Crude oil market remains in flux

Global demand remains a major concern

Crude oil market remains in fluxUncertainty is ruling the energy world. “Crude producers continue to grapple with huge uncertainty about where this goes from here,” Tim Gould, the International Energy Agency (IEA) head of energy supply outlooks and investment, told the press last week. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) agrees. “Uncertainties remain high going forward with the main…

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…

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…

Tensions rise in Persian Gulf over oil shipments

Tensions rise in Persian Gulf over oil shipmentsUnited States President Donald Trump leaves office in three weeks. Anything could happen before then. Stakeholders are taking positions around the strategically-important Strait of Hormuz, the only sea passage for crude oil shipped from the Persian Gulf to the open ocean. In 2018, some 21 million barrels per day (bpd), or almost 20 per cent…

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…

Remarkable technology kept under wraps by U.S. military

The United States has been sitting on some stunning discoveries for years

Remarkable technology kept under wraps by U.S. militaryNo one ever took U.S. President Donald Trump for Star Trek’s Capt. Jean-Luc Picard. Nevertheless, his creation of the U.S. Space Force in December 2019 resembled the latter’s powerful command, “Engage!” The space race is on but what most people would find surprising is how far along that race is already. “The power of space…

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…

OPEC+ fault lines growing deeper

OPEC+ fault lines growing deeperIt was a political decision, a compromise between the differing oil producers. Last Thursday, after extended deliberations, debate and heated arguments, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies in the extended OPEC+ finally opted to increase their crude oil output by 500,000 barrels per day (bpd) from January 2021. And every month…

How Canada can cut global emissions and boost its economy

How Canada can cut global emissions and boost its economyWhat can Canada do to reduce global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions while creating substantial economic benefits? My October column explained why attempting to replace fossil-fuel-generated electricity with wind and solar energy is technically impossible and economically disastrous. Here’s another solution: Export liquefied natural gas (LNG) to replace coal-fuelled electricity generation. This will cut coal plant…

How Atlantic Canada fortunes and oil and gas are intertwined

How Atlantic Canada fortunes and oil and gas are intertwinedBy Mark Milke and Ven Venkatachalam Canadian Energy Centre Atlantic Canada struggled to create good-paying jobs long before the COVID-19 pandemic. The multiple reasons include poor policy and high taxes on businesses and individuals. Poor policy reinforces other lousy policy, leading to a self-reinforcing downward economic spiral. For instance, previous governments formed policy forbidding fracking…

Financial quagmire engulfing oil-producing countries

The rush to monetize oil and gas assets gathers momentum as major debt problems rise for many oil-producing countries

Financial quagmire engulfing oil-producing countriesClimate change is at the top of U.S. president-elect Joe Biden’s priority list. By nominating a person of the stature of former secretary of state John Kerry as the special presidential envoy on climate change, Biden has spelled out his intentions. The message is getting loud and clear to stakeholders. Consequently, the rush to monetize…

New battery research could help power the future

Redox flow battery technology has promising applications for storing energy from renewable sources

New battery research could help power the futureUniversity of Alberta chemists are making new strides in research on a type of battery that could help power the future. “Environmentally friendly renewable energy sources such as solar and wind provide a significant opportunity to alleviate the energy crisis and dramatically reduce carbon emissions,” said Hao Wang, chemistry PhD student in the Faculty of Science.…

Alberta oil and gas critical to B.C.’s economy

The impact of oil and natural gas is significant, whether it is for salaries, Indigenous jobs, or GDP

Alberta oil and gas critical to B.C.’s economyBy Mark Milke and Ven Venkatachalam Canadian Energy Centre How much do the oil and natural gas industries contribute to British Columbia’s economy? One way to see the impact is to look at those of Indigenous ancestry. Their employment proportions across sectors and incomes reveals a lot about where the good-paying jobs are, and also…

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…

OPEC faces an existential threat

The viability of OPEC as an effective organization is now in question

OPEC faces an existential threatGloom continues to cloud crude oil markets. With a COVID-19 vaccine unlikely to ride to the rescue of the global oil market for some time, the combination of weaker demand and rising oil supply provides a difficult backdrop to the meeting of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and their allies later this month,…

Autocratic regimes use energy as a weapon

International power politics employed by the likes of Russia have resulted in many countries looking for new energy sources

Autocratic regimes use energy as a weaponBy Mark Milke and Ven Venkatachalam Canadian Energy Centre Russia cut off the natural gas supply to Ukraine in mid-winter 2009, ostensibly over a pricing dispute. It was a reminder that energy can be used as an economic and political weapon by autocratic regimes – in this instance, Vladimir Putin’s Russia. We have more recent…

Why oil and gas are fundamental to Canada

The $493 billion in oil and gas revenues paid to governments since 2000 is more than family allowance and children’s benefits since 1970

Why oil and gas are fundamental to CanadaBy Mark Milke and Lennie Kaplan Canadian Energy Centre Humans are wired to respond to stories that paint a relatable picture of an issue at hand. And those stories are easier to remember. If we repeat a Rex Murphy story about how out-of-work cod fishery workers from Newfoundland saved their homes and marriages by moving…

It’s time to invest in Canada’s energy sector

Canada can supply oil and natural gas to world markets for decades, while driving down emissions and bolstering our economic recovery

It’s time to invest in Canada’s energy sectorImagine a global $800-billion natural gas and oil investment market and the opportunity that represents for Canada. Canadians should be very interested in what it would mean for our country’s economic recovery if we market the strengths of our vast natural gas and oil industry, and capture an increasing share of those billions of investment…

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…

The unintended consequences of ‘clean and green’

There is no carbon-free energy Valhalla. The environmental impacts of going ‘clean and green’ could be worse than using fossil fuels

The unintended consequences of ‘clean and green’By Jock Finlayson and Denise Mullen Business Council of B.C. We all go to the store to purchase things – groceries, clothing, tools or the latest electronic gadget. During the global pandemic, an increasing share of shopping has shifted online. A few clicks and an item soon arrives at our doorstep. We also often demand…

Dark days ahead for oil-rich Gulf economies

Dark days ahead for oil-rich Gulf economiesOil-dependent economies are in a real quandary. Sliding markets, lowering demand and strong output capacities are set to hit the single-product, oil-rich economies of the Middle East, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said in a recent report. These oil-rich Persian Gulf states are now expected to see a six per cent real gross domestic product…

AI could offer big energy savings for office towers

U of A computing scientist Omid Ardakanian is working on software to make buildings more comfortable while cutting emissions, lowering costs

AI could offer big energy savings for office towersFor most of us, office cooling and heating systems are like wallpaper: you only really notice them if they catch fire. For Omid Ardakanian, office buildings offer potential energy savings on a skyscraper scale. “My obsession, if you want to call it that, comes from the sensors in these buildings,” said Ardakanian, a computing science professor…

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…

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…
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