows amid lower offshore oil royalties

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Newfoundland and Labrador will target big spending in health, education and by the Crown corporation overseeing the bloated Muskrat Falls project as its deficit mounts.
The province is now expecting a deficit of $852 million this fi…

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Nebraska regulators to vote on TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline next week

LINCOLN, Neb. — A decision on the last major regulatory hurdle for TransCanada (TSX:TRP) in its nine-year quest to complete the Keystone XL pipeline will be made next week.
The Nebraska Public Service Commission says in statement that a vote on the ap…

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Cenovus agrees to sell Saskatchewan enhanced oil recovery assets to Whitecap

CALGARY — Cenovus Energy Inc. (TSX:CVE) says it is selling its majority stake in a Saskatchewan enhanced-oil recovery project to Calgary-based Whitecap Resources Inc. (TSX:WCP) for $940 million.
The deal is the last on a list of four asset sales the m…

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AltaCorp Capital founder, oil and gas financier George Gosbee dies suddenly

CALGARY — Investment firm AltaCorp Capital Inc. says its founder and CEO, Calgary oil and gas financier George Gosbee, died suddenly on Sunday.
Gosbee was a former governor of the National Hockey League and, in 2013, led a group to purchase the Arizon…

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Canada’s push to eliminate coal power takes on U.S. clean coal in Bonn

OTTAWA — Climate change talks in Germany are headed for a collision course on coal this week — and Canada is right in the middle of it.
Environment Minister Catherine McKenna is arriving today in Bonn, Germany, to attend the second week of COP23, the …

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Ottawa responds to NAFTA challenge that it’s not tough on tailings pond leaks

EDMONTON — The Canadian government says it lacked the scientific evidence to determine if oilsands tailings ponds were leaking into waterways and hurting fish.
But the government says it continues to work on methods to determine if chemicals associate…

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Canadian Natural proposes bitumen-only expansion at its Horizon oilsands mine

CALGARY — Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. (TSX:CNQ) is considering adding a 30,000- to 40,000-barrel-per-day bitumen-only project to its Horizon oilsands mine to take advantage of excess ore production and pipeline capacity.
The proposed project could…

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Orphan Well Association spending tops $2 million on care of Lexin assets

CALGARY — The cost of looking after hundreds of wells, pipelines and other oilfield gear left behind by bankrupt Lexin Resources Ltd. has exceeded $2 million and the bills continue to roll in, says Alberta’s Orphan Well Association.
The association wa…

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Appeal allowed: Supreme Court to decide how abandoned oil wells to be handled

OTTAWA — The Supreme Court of Canada will hear an appeal from Alberta’s energy regulator that seeks to overturn a ruling that could allow bankrupt energy companies to walk away from cleaning up abandoned oil wells.
The decision could affect industrial…

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Tourmaline Oil chops 2018 budget by half a billion dollars due to low gas prices

CALGARY — Tourmaline Oil Corp. (TSX:TOU) says it is cutting its 2018 capital spending budget by half a billion dollars because of persistently low natural gas prices.
The Calgary-based oil and gas company says it will dial back production growth to 10…

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B.C. pipeline lawsuit dropped over worries costs would bankrupt non-profit group

VANCOUVER — A non-profit group has abandoned a legal challenge of the Trans Mountain pipeline project in British Columbia, saying losing the case could bankrupt the organization.
Duff Conacher of Democracy Watch says the advocacy group decided to with…

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NEB to consider next month if B.C. city obstructing pipeline construction

OTTAWA — The National Energy Board says it will not expedite the process to determine if the city of Burnaby, B.C. is deliberately obstructing construction of the expanded Trans Mountain Pipeline by refusing to issue necessary construction permits.
Th…

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Alberta premier going on tour to stump for Trans Mountain pipeline project

EDMONTON — Alberta Premier Rachel Notley is to go on tour later this month to stump for the Trans Mountain pipeline, but is resisting opposition calls to wield a big stick against its opponents.
Notley is to speak in Toronto, Ottawa, Vancouver, Calgar…

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Saskatchewan rejects Burnaby request over Trans Mountain pipeline

BURNABY, B.C. — A city in British Columbia wants Saskatchewan’s justice minister to withdraw comments suggesting it “is deliberately slowing down” the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.
A lawyer acting for Burnaby sent a letter to Don Morgan saying ci…

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SaskPower says likely no more carbon capture and storage projects due to costs

REGINA — SaskPower says it won’t likely support more carbon capture and storage projects due to costs.

President and CEO Mike Marsh says the technology is still worthwhile, but the current economic climate doesn’t warrant moving forward with such projects because the low cost of natural gas makes that a more viable option.

SaskPower’s Boundary Dam power plant in Estevan takes emissions from coal generation and stores them.

When the $1.5-billion facility opened with much fanfare in October 2014, the goal was to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by one million tonnes annually; in 2016, SaskPower said the plant was on track to capture 800,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide.

SaskPower had to pay $7.3 million in penalties to Cenovus Energy (TSX:CVE) in 2015 because the plant wasn’t operating enough to deliver all the captured carbon dioxide promised to Cenovus.

The Crown corporation must decide next year what options are best to retrofit its last two coal generated units at the plant.

Boundary Dam was forced offline several times in 2015. SaskPower’s annual report that year said the power plant faced technical and mechanical issues which “prevented the plant from achieving an acceptable level of reliability and performance.”

Premier Brad Wall touted Saskatchewan’s carbon capture and storage technology at an international climate change conference in 2015.

(CJME, The Canadian Press)

 

CJME, The Canadian Press

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version said spokesman Jonathan Tremblay.

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Syncrude faces federal charges over 2015 heron deaths

FORT MCMURRAY, Alta. — One of the country’s largest oilsands companies is facing federal charges in the death of 31 great blue herons at one of its mine sites in northern Alberta more than two years ago.

The charges against Syncrude Canada under the Migratory Birds Convention Act are in addition to provincial charges already laid.

In August 2015, Syncrude revealed that 29 carcasses from the large shorebirds were discovered near a pump house at an abandoned sump pond at Mildred Lake north of Fort McMurray.

Additional birds were euthanized on the order of Alberta Fish and Wildlife.

Despite initial reports that bird deterrents at the facility were fully working, a Syncrude spokesman later acknowledged that no such equipment was in operation.

Syncrude installed fencing, sound cannons and bird-scaring statues, including a robotic falcon. Human observers were also stationed at the site around the clock.

Syncrude appeared in provincial court in Fort McMurray on Wednesday to answer to the federal charges.   

The provincial charges relate to failing to properly store a hazardous substance. The maximum fine is $500,000 per count.  

Great blue herons, which feed on fish and frogs along shorelines and riverbanks, are Canada’s largest heron. They stand more than a metre tall with a wingspan of up to two metres. Their numbers are considered secure.

In September, 123 dead and dying songbirds were discovered at Suncor’s nearly complete Fort Hills oilsands mine. The Alberta Energy Regulator is investigating those deaths.

Suncor is also investigating why the birds were in the area despite the presence of working bird deterrents, including cannons, radar and scarecrows.  

In 2010, 550 birds had to be destroyed due to an early winter storm that forced them to land on ponds at Syncrude and Suncor. No charges were laid.

In 2008, Syncrude Canada was fined $3 million when more than 1,600 ducks were killed after they landed in a tailings pond.

 

The Canadian Press

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Newcomers, the North and Stephen Harper: how federal politics mattered this week

OTTAWA — The Parliament Hill hoopla this week was all about horoscopes and Halloween costumes, with an undertone of Bill Morneau controversy for good measure.

The new Governor General, former astronaut Julie Payette, made a notable debut on the federal scene on Wednesday with a speech to fellow scientists. Her mocking of climate change deniers, creationists, homeopathic medicine and horoscope believers prompted howls of protest from those who say a representative of the Queen should be seen, not heard — at least when it comes to opinions.

And outrage spewed over the appearance of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in the House of Commons dressed as Clark Kent, complete with a stretchy Superman costume under his shirt and tie. Detractors demanded the PM get back to business, and/or also do something about the hair that made him look too much like Conservative finance critic (and Morneau nemesis) Pierre Poilievre.

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer stuck closer to home in his get-up as Data from Star Trek — a hat tip to science-based evidence, his handlers say. The public reaction was . . . subdued.

The week in politics was not just about indignation. Developments on immigration policy, the North and Stephen Harper will have lasting implications. Here are three ways federal politics touched us this week:

MORE NEWCOMERS

Canada will very gradually increase the number of immigrants it admits over the next three years.

In recent history, Canada has admitted about 250,000 newcomers a year, rising to about 300,000 for the past two years. Now, the federal government aims to increase the level to 340,000 by 2020.

Proponents of higher levels have long argued that Canada needs a constant influx of highly skilled immigrants to fuel prosperity for the next generation. And they were generally content with the increases and the long-term planning evident in the three-year horizon that they saw this week.

But refugee advocates, who have found a strong ally in the Trudeau government in the past, were disappointed. The United Nations has repeatedly pointed out that the world is in the throes of a migrant crisis, and has lobbied wealthy countries like Canada to dramatically up their intake.

However, this week’s numbers show Canada is aiming to take 43,000 refugees next year, up just 3,000 from this year. Of those, the government-assisted refugees that the UN had in mind will remain static at 7,500 people.

THE NORTH

Every once in a while on a fairly regular basis, the premier of the Northwest Territories flies down to Ottawa and complains about being forgotten and neglected. This time, it was on a different scale.

Bob McLeod’s trip this week aimed to raise the alarm, and show Ottawa that the North has tumbled into despair despite doing all the right things to become self-supporting.

The culprit, he says, is the federal government’s decision a year ago to ban new oil and gas development in the Arctic because an oil spill would be disastrous for the region.

In the name of environmental protection, McLeod argues, the ban killed off investment at a time when the Arctic is already fighting a losing battle to deal with the vast, spillover effects of environmental degradation from the south. Dwindling caribou herds, melting permafrost, erosion and forest fires are destroying a way of life.

With 40 per cent of the territory’s economy depending on natural resources, the ban means “everything we have built is now in jeopardy,” McLeod said.

So far, mainly silence from the federal government.

HARPER 

Former prime minister Stephen Harper has determinedly kept himself out of the public eye for two years now, only wading in occasionally to make a comment or two on government decisions. So last Friday night, when a note written by Harper-the-consultant to his business clients surfaced, every word was weighed heavily.

The government, he wrote, was not taking Donald Trump’s threats to tear up NAFTA seriously enough. The Liberals should stop pushing their progressive agenda on labour, gender, Indigenous Peoples and environment. They should stop allying themselves with Mexico. And instead, they should figure out how to salvage what they can from the trade agreement that is central to Canada’s economic health.

NAFTA-watchers have heard it all before. But because it was the former prime minister speaking this time, both the Liberals and the Conservatives were quickly on the defensive — the Liberals saying they were negotiating in Canada’s interests and would not capitulate, and the Conservatives insisting they were not trying to use Harper to disrupt a united front at the bargaining table.

The next round of talks will take place in Mexico City later this month — presumably enough time for the Harper uproar to settle down.

Heather Scoffield, Ottawa Bureau Chief , The Canadian Press

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‘Overreaching extensively:’ Notley wants Trans Mountain delays dealt with

CALGARY — Alberta Premier Rachel Notley says she wants the National Energy Board to move quickly to remove roadblocks on the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project.

The City of Burnaby, B.C., hasn’t issued necessary permits to allow Kinder Morgan Canada Ltd. (TSX:KML) to expand its pipeline from the Edmonton area to a tank farm and port in Burnaby.

Trans Mountain wants the board to clear the way for work to begin and Notley shares that view.

“We are going to push very hard to have that matter heard very quickly, because we think they are overreaching extensively. We should not be allowing projects that are of such national significance to be held up by municipalities using laws for purposes for which they were not intended,” Notley said Friday.

“The position of the municipality in that case is not very strong. Delay is not helpful and playing around with authorities in order to create delays is not the way to go.”

Kinder Morgan has said that Burnaby’s “failure to act in a timely manner raises serious issues of jurisdiction” related to the $7.4-billion pipeline expansion.

The company also wants the board to set up a way to make an “expedited determination” about similar complaints in the future.

Alberta, British Columbia, and Saskatchewan have all indicated they want to intervene in the Burnaby permit proceeding, the board said Friday.

“The chair of the board has authorized a panel to deal with this matter,” board secretary Sheri Young said in a letter.

Saskatchewan Justice Minister Don Morgan said the interprovincial pipeline has already been approved and shouldn’t be held up by a municipality.

He said Burnaby is deliberately slowing down an important project for an industry that is just starting to recover from sluggish oil prices.

“Saskatchewan has consistently taken the position that once an interprovincial pipeline has been approved by the federal government, provinces and municipalities should not be able to interfere,” Morgan said in a statement.

“Our government will continue to advocate for an expansion of pipeline capacity across Canada.” 

Notley welcomed Saskatchewan’s decision.

“The more people that can be engaged in it (the hearing), the better. As I’ve said, we’re not particularly interested in pursuing a delay in that matter.”

Kinder Morgan already has energy board and federal approvals to twin the pipeline, more than tripling its capacity, but CEO Steve Kean said recently delays in permits and regulatory approvals mean the project could be almost nine months behind schedule.

Notley said she doesn’t see a need for any further intervention by the federal Liberal government.

“You have to respect the role of the NEB to a certain degree, so if you push too hard and you undermine the process such that it then becomes subject to challenge, that’s not helpful either,” she said.

“We know the federal government has made the decision that the project is to go ahead. That’s what we needed to have happen. I think they are also working fairly hard on the issues that remain of concern to people in B.C.”

Notley said she will continue her arguments on the importance of Trans Mountain when she visits British Columbia later this month.

— Follow @BillGraveland on Twitter

 

Bill Graveland, The Canadian Press

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Saskatchewan applies for intervener status on Trans Mountain pipeline hearing

REGINA — The Saskatchewan government says it has applied for intervener status in National Energy Board hearings on the Trans Mountain pipeline project.

Justice Minister Don Morgan says the province argues the interprovincial pipeline has already been approved and shouldn’t be held up by a municipality.

The city of Burnaby, B.C., hasn’t issued necessary permits to allow Kinder Morgan Canada Ltd. (TSX:KML) to expand its pipeline from the Edmonton area to a tank farm and port in Burnaby.

Morgan says Saskatchewan is disappointed the city is deliberately slowing down an important project for an industry that is just starting to recover from sluggish oil prices.

He says Saskatchewan energy companies need to get their product to the coast and all Canadians — including Burnaby residents — benefit from a thriving energy sector.

Kinder Morgan wants the National Energy Board to clear the way for work on the Burnaby portion of the pipeline expansion.

It already has energy board and federal approvals, but the company says delays in permits and regulatory approvals mean the project could be almost nine months behind schedule.

“Saskatchewan has consistently taken the position that once an interprovincial pipeline has been approved by the federal government, provinces and municipalities should not be able to interfere,” Morgan said in a statement Friday. “Our government will continue to advocate for an expansion of pipeline capacity across Canada.” 

The Canadian Press

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Crude Rises Above $50 After OPEC Boosts Oil Demand Outlook

August 10, 2017 (Bloomberg)  Oil climbed above $50 a barrel in New York after OPEC boosted estimates of demand for its crude amid stronger-than-expected fuel consumption and a weaker outlook for rival supply. Futures advanced 1 percent after climbing 0.8 percent Wednesday as the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries raised forecasts for the amount it needs … Read more

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B.C. government to make announcement about Trans Mountain pipeline expansion

VANCOUVER — Two key British Columbia cabinet ministers are expected to outline the government’s next steps Thursday on the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion after campaigning against the project.

No details have been provided about the announcement by Attorney General David Eby and Environment Minister George Heyman, but the future of the $7.4-billion project has been heavily scrutinized since the NDP government came to power.

Premier John Horgan promised on the campaign trail earlier this year to use “every tool in the toolbox” to stop the project, but a mandate letter to the Heyman softened the language, saying instead that he must “defend B.C.’s interests in the face of” the expansion.

Last month Eby said the province would not artificially delay permits for the project, because doing so would risk a costly lawsuit from proponent Trans Mountain, a subsidiary of Kinder Morgan Canada.

Several First Nations and municipalities have filed legal challenges against the expansion, which would triple the capacity of the Alberta-to-B.C. pipeline and increase the number of tankers in Vancouver-area waters seven-fold.

The project has been approved by Ottawa and the province’s former Liberal government.

Trans Mountain says construction is set to begin in September.

 

The Canadian Press

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Gas Sellers Warn Hard-Bargaining Buyers: Market Is Turning

Aug 9th 2017 (Bloomberg)  A worldwide glut of natural gas has buyers of the fuel driving hard bargains and pushing for shorter supply contracts. The only problem with that, according to their sellers: The market’s about to turn against them. Gas buyers have become too focused on the short-term, turning away from long-term contracts, said … Read more

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Oil Near $49 as Market Weighs Lower Stockpiles, Higher Output

August 9, 2017 (Bloomberg)  Oil halted two days of declines as U.S. industry data showed crude stockpiles fell. Futures added 0.3 percent in New York after dropping 0.8 percent the previous two sessions. U.S. inventories slid by 7.8 million barrels last week, the American Petroleum Institute was said to report Tuesday, while a Bloomberg survey also forecast … Read more

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OPEC Says Iraq, U.A.E, Kazakhstan Affirm Commitment to Cuts 

August 9, 2017 (Bloomberg)  OPEC said Iraq, the United Arab Emirates and Kazakhstan — who have lagged in their implementation of a deal to cut production — affirmed their commitment to the accord at a meeting in Abu Dhabi. “All expressed their full support” for the system to monitor the cutbacks “in order to achieve … Read more

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EIA Raises Both 2017, 2018 U.S. Crude Production Forecasts

August 8, 2017 (Bloomberg)  U.S. producers are seen pumping away, even with the price of West Texas Intermediate crude lingering below $50 as barrel, according to the latest government estimates. Domestic output will average 9.91 million barrels a day next year, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said in its monthly Short-Term Energy Outlook released Tuesday. … Read more

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Oil Trades Above $49 as Saudis Said to Curb Crude Sales to Asia

August 8, 2017 (Bloomberg)  Oil traded above $49 a barrel in New York after Saudi Arabia was said to cut crude sales to Asian buyers as part of its pledge to reduce exports and shrink a global glut. Futures rose 0.7 percent after dropping Monday. Saudi Arabia will supply lower volumes than some customers requested for September, … Read more

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Keystone XL’s Path Up for Grabs as Nebraska Commission Weighs In

August 7, 2017 (Bloomberg)  The future of TransCanada Corp.’s Keystone XL pipeline could hinge on whether a Nebraska commission believes the project is in the public’s interest or a private land grab as property owners claim. More than 90 percent of TransCanada’s preferred 270 mile route through the state would cut across privately owned land, … Read more

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Oil Retreats After 2017’s Best Week as Output Gain Back in Focus

August 4, 2017 (Bloomberg)  Oil is back down again this week following the year’s biggest rally as investor focus shifted to rising output from the U.S. and OPEC, and away from a seasonal increase in American fuel demand. Futures in New York were down 1.4 percent for the week after an 8.6 percent surge in … Read more

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How the Wild Shale Race May Be Harming the Permian’s Oil Trove

August 2, 2017 (Bloomberg)  The frantic shale race may be causing some long-term damage to assets in the Permian and other major U.S. oil fields. As production from wells rapidly declines, drillers are rushing to add new ones at a faster pace in order to keep increasing output. The problem is that drilling multiple wells … Read more

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Oil Nears $50 as Traders Weigh U.S. Stockpile Drop, Output Gain

August 3, 2017 (Bloomberg)  Oil traded near $50 a barrel as investors weighed declining U.S. stockpiles against rising output. Futures added 0.3 percent in New York, extending their 0.9 percent gain on Wednesday. U.S. crude inventories dropped by 1.53 million barrels last week, while gasoline supplies fell for a seventh week, according to a report from the Energy Information … Read more

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Canadian Natural Resources reports $1.07-billion second-quarter profit

CALGARY — Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. (TSX:CNQ) trimmed its capital spending plan for this year as it reported a profit of $1.07 billion in its latest quarter compared with a loss a year ago.

The oilsands company says it has decreased its capital spending program by about $180 million for 2017. It had said it March that it planned to spend about $3.9 billion this year.

The decision came as Canadian Natural also raised the mid-point of its 2017 annual liquids and barrels of oil equivalent production guidance by 11,000 bbl/d and 3,000 BOE/d respectively.

The company says its profit in its latest quarter amounted to 93 cents per diluted share compared with a loss of $339 million or 31 cents per share in the same quarter last year.

Adjusted earnings from operations were $332 million or 29 cents per share compared with a loss of $210 million or 19 cents per share a year ago.

Production in the quarter averaged 913,171 barrels of oil equivalent per day, up from 783,988 in the second quarter last year.

 

 

The Canadian Press

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Oil Rises as Record Gasoline Demand Allays Shale Boom Worries

August 2, 2017 (Bloomberg) Oil ended a fickle session on the rise as record demand for gasoline helped ease concerns that increasing crude production from America’s shale fields will worsen a global glut. Futures closed 0.9 percent higher in New York after disappointing numbers for crude supplies and output sent prices tumbling. U.S. oil stockpiles last … Read more

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US oil and gas plowback robust despite capex and revenue cuts says EY

August 2, 2017  PR Newswire HOUSTON, Aug. 2, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Despite the low price environment, continued declines in revenues and lower capital expenditures, the 50 largest US exploration and production (E&P) companies demonstrated a commitment toward resource acquisition and development with strong plowback percentages* in 2016 — 158% compared to a five-year average of 132%, according to the US … Read more

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Rick George, former Suncor Energy CEO and pioneer of oilsands industry, dies at 67

CALGARY — Rick George, former CEO of Suncor Energy and a pioneer of Canada’s oilsands industry, has died at the age of 67 after a battle with acute myeloid leukemia.

George, who died Tuesday, is credited with transforming Suncor from a money-losing oilsands mining company into one of Canada’s largest corporations over a 21-year career before his retirement in 2012.

“Rick’s impact on the oilsands industry, the Canadian business community, and the broader community has been immeasurable,” said Suncor CEO Steve Williams in a statement.

“Rick was very much admired and loved by his Suncor family.”

Williams worked as an executive with George for 10 years at Suncor before assuming the helm of the company.

George joined the company that would become Suncor in 1991 and brought in changes that upset traditional mining practices but boosted production and profitability.

“He had the fortitude and the vision to change the model and he … reinvented the model to allow oilsands to reach its potential in a way that we’re all benefiting from today,” said Tim McMillan, president of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers.

George oversaw Suncor’s $19-billion merger with Petro-Canada in 2009, creating a company with oilsands production, refineries, retail outlets, offshore and conventional oil and gas assets throughout the country.

Suncor’s shares are now worth about $68 billion.

In a statement on Wednesday, his family asked for privacy.

“With heavy hearts, we are determined to embrace challenges and adventure with the same rigour that he demonstrated every day,” the statement said.

“A brilliant businessman, a loyal friend, and a loving husband, father and grandfather, he will be greatly missed.”

His immediate family includes his wife Julie, sons Matthew and Zachary, and daughter Emily.

George was born in the small ranching community of Brush, Colo., and earned science and law degrees in the United States.

He served as managing director of Sun Oil Britain Ltd. before moving to Canada in 1991, later adopting Canadian citizenship.

Mike O’Brien, a current member of the Suncor board who retired as chief financial officer in 2002, said George’s drive was balanced by a folksy charm that helped him win converts to his point of view.

“He’s a hell of a nice guy. Everyone wants to help him get it done,” said O’Brien.

George was appointed an officer of the order of Canada in 2007 in recognition of his business acumen and commitment to Aboriginal communities and sustainable development.

“He was on the environmental file before anyone else was. He was on the Aboriginal file,” said O’Brien. “He just felt those things were priorities and he saw the big picture.”

George wrote a biography after retiring called Sun Rise: Suncor, the Oil Sands and the Future of Energy, in which he staunchly defended the environmental record of the oilsands and its interactions with Aboriginals while decrying delays in approving export oil pipelines such as the Keystone XL.

He recently served on the boards of Osum Oil Sands Corp., RBC and Anadarko Petroleum, and as a partner at Novo Investment Group.

George was chairman of Penn West Petroleum and officiated over the annual meeting in June in downtown Calgary where the company’s name was changed to Obsidian Energy.

 

Follow @HealingSlowly on Twitter.

Dan Healing, The Canadian Press

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Oil Near $49 as Investors Await U.S. Crude Stockpile Data

Aug 2, 2017 (Bloomberg)  U.S. oil traded near $49 a barrel as investors await U.S. data following a report inventory unexpectedly expanded last week. Futures were little changed in New York after losing 2 percent Tuesday, the first drop in seven sessions. Inventories rose by 1.78 million barrels last week, the American Petroleum Institute was … Read more

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Who Needs $100 Oil? Majors Making More Cash at $50, Goldman Says

Aug 2, 2017 (Bloomberg)  Oil majors are raking in more cash now than they did in the heyday of $100 oil, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Integrated giants like BP Plc and Royal Dutch Shell Plc have adapted to lower prices by cutting costs and improving operations, analysts at the bank including Michele Della … Read more

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U.S. Shale Drillers Show Few Signs of Slowing as Profits Expand

Aug 2, 2017 (Bloomberg) The shale surge that’s tied down global oil prices shows no signs of abating, as four of the biggest U.S. drillers said they’re not backing away from lofty production targets for 2017. In second-quarter earnings reports, EOG Resources Inc., Devon Energy Corp., Newfield Exploration Co. and Diamondback Energy Inc. all outlined goals … Read more

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Crude Oil Drops Below $50 as Rising Dollar Erodes Earlier Gains

August 1, 2017 (Bloomberg)  Oil dropped below $50 a barrel as a stronger dollar eroded gains ahead of U.S. government data on crude stockpiles. Futures fell as much as 0.9 percent in New York after climbing 9.6 percent the previous six sessions. The dollar rose as much as 0.2 percent, reducing the appeal of commodities … Read more

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Oil Near $50 as Traders Await U.S. Reaction to Venezuelan Vote

July 31, 2016 (Bloomberg)  Oil traded near $50 a barrel in New York as efforts by Venezuela’s president to seize more power raised speculation the U.S. could step up sanctions. Futures were little changed after surging 8.6 percent last week. The U.S. is said to be considering increasing sanctions against Venezuela’s oil industry, the Wall Street Journal … Read more

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OPEC to Meet With Non-OPEC to Discuss Weaker Cuts Compliance

July 29, 2017 (Bloomberg)  Representatives of some OPEC and non-OPEC nations will meet in Abu Dhabi on Aug. 7-8 to discuss why some of them are falling behind in their pledges to cut production, according to an OPEC statement. The meeting, co-chaired by Kuwait and Russia, will examine reasons why some countries aren’t fully implementing their … Read more

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Oil Caps Best Week This Year on Signs of More Balanced Market

(Bloomberg) Oil had its best week this year as signs point to a market that’s achieving a balance between supply and demand. Futures surged 8.6 percent in New York for the biggest weekly gain since December. U.S. crude stockpiles fell to the lowest since January, while gasoline inventories shrank to the smallest this year. The nation’s … Read more

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U.S. Oil Companies Slim Drilling Budgets as Caution Takes Hold

July 27, 2017 (Bloomberg) Caution lights are flashing for the oil industry. Facing lower-than-expected commodity prices, drillers from ConocoPhillips to Hess Corp. to Statoil ASA have slashed their capital spending plans in recent days, as companies lay out their plans to cope with oil prices stuck below $50 a barrel. The budget cuts won’t necessarily … Read more

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Oil Prices May Stay Lower ‘Forever’ say Shell Executive and the World’s New Richest Man

July 28, 2017 (Bloomberg)  1) Even Oil Executives See an Electric Future Imagine a Detroit auto executive driving a Japanese car. That’s kind of what it felt like when the chief executive officer of one of the world’s biggest oil companies said in a Bloomberg TV interview that his next car would be electric. Ben … Read more

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Big Oil Beating Slump as CEOs Learn to Live With $50 Crude

July 25, 2017 (Bloomberg)  Big Oil is starting to beat the crude-market slump as the industry rediscovers how to make money at lower prices. Exxon Mobil Corp. and Royal Dutch Shell Plc are forecast to more than double second-quarter profit from a year earlier, far outstripping the 8 percent gain in benchmark Brent crude, according to … Read more

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Oil Climbs From Seven-Week High on Signs U.S. Stockpiles Plunged

July 26, 2017 (Bloomberg)  Oil extended gains from the highest close in seven weeks as industry data showed U.S. crude stockpiles plunged, easing a glut. Futures climbed as much as 1.5 percent in New York after rising 4.6 percent in the previous two sessions. Inventories tumbled by 10.2 million barrels last week, the American Petroleum … Read more

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B.C.’s new attorney general says province won’t delay Trans Mountain permits

VANCOUVER — British Columbia’s attorney general says the NDP government will not artificially delay permits for the Trans Mountain pipeline, despite the premier’s vow to use every available tool to stop the project.

David Eby said he’s been tasked by Premier John Horgan to identify options to halt Kinder Morgan Canada’s $7.4-billion expansion of its Alberta-to-B.C. pipeline, which has already been approved by Ottawa and the previous B.C. government.

Eby said the province cannot deliberately stall on permits without risking a very costly lawsuit, but it can ensure that permits require that construction be done in a way that minimizes spills, protects the environment and ensures appropriate cleanup.

“I’ve been tasked by the premier to identify our options. There is an important piece to that, which is that we must do so within the laws of British Columbia and Canada, because if we don’t, we’ll be sued,” Eby told Kamloops radio station CHNL.

“We’ll end up paying hundreds of millions of dollars that should be going to schools and hospitals to an oil company and that is not a goal that anybody’s looking for.”

Trans Mountain, a subsidiary of Kinder Morgan Canada, declined comment on Eby’s remarks but said it’s in an ongoing process of seeking and receiving permits from the necessary agencies, as construction of the project is phased.

Eby did not immediately respond to requests for comment from The Canadian Press.

Horgan’s NDP won 41 seats in the province’s May 9 election, shy of the 44 needed to mount a majority. But the Greens, who hold three seats, signed an agreement to support the New Democrats in a minority government.

The agreement states the government will “immediately employ every tool available to stop” the pipeline expansion.

A mandate letter issued by Horgan to Environment Minister George Heyman on Monday softens the language slightly, saying instead that he must employ every tool available to “defend B.C.’s interests in the face of” the expansion.

James Coleman, an energy law professor at Southern Methodist University who previously worked at the University of Calgary, said Eby’s remarks reflect the government’s need to be cautious about what it says and does.

“That’s certainly what you’d want to say. If you want to avoid compensation (to Trans Mountain), you wouldn’t want to give the suggestion that you were deliberately delaying or acting in bad faith,” he said.

“That’s one of those challenges the government faces. Because it has been so explicit that it’s going to use every tool to try and block this pipeline, that they may worry that the courts will see the government’s actions as being in bad faith.”

First Nations and environmental groups have filed lawsuits against the federal government’s approval of the project. Some groups have also launched legal challenges of B.C.’s environmental certificate.

The NDP government has not said what it plans to do about the lawsuits, but Coleman said if it is looking to avoid compensation, then the normal move would be to defend the certificate.

“The question is: Is that a half-hearted defence?” he asked. “I think that remains to be seen.”

Horgan said at a joint news conference with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Ottawa on Tuesday that he hasn’t yet been briefed by his attorney general but he has spoken with First Nations who have filed lawsuits against the federal government.

“I’ve met with the leadership of the Tsleil-Waututh, Musqueam and Squamish First Nations and have heard very clearly their views on the matter, and we’ll deal with those in the days and weeks ahead,” he said.

Charlene Aleck, an elected councillor of the Tsleil-Waututh, said she had met with Horgan and felt confident he supports their efforts to halt the pipeline expansion. However, Horgan has not signalled that he intends to join their legal fight, she said.

Green party Leader Andrew Weaver said in a statement that he understands Eby’s points and expects they are not indicative of a broader change in the NDP’s stance on the pipeline.

“As an opposition party, we will remain steadfast in calling on the NDP government to use every legally available tool to stop the pipeline from going ahead,” Weaver said.

— Follow @ellekane on Twitter.

Laura Kane, The Canadian Press

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While Oil Patch Bleeds, Gas Drillers Race to Unleash Wells

July 25, 2017 (Bloomberg)  Oil prices have been lousy for so long that U.S. producers are hoarding unfinished wells rather than pumping crude out of them. In the natural gas patch, just the opposite is happening. While the energy slump has idled lots of wells for both commodities, their economics have diverged. Oil remains at half … Read more

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Pipeline project, wildfires top agenda for first meeting between Trudeau, Horgan

OTTAWA — The debate around the future of the planned TransMountain pipeline expansion in British Columbia could intensify today when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau meets new B.C. Premier John Horgan for the first time.

Horgan was sworn into office last week after an unprecedented photo-finish election that saw former premier Christy Clark’s short-lived minority Liberal government defeated and Horgan’s NDP take over with the backing of the Green party.

Trudeau’s government approved the $7.4-billion pipeline expansion project last fall but Horgan campaigned against it and has pledged to fight the project with every tool at his disposal.

The two leaders have sidestepped the issue in official communications thus far, including a news release from Horgan on Monday where he said he intends to discuss the opioid crisis, B.C.’s wildfire emergency and the softwood lumber dispute with the U.S.

But there is little time for Horgan to waste if he wants to stop the project as pipeline-builder Kinder Morgan said just last week construction is on schedule to begin in September.

Following Horgan’s Ottawa trip, he will fly on to Washington, D.C., for meetings with U.S. lawmakers and officials about the softwood lumber dispute.

The Canadian Press

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version said Horgan was sworn in last month instead of last week.

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U.A.E. Sees OPEC Considering Oil-Cuts Extension in November

July 24, 2017 (Bloomberg)  OPEC may need to consider extending its oil-cuts agreement when the group meets in November, as crude markets are taking too long to recover, United Arab Emirates Energy Minister  Suhail Al Mazrouei said. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, which already prolonged its cuts accord with other major producers through the … Read more

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Halliburton Sees Drillers `Tap the Brakes’ on Shale Boom

July 24, 2017 (Bloomberg) Halliburton Co., promising to be disciplined in adding more fracking gear to the oilfields, says U.S. explorers are “tapping the brakes” on drilling as the price of oil struggles to breach $50 a barrel. The comments come days after Baker Hughes data found that explorers reduced the number of U.S. rigs … Read more

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Oil Rises as Saudi Arabia Pledges Deep Cut to August Exports

July 24, 2017 (Bloomberg)  Oil rose as Saudi Arabia said it would make deep cuts to its crude exports in August and encourage better compliance with supply reductions from other producers. Futures rose as much as 1.2 percent in New York. Saudi Arabia, OPEC’s largest producer, will limit exports to 6.6 million barrels a day … Read more

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IMF Sees 2017 Saudi Growth `Close to Zero’ on Oil Prices, Cuts

July 23, 2017 Saudi Arabia’s economy will stall this year with growth “close to zero” due to lower oil revenue, the International Monetary Fund said. The fund lowered its 2017 growth forecast to 0.1 percent from 0.4 percent, citing OPEC production cuts, uncertainty over oil prices and the structural reforms the country is undertaking to … Read more

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US rig count decreases by 2 last week to 950: 462 rigs were active last year

HOUSTON — The number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. decreased by two this week to 950.

A year ago, just 462 rigs were active.

Houston oilfield services company Baker Hughes said Friday that 764 rigs sought oil and 186 explored for natural gas this week.

Among major oil- and gas-producing states, Louisiana gained four rigs, California increased by two and North Dakota and Utah each gained one.

Oklahoma and Texas each declined by three, New Mexico fell by two and Alaska decreased by one.

Arkansas, Colorado, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Wyoming were all unchanged.

The U.S. rig count peaked at 4,530 in 1981. It bottomed out in May of 2016 at 404.

The Associated Press

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OPEC, Russia to Stand Pat on Oil Deal Even as Glut Persists

July 21, 2017 (Bloomberg)  OPEC and Russia’s plan to clear the global oil glut hasn’t worked as they hoped, but there’s little expectation the world’s largest producers will act more aggressively when they meet this weekend. Oil has slumped into a bear market and inventories remain stubbornly high despite a deal between OPEC and 10 … Read more

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Oil Declines as OPEC’s Supply Is Seen at Highest Level This Year

July 21, 2017 (Bloomberg)  Oil declined after tanker-tracker Petro-Logistics SA said OPEC’s supply in July will be the highest this year. Futures fell as much as 0.5 percent in New York, erasing a weekly gain. Supply from OPEC members is set to exceed 33 million barrels a day this month, more than 600,000 barrels a day … Read more

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Encana reports US$331 million profit, says 5-year plan ahead of schedule

CALGARY — Encana Corp. (TSX:ECA) says its core operations will grow their production even more than expected this year, following a strong second quarter that included a US$331 million net profit.

The Calgary-based oil and gas producer, which reports in U.S. currency, says the profit amounted to 34 cents per share.

During last year’s second quarter, Encana had a $601-million net loss, equal to 71 cents per share.

The company says it now expects 2017 production from its core operations will be between 25 and 30 per cent above last year’s fourth quarter level.

Encana had previously estimated the production from core operations would grow 20 per cent or better.

 

The Canadian Press

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version said Encana’s annual shareholder meeting would be held today, but it was on May 2.

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Trans Mountain expansion on track to start construction in September: Kinder Morgan

CALGARY — The Trans Mountain pipeline expansion remains on track to begin construction in September, Kinder Morgan Canada president Ian Anderson said Wednesday in the face of environmental and political opposition that threatens to derail the project.

Anderson, speaking on Kinder Morgan Canada’s first quarterly earnings call since it went public in May, said he looks forward to working with the new NDP government of British Columbia Premier John Horgan, who was sworn in a day earlier.

“I’ve worked co-operatively with several provincial and federal governments over the years on the development of this project,” Anderson said.

“I want to do the same with Premier Horgan’s government.”

In Horgan, Anderson faces a premier that has vowed to use whatever means he can to stop the $7.4-billion project because of environmental concerns. But for weeks, Horgan has not elaborated on how he would bring the development to a halt.

“I’m not going to speculate on what an NDP government might do in British Columbia at this stage in order to advance their views,” Anderson said.

Experts have said that while the Trans Mountain expansion has secured federal and provincial approvals — the previous B.C. Liberal government endorsed the project — the New Democrats can disrupt it by delaying or denying permits, which Anderson noted Kinder Morgan is trying to secure.

“We continue to need a good number of local permits from British Columbia, and Alberta for that matter, as they relate to crossings, road crossings, utility access, Crown land, etc.,” he said.

The twinning of the Trans Mountain pipeline would nearly triple the capacity of the 1,150-kilometre line running from Edmonton to Burnaby, B.C., to 890,000 barrels of oil per day.

Critics, including environmental groups, politicians at various levels and Indigenous leaders, have raised concerns over risks to marine life from the increased tanker traffic that would result, the potential for leaks at land or sea, and higher emissions of oilsands crude.

The project has also pitted Horgan against his Alberta NDP counterpart Rachel Notley as well as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, both of whom have voiced strong support for it.

Anderson said the expansion is expected to be complete in 2019.

In its second quarter ended June 30, Kinder Morgan Canada (TSX:KML) earned $25.1 million, including $4.2 million for restricted voting shareholders, or 11 cents per share. That’s less than half the $51.7 million in net income during the same period a year earlier.

Revenue was $168.7 million, slightly above $165.8 million in last year’s second quarter.

Ian Bickis, The Canadian Press

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Oil Steadies Amid Mixed Signals on U.S. Crude Inventories

July 19, 2017 (Bloomberg)  Oil was steady amid mixed signals on U.S. crude inventories, with industry data showing supplies increased last week while government statistics were expected to indicate a decline. Futures were little changed in New York after adding 0.8 percent on Tuesday. U.S. inventories rose by 1.63 million barrels last week, according to … Read more

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Oil Climbs on Report Saudi Arabia Considering More Export Cuts

July 18, 2017 (Bloomberg)  Oil climbed to the highest level in almost two weeks following a report that Saudi Arabia is considering deeper export curbs. Futures gained as much as 2 percent in New York. Consultant Petroleum Policy Intelligence said the kingdom is considering additional export curbs of as much as 1 million barrels a day … Read more

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Kuwait Sees Oil Inventories Falling Faster as OPEC Keeps Cutting

July 17, 2017 (Bloomberg)  Crude oil inventories will decline at a faster pace worldwide in the second half of the year as demand increases and OPEC members comply better with a global agreement to cut output, Kuwait’s OPEC Governor Haitham al-Ghais said. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and other major producers including Russia agreed … Read more

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Oil Holds Above $46 Amid Robust Economic Growth in China

July 17, 2017 (Bloomberg)  Oil steadied above $46 a barrel in New York after China’s economic growth in the second quarter slightly surpassed expectations, while OPEC’s commitment to supply curbs faltered. Futures were little changed in New York, after rising 5.2 percent last week. The world’s second-largest economy expanded by 6.9 percent from a year … Read more

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Saudi Aramco’s Strange Response to a Future Oil Shortage: Gadfly

July 17, 2017 (Bloomberg Gadfly)  Let’s say you’re the holder of the world’s largest reserves of conventional, low-cost crude oil and you believe the supply outlook is “increasingly worrying” due to a lack of investment. Enhancing production capacity so as to cash in when prices soar would seem like a good idea. Apparently not if … Read more

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Oil Caps Weekly Gains as Investors Perk Up on State of Market

July 14, 2017 (Bloomberg) Oil edged higher for a fifth day amid optimism that the market isn’t in such bad shape. Futures climbed 1 percent in New York Friday, pushing prices to a weekly gain of 5.2 percent. The International Energy Agency said that demand is climbing faster than initially estimated, and the U.S. government reported … Read more

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First Signs of Oil Market Rebalance Are Showing in New York

July 14, 2017 (Bloomberg)  New York gasoline traders have figured out something the rest of the oil world is dying to know how to do: balance the market. Mid-Atlantic gasoline supplies are now more than 5 million barrels lower than year-ago levels, an impressive decline considering stockpiles in the region swelled to 42.3 million in … Read more

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Oil Set for Weekly Gain as Nigeria Halt Eases Oversupply Concern

July 14, 2017 (Bloomberg)  Oil headed for a weekly gain after a pipeline shutdown in Nigeria eased, but did not dispel, concerns about rising OPEC output. Futures were little changed in New York, heading for a weekly increase of 4.3 percent. Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s local unit invoked force majeure, a legal clause enabling the suspension … Read more

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Oil Trades Near $45 as IEA Grows Less Confident on Re-balancing

July 13, 2017 (Bloomberg)  Oil traded near $45 a barrel in New York as the International Energy Agency signaled it was less confident that global markets are re-balancing as anticipated. Futures were little changed, erasing an earlier loss of as much as 1.1 percent. The agency boosted estimates for global demand growth but said that … Read more

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IEA Less Confident on Oil Rebalancing as OPEC Supply Rises

July 13, 2017 (Bloomberg)  The re-balancing of global oil markets has become less certain, with OPEC production rising and little evidence that bloated stockpiles are shrinking as expected, the International Energy Agency said. While world demand is climbing faster than initially estimated, OPEC’s implementation of the supply cutbacks needed to clear the inventory surplus has … Read more

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OPEC Can Absorb `Orderly’ Recovery From Libya, Nigeria, Iran 

July 13, 2017 (Bloomberg)  OPEC wants an “orderly recovery” in oil production from Libya, Nigeria and Iran and has a flexible output target under its cuts agreement to accommodate more crude from the three member nations, the group’s Secretary-General Mohammad Barkindo said. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries was anticipating a revival in production from the three when it set … Read more

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Oil Rises a Third Day to Trade Near $46 on U.S. Stockpile Slide

July 12, 2017 (Bloomberg)  Oil extended gains to surpass $46 a barrel as U.S. industry data showed crude and gasoline stockpiles declined. Futures advanced as much as 2.4 percent in New York after rising 1.8 percent in the previous two sessions. Crude inventories fell by 8.13 million barrels last week, the American Petroleum Institute was said … Read more

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Oil Slides as Saudi Arabia Is Said to Produce Above Output Cap

July 11, 2017 (Bloomberg) Oil fell in New York, erasing earlier gains, after Saudi Arabia’s production last month was said to have risen above the cap it agreed on with fellow OPEC members. Futures slid 1 percent after advancing 1.2 percent earlier. Saudi Arabia told OPEC it raised output by 190,000 barrels a day to 10.07 million … Read more

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Tillerson Says `Hopeful’ of Ending Gulf Spat on Visit to Qatar

July 11, 2017 (Bloomberg)  Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Qatar had been reasonable in its approach to the Gulf crisis and that he’s “hopeful” progress can be made to end an impasse that pits long-standing U.S. allies against one another. “I think Qatar has been quite clear in its positions, and I think very … Read more

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Shell Plans to Spend $1 Billion a Year on Clean Energy by 2020

July 10, 2017 (Bloomberg)  Royal Dutch Shell Plc plans to spend as much as $1 billion a year on its New Energies division as the transition toward renewable power and electric cars accelerates.   “In some parts of the world we are beginning to see battery electric cars starting to gain consumer acceptance” while wind … Read more

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Oil Falls as Talk of Libya, Nigeria Caps Can’t Dispel OPEC Doubt

July 10, 2017 (Bloomberg)  Oil fell from the lowest closing price in two weeks as talk of Libya and Nigeria being requested to cap their production failed to dispel doubts about the effectiveness of OPEC’s cut. Futures were down 0.8 percent in New York, extending last week’s 3.9 percent drop. The two African producers, who … Read more

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Oil Posts Weekly Decline as U.S. Drillers Resume Expansion

July 7, 2017 (Bloomberg) Oil prices declined for the week, as expanded U.S. drilling activity and added production offset a larger-than-expected drop in stockpiles. Futures fell 3.9 percent, even after U.S. data on Thursday showed the nation’s crude stockpiles dropped by 6.3 million barrels, three times as much as expected. U.S. drillers went back to … Read more

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Alberta credit rating maintained but DBRS concerned about growing debt

EDMONTON — An agency is maintaining Alberta’s credit rating but says the outlook for the long-term is negative because of the NDP government’s unwillingness to tackle its deficit and growing debt.

DBRS Limited says the rating remains at AA-high, but the trend on long-term ratings has been changed to negative from stable and the province could face a downgrade within a year.

“The negative trend reflects that Alberta continues to erode its low debt advantage through sustained deficit spending,” the agency said in a release Friday. “Moreover, the province has yet to provide a credible plan to restore balance.”

Credit ratings affect how much governments pay to borrow money. Alberta had a $10.8 billion deficit last year and is forecasting a $10.3 billion deficit this fiscal year.

Finance Minister Joe Ceci has said the NDP government hopes to balance the budget by 2024.

DBRS said it is not convinced this can be achieved even though Alberta’s economy is improving and appears to have turned a corner supported by a modest rise in oil prices.

“Given their reluctance to use additional tax room and the continued focus on maintaining services and funding growth, this objective is highly uncertain since it relies on a sustained recovery in economic activity buoyed by higher oil prices.”

Ceci responded to the DBRS rating by accentuating the positive.

“DBRS has maintained our AA-high credit rating, recognizing our province’s strong fiscal fundamentals and the many positive economic trends and signs of recovery happening in our province right now,” he said in a statement.

“Alberta’s economy is expected to lead the country this year in economic growth, and jobs are returning. Our balance sheet remains the strongest in Canada and we continue to have the lowest debt-to-GDP ratio among the provinces.”

Ceci’s statement did not address the agency’s concerns or its warning about a possible credit rating downgrade in the coming year.

He said Albertans should remember that the province’s credit rating is among the highest in Canada and the government will continue spending on needed infrastructure projects and public services.

“We will continue to restrain spending below population growth plus inflation and, as the economy continues to recover, the deficit will decrease over time.”

Opposition Wildrose Leader Brian Jean said the DBRS release is the latest warning by bond rating agencies about government spending and debt.

He said it should prompt the NDP to take action to get Alberta’s finances in order.

“The NDP should take steps to reduce spending,” Jean said in a release. “Another credit downgrade — our sixth in just two years — would severely hurt borrowing rates and core government services.”

John Cotter, The Canadian Press

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No Sign of Saudi `Whatever It Takes’ at Critical OPEC Moment

July 7, 2017 (Bloomberg)  Now is the time to maximize the impact of OPEC’s oil production cuts, yet the market is still waiting for the group’s biggest member to show it’s doing “ whatever it takes” to eliminate the global oversupply. OPEC’s best chance to make a big dent in the lingering glut in the … Read more

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Oil Heads for Weekly Loss as Doubts Over Rebalancing Persist

July 7, 2017 (Bloomberg)  Oil fell in New York, heading for a weekly loss as a decline in U.S. crude stockpiles failed to convince investors that global markets are re-balancing. Futures dropped as much as 3.2 percent even after U.S. data on Thursday showed the nation’s crude stockpiles dropped by 6.3 million barrels, three times as … Read more

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One of Oil’s Most Prominent Bulls Is Sounding Like a Pessimist

July 5, 2017 (Bloomberg) One of oil’s most prominent bulls is starting to sound like a skeptic. The global crude market has “materially worsened” and prices may be stuck around $50 a barrel or below, storied hedge fund manager Andy Hall said in an investor letter this week, reversing the optimistic tone he’d taken for … Read more

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Oil Rebounds From Biggest Slump in Four Weeks on Stockpile Drop

July 6, 2017 (Bloomberg)  Oil rebounded from the biggest daily loss in four weeks as industry data showed U.S. crude and gasoline stockpiles declined. Futures climbed as much as 1.7 percent in New York, paring Wednesday’s 4.1 percent loss. Crude and gasoline inventories both dropped by more than by 5.5 million barrels last week, the American Petroleum … Read more

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Oil Tumbles After Russia Said to Oppose Deeper Production Curbs

July 5, 2017 (Bloomberg)  Crude oil fell, snapping the longest winning streak this year, as Russia was said to oppose any proposal to deepen OPEC-led production cuts. Futures dropped 1.3 percent in New York after eight straight sessions of gains. Russia wants to continue with the current deal and any further supply curbs would send … Read more

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Oil’s Longest Rally in Seven Years Falters as OPEC Supply Rises

July 4, 2017 (Bloomberg) Oil, on its longest run of gains in seven years, barely rose on Tuesday as forecasts that U.S. stockpiles shrunk were weighed against estimates that OPEC expanded production. Futures edged up by just 1 cent in New York after advancing 11 percent in the previous eight sessions. OPEC output climbed in June to the highest … Read more

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Russia Said to Oppose Any Move to Deepen OPEC Cuts at July Talks

July 4, 2017 (Bloomberg)  Russia wants to stick to the current OPEC deal and would oppose any proposal for deeper production cuts at the group’s ministerial meeting later this month, said four Russian government officials. Any further supply reductions so soon after the existing agreement was extended would send the wrong message to the oil … Read more

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GE Oilfield Giant Is Ready to Prosper, If Recovery Cooperates

July 3, 2017 (Bloomberg)  General Electric Co.’s new oilfield services behemoth is poised to capitalize on a recovery from the worst crude crash in a generation — except no one is sure when that will actually happen. The merger of GE’s oil and gas business with Baker Hughes Inc. officially closed Monday, creating a provider … Read more

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OPEC Output at Highest This Year as Exempt Nations Pump More

July 3 2017 (Bloomberg)  OPEC’s crude production rose to the highest this year in June as member nations exempt from output curbs pumped more. Members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries boosted their output by 260,000 barrels a day compared with May, according to a Bloomberg News survey of analysts, oil companies and ship-tracking data. … Read more

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Oil Halts Longest Winning Streak This Year as OPEC Supply Rises

July 4, 2017 (Bloomberg)  Oil snapped its longest run of gains this year as OPEC output rose amid a boost from members exempt from supply cuts. Futures slid 0.3 percent in New York after advancing almost 11 percent the previous eight sessions. OPEC production in June climbed to the highest level this year as Libya and Nigeria ramped up … Read more

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Five Things World Business Will be Talking About Today

July 3, 2017 (Bloomberg)  Qatar gets extension, RBA may join normalization chorus, and oil’s on its longest winning streak of the year. Here are some of the things people in markets are talking about. 48 Hours Qatar’s foreign minister hand-delivered its response to the 13 demands made by the Saudi-led group of states that cut … Read more

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Oil Caps Longest Rally This Year as Oversupply Anxiety Eases

June 30, 2017 (Bloomberg)  Oil posted the longest run of gains in six months after U.S. shale explorers paused a record drilling expansion in a sign the boom may be slowing down. Futures added as much as 2.7 percent in New York, advancing for a seventh session. Shale explorers broke the longest stretch of uninterrupted growth … Read more

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U.S. Crude Oil Production May Not Be Growing Quite so Fast

June 30, 2017 (Bloomberg)  U.S. crude production fell for the first time this year in April, reining in exuberance over rapidly growing domestic output. April output fell slightly to 9.08 million barrels a day, and was 190,000 barrels lower than the Energy Information Administration’s preliminary weekly estimates. Earlier in June, the agency also lowered its Permian oil … Read more

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Shale Is Just a Scapegoat for Weaker Oil Prices: Jason Schenker

May 23, 2017 (Bloomberg Prophets)  When the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries gathers in Vienna this week, members and non-OPEC oil producers are likely to extend the production cuts put in place in November as a way to shore up prices, which have been choppy this month. Whatever the final details look like, a … Read more

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