Prairie provinces can thrive with greater Asian trade

With the COVID-19 recession and the expansion of Chinese influence, it’s urgent that Canada take the initiative and position itself in new markets

Prairie provinces can thrive with greater Asian tradeIn November, China and 14 Asia-Pacific countries including Japan and South Korea signed a free-trade deal covering 2.2 billion people and nearly 30 per cent of international trade. This Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership shows that the Pacific region continues to reinforce its place as the world’s leading trade hub. Canada and, more precisely, the Prairie…

Oil and gas exports critical to Canada’s economic future

It is a mistake to think Canada can thrive without the export wealth generated by the energy sector

Oil and gas exports critical to Canada’s economic futureBy Mark Milke and Lennie Kaplan Canadian Energy Centre You may have heard the persistent worldwide narrative that oil and natural gas are dead, or soon will be, and can easily be replaced with other forms of energy. The latter claim is simply false. Read the work of energy transition expert Vaclav Smil, professor of…

Alberts needs to reverse its income tax hike

Alberts needs to reverse its income tax hikeThe last thing Albertans need right now is a provincial government reaching further into our pockets with higher income taxes. But higher income taxes are exactly what Albertans are getting in 2021, courtesy of Premier Jason Kenney’s sneaky backdoor tax grab known as bracket creep. Bracket creep happens when governments stop indexing tax brackets with…

Oil markets still face uncertain future

Even if the vaccines remain effective against the new COVID-19 mutants, a true crude oil market rebound is still a long shot

Oil markets still face uncertain futureStrong headwinds continue to disrupt crude oil markets in the new year. In 2020, COVID-19 triggered demand destruction, with some insisting that global oil demand may have already peaked. Lifestyles changed – apparently forever. Working from home became the new norm, commuting to the workplace became extinct and flying became less prevalent. All these factors…

Alberta’s politicians need to take a pay cut

Alberta’s politicians need to take a pay cutOur politicians are asking Albertans to make massive sacrifices, but most don’t seem willing to make the same sacrifice. Premier Jason Kenney recently announced that Alberta will be heading into its second lockdown and specifically spoke to those it would hit hardest. “I know how devastating today’s announcement and these measures are for tens of…

A legitimate demand for oil industry investment?

A legitimate demand for oil industry investment?Opposing interest groups are endeavouring to sway crude oil market sentiments. The global oil industry needs some $12.6 trillion in investments through 2045 to meet the demand, Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) secretary general Mohammed Barkindo said at a videoconference. This declaration came despite the fact that earlier the month in its Monthly Oil…

The crude oil market is approaching its peak

And the rush to monetize crude oil assets is on

The crude oil market is approaching its peakThe halcyon days of crude oil are over. The reality of the transition is dawning on stakeholders. From the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and Russia, to the major oil companies, all are beginning to recognize, appreciate and react to this changing global energy kaleidoscope. Russia was denying the reality. No more. “The peak…

The Alberta government is not taking too little from taxpayers

It’s time for Alberta’s politicians to start living within taxpayers’ means.

The Alberta government is not taking too little from taxpayersAlbertans have many legitimate beefs with their governments. They have municipal employees having pension parties on their dime. They have a federal government that is getting ready to hammer us with its second carbon tax. And they “have the most inefficient provincial government in Canada by a country mile,” to quote Premier Jason Kenney. But…

More UCP MLAs need to speak out against a PST

Finance Minister Travis Toews may hit Albertans with a PST once the pandemic settles

More UCP MLAs need to speak out against a PSTAlbertans didn’t elect the United Conservatives so they could have their turn reaching deeper into our pockets and UCP MLAs need to remind Finance Minister Travis Toews of that fact because he keeps flirting with the idea of a provincial sales tax. “The timing is the question here,” said Toews on Nov. 13, referencing a…

Nuclear industry could boost Canada

A real game-changer for the energy economy, and the environment

Nuclear industry could boost CanadaThe COVID-19 crisis has dominated most recent media coverage but environmental concerns remain. Friday for Future, the movement launched by Greta Thunberg, has come back to protest the federal government’s inaction on earlier green promises such as curbing greenhouse gas emissions. More and more, we’re seeing green activists fighting against industry and energy consumption. But…

Alberta’s debt was unsustainable even before COVID-19

Analysis shows Alberta must significantly reduce spending relative to the size of the economy or raise taxes

Alberta’s debt was unsustainable even before COVID-19By Tegan Hill and Ben Eisen The Fraser Institute The Alberta government will release a three-year fiscal update later this month, and will be tempted to blame the province’s fiscal challenges on COVID-19. In reality, Alberta’s finances were unsustainable long before the pandemic hit. While the COVID-19-induced recession has certainly contributed to the province’s eye-popping…

U.S. natural gas producers benefit from Canada’s retreat

Less supportive policies and regulatory constraints has led to natural gas stagnation in Canada

U.S. natural gas producers benefit from Canada’s retreatBy Mark Milke and Lennie Kaplan Canadian Energy Centre The United States has undergone an energy renaissance of sorts in recent years. After decades of importing significant volumes of natural gas, there has been a transformation in both the economy and policy on that source of energy in particular. Americans began to produce and export…

Why Ontarians should care about Alberta oil and gas

Alberta’s consumers, businesses and governments were responsible for $31.4 billion of Ontario’s total interprovincial trade in 2016 alone

Why Ontarians should care about Alberta oil and gasBy Mark Milke and Ven Venkatachalam Canadian Energy Centre “All politics is local,” as 1980s-era U.S. House of Representatives leader Tip O’Neill put it. O’Neill’s point was straightforward: Voters care about what affects them. That, naturally, is where politicians then aim their promises and rhetoric. What’s true in politics is also true of the economy:…

Energy use forecasts pivot dramatically

Global energy players and major stakeholders are out with their keenly-awaited and immensely researched outlooks

Energy use forecasts pivot dramaticallyEnergy outlook season is here. And it’s not rosy. Global energy players and major stakeholders are out with their keenly-awaited and immensely researched outlooks. COVID-19 has turned 2020 into an unusual year, carrying long-term ramifications for the energy world. The Paris-based International Energy Agency has termed the pandemic a disruption not seen since the “world…

Alberta sales tax a bad bet to balance the books

For politicians, spending expands to meet any additional revenue, so a sales tax would only increase spending, not reduce the deficit

Alberta sales tax a bad bet to balance the booksAlberta’s finances are a mess. By the end of the year, Alberta will have the largest deficit in the province’s history coupled with a $100-billion debt tab. Almost like clockwork, some academics are recommending a provincial sales tax to pull the government out of its sea of red ink. But the pseudo sales tax solution…

Trudeau delivers another blow to energy, mining sectors

Plan requiring projects to describe how they will achieve net-zero emissions may not even be feasible

Trudeau delivers another blow to energy, mining sectorsBy Alex Whalen and Elmira Aliakbari The Fraser Institute Newfoundland and Labrador’s energy sector, already struggling from the downturn in world oil markets and the COVID-19 recession, has taken another blow – this time directly from the federal government. The Liberal government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau recently imposed new rules – known as the…

How oil and gas fuels the nation’s economy

The importance of oil and gas extraction to Canada’s GDP, jobs, incomes or tax revenues can’t be understated

How oil and gas fuels the nation’s economyBy Mark Milke and Lennie Kaplan Canadian Energy Centre No matter how you slice it, Canada’s oil and natural gas sector has been one of the nation’s most significant contributors to jobs, gross domestic product (GDP) and tax revenues over the decades. Even in down years, such as 2016, the oil and gas extraction sector…

Cities’ push for new taxes divorced from reality

Alberta’s cities need to first tackle the cost elephant in the room: labour

Cities’ push for new taxes divorced from realityWe hear councillors offer nice platitudes about understanding the hardships Albertans are going through, but actions speak louder than words. And the recent push for new tax powers shows that big city councillors and mayors are divorced from the reality facing Alberta. In June, Red Deer council voted unanimously to back an Edmonton resolution calling…

More dark days on the horizon for oil industry

More dark days on the horizon for oil industryDesperation is creeping into the crude oil industry. With crude oil prices stuck at around $40 a barrel, S&P Global Ratings has estimated that the total government budgetary deficits of the oil-producing countries of the Co-operation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf could reach $490 billion cumulatively between 2020 and 2023. At the…

Indigenous communities see ocean of opportunity in oil and gas

Indigenous communities see ocean of opportunity in oil and gasEditor’s note: Indigenous communities across Canada are learning how to prosper in a new era of co-operation in oil and gas development. Setting aside old grievances, industry, government and First Nations communities are working together to ensure that, as equal partners, Canada’s Indigenous peoples enjoy employment and sustainable growth trickles down to them. In this…

Alberta desperately needs to reduce its labour costs

Alberta desperately needs to reduce its labour costsAt the end of August Finance Minister Travis Toews released his budget update, which was 20 pages doused from top to bottom in red ink. Albertans couldn’t afford our high-cost provincial government before the pandemic. And Toews’ budget update shows we definitely can’t afford our high-cost provincial government now. At $24 billion, this year’s deficit…

As COVID-19 cases rise again, oil forecasts fall

The world is past the era of growing crude oil demand and it may never recover to pre-pandemic levels

As COVID-19 cases rise again, oil forecasts fallThe crude games continue. While crude oil markets continue to be sloppy, despite the possibility of a small bull run just before the weekend, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and their allies in OPEC-plus are opting to keep their cards close to their chests. Avoiding any hint about their next steps, after their virtual…

Alberta needs to take tax hikes off the table

Alberta needs to take tax hikes off the tableHere’s one thing Premier Jason Kenney and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau can agree on: hiking taxes would be a bad idea. “I cannot imagine a dumber thing to do in the midst of a time of economic fragility, an oil price collapse and a global recession than to add a multi-billion dollar tax on the…

Oil demand faces long, slow climb out of doldrums

Despite some oil industry analysts and observers looking at the glass as half full, there still seems to be ample reasons for gloom

Oil demand faces long, slow climb out of doldrumsForecasting crude oil markets remains a matter of perspective. Global oil demand growth is expected to taper off, journalist and analyst Julianne Geiger says, referencing the latest report from energy consultancy IHS Markit. Crude oil demand sits at 89 per cent of pre-pandemic levels, IHS Markit says. It’s expected to rise, then level off at…

Will petrochemicals be the last gasp for big oil?

The pandemic has caused some major producers to pause and defer investments in the petrochemical sector

Will petrochemicals be the last gasp for big oil?With the crude oil landscape changing rapidly, the refining industry is faced with major adjustments. Several oil refiners have announced permanent closures in the United States and Asia, while some high-cost refineries in Europe could also be shut down over the next few years. Margins for processing crude into fuels are expected to remain depressed,…

Oil industry facing (c)rude awakening

The game is up: Oil and gas companies can no longer mask their financial frailty

Oil industry facing (c)rude awakeningThe decline in oil demand accelerated by Covid-19 may be a sign of the future. Forty publicly-traded U.S. oil producers wrote down a collective $48 billion worth of the value of their assets in the first quarter of 2020, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported. Quoting Deloitte, Oilprice.com points out that the collapse in crude…
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