$1.25-million project tackles clubroot resistance in canola

Researchers and agriculture company battle the crop-damaging disease and train new scientists

$1.25-million project tackles clubroot resistance in canolaA $1.25-million research project is tackling clubroot resistance in canola to help battle new strains of the crop-damaging pathogen. Funded by agriculture company BASF, University of Alberta plant scientists Stephen Strelkov and Sheau-Fang Hwang will work to identify new sources of pathogen resistance that can be bred into canola seeds. New strains of clubroot, a soil-borne disease that attacks the…

Canadian energy sector has been down, but will never be out

Global Energy Show signals Canada’s oil and gas recovery and strong future

Canadian energy sector has been down, but will never be outA clear signal that Alberta’s oil and gas industry is alive and kicking was Calgary’s Global Energy Show held June 6 to 8. Last held in 2019, this important annual event was one of the many casualties of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and 2021. Originally called the National Petroleum Show when it was started…

Food supply chain resilience put to the test by B.C. floods

Supply chains in Western Canada have always been vulnerable and that’s not going to change anytime soon

Food supply chain resilience put to the test by B.C. floodsImages from British Columbia over the past week have been heartbreaking: human casualties, dairy cows barely breathing above water before being pulled to safety, the loss of livestock across the Fraser Valley. Just devastating. And the flow of goods on rail and roads is severely compromised. Many now claim that flash floods and atmospheric rivers…

What does the Trudeau win mean for Western Canadians?

More of the same

What does the Trudeau win mean for Western Canadians?What does another Trudeau win mean for Western Canadians? After all, the actual composition of the House of Commons changed little, and once again, the Liberals will need the support of either the NDP or the Bloc Quebecois to pass legislation. So, for the most part, we can expect a continuation of some programs, including…

Blowing in a fierce wind: Why crude oil prices are declining

Non-fundamental factors appear to be controlling crude oil market patterns

Blowing in a fierce wind: Why crude oil prices are decliningA number of major events weighed on global oil markets throughout last week. Those factors included: Hurricane Ida; the United States Federal Reserve delaying the tapering off of its economic stimulus; the decision of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies in OPEC+ to stick to their original output increments; the rising…

Delta variant hammering crude oil prices

Asia’s market is softening

Delta variant hammering crude oil pricesThe crude oil rally is stuttering. Having ceded some 15 per cent in prices in recent months, the rally we saw earlier this year has lost steam. Despite talk of growing demand, tightening markets, galloping prices and the call by U.S. President Joe Biden to the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and their allies in…

Crude oil markets remain unsettled

Declining Chinese demand, a rising rig count in the United States and a devastating resurgence of COVID-19 in Asia all play a role

Crude oil markets remain unsettledIt has been a fluctuating week for the oil markets. In the immediate aftermath of the agreement within the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and their allies in OPEC+, crude prices fell by a devastating seven per cent on July 19. However, with signs of demand holding despite the spread of the Delta COVID-19 variant,…

Canada’s clean energy future must include nuclear

Ignoring its potential would be a missed opportunity

Canada’s clean energy future must include nuclearIn 1950, Canada faced a difficult choice between the desire to be a leader in the development of nuclear energy technology and the fear that such technology would bring the end of the world a little closer. Despite concerns related to the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Canada elected to be in the vanguard. As…

Bleak clouds over the crude oil horizon are dissipating

But much still depends on United States-Iran nuclear talks and how OPEC+ members will react to any deal

Bleak clouds over the crude oil horizon are dissipatingCrude oil markets are hot. Prices are up and the US$75 line has been breached. Chatter about oil touching US$100 is getting loud and clear. Global oil consumption is getting closer to the pre-pandemic levels. The bleak clouds hanging over the crude oil horizon are beginning to dissipate. Industry eyes are again on the Organization…

Prairie provinces debt levels a ticking time bomb

An economic burden for future generations

Prairie provinces debt levels a ticking time bombThe debt in Canada’s Prairie provinces has grown colossally during the COVID-19 pandemic, just as debt has in the rest of Canada and around the world. At the end of 2020, Alberta’s debt was estimated at $98 billion, Manitoba’s was $28.6 billion and Saskatchewan’s was $15 billion. These debts are an economic burden for the taxpayers…

Oil market shows signs of improvement but for how long?

Alternative energy and calls for the world to overcome its reliance on fossil fuels gaining currency

Oil market shows signs of improvement but for how long?The short-term prognosis for crude oil looks exciting. But that may be a mirage. The approaching summer driving season in the Northern Hemisphere and the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions have stimulated demand. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies in the expanded OPEC+ appear confident that with the accelerating vaccination programs and…

Prairie provinces must put an end to rising debt

The current turmoil could weaken budgetary discipline, leading governments into long-term spending and increased debt

Prairie provinces must put an end to rising debtAt the end of 2020, Alberta’s debt was estimated at $98 billion, Manitoba’s was $28.6 billion and Saskatchewan’s stood at $15 billion. These debts are lower than Quebec’s ($220 billion) and Ontario’s ($448.9 billion), but there are concerns about their sustainability. Indeed, they’re a long-term burden for the governments, the taxpayers and the economy. Debt growth…

Democracies can’t abandon oil and gas production

We have to beware tyrannies and autocracies that use oil and natural gas as weapons

Democracies can’t abandon oil and gas productionBy Mark Milke and Lennie Kaplan Canadian Energy Centre History shows tyrannies and autocracies use oil and natural gas as weapons when interacting with democracies. This is obvious during wars – tanks and jets don’t run on vegetable oil – as well as peacetime. For example, in 2009, Russia cut natural gas supplies to Ukraine in…

No major relief in sight for oil markets

Ominous clouds continue to hang over the global oil horizon

No major relief in sight for oil marketsWhere will world oil markets be in a year? With so many variables impacting the markets, no one has the crystal ball to see the crude oil price trajectory a year ahead. On April 20, 2020, panic had gripped the energy market as a frightening realization dawned on oil traders: The world was rapidly running…

Why oil-producing nations are rushing to ramp up production

Oil producers face catastrophe if countries worldwide move to limit global warming by two degrees Celsius

Why oil-producing nations are rushing to ramp up productionCrude oil demand is weak and the fundamental factors aren’t encouraging. Yet, most major oil-producing countries are moving to boost their output levels in the short run. Why? Saudi Arabia is pursuing plans to develop major offshore expansion projects to add an extra 1.15 million barrels per day (bpd) to its oil capacity by 2024,…

Canadian oil still the safest bet for Americans

Canada was the only free-country supplier of foreign crude oil to the U.S. between 1993 and 2020

Canadian oil still the safest bet for AmericansBy Mark Milke and Lennie Kaplan Canadian Energy Centre Imagine you’re in Germany and wonder if it’s a good idea to rely so heavily on natural gas imports from Russia, where the governing regime is accused by German politicians of killing journalists and the attempted murder of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny. German Chancellor Angela…

Policy uncertainty continues to hurt Canada’s mining industry

To attract the investment required to develop resources, mitigating the risks of policy uncertainly needs to be a top priority

Policy uncertainty continues to hurt Canada’s mining industryBy Jairo Yunis and Elmira Aliakbari The Fraser Institute The COVID recession has hurt Canada’s natural resources sector, with supply disruptions, commodity price declines and greater uncertainty regarding future demand. Not surprisingly, capital investment in the Canadian mining industry has dropped to its lowest level since 2009. Of course, business investment should be a key…

Oil prices rise as Texas drops into deep freeze

But how long will the bull run last?

Oil prices rise as Texas drops into deep freezeWith the Brent crude oil price touching $65 last week, markets have entered the hot zone. Inclement weather, the resultant rising demand for heating, a dip in United States output and the unilateral Saudi output cut all helped to tighten the markets, contributing to the bull run. Parts of the U.S. have been in a…

Insurers walking from oil sands projects defies logic

By every measure, Canada is a beacon of civil, political and economic rights

Insurers walking from oil sands projects defies logicBy Mark Milke and Lennie Kaplan Canadian Energy Centre Over the past two years, three insurance companies from Europe – Axa, Zurich and Swiss Re – announced plans to stop insuring Canadian oil sands projects, and reduce or entirely eliminate investments in the oil and gas sector. The reason offered is the standard refrain: assumed…

Cautious optimism as crude oil prices climb

Some observers see prices moving even higher as refiners increase processing rates to meet rising product demand

Cautious optimism as crude oil prices climbOil extended its longest winning streak in two years last week. Crude oil prices climbed more than nine per cent, as the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies in OPEC+ curbed supplies, depleting global oil inventories. A United States government report also indicated that U.S. domestic oil stockpiles have fallen by 6.6 million…

Time for oil-rich provinces to sell off their assets

More than 70 years of Alberta prosperity could be in jeopardy. And the continued fixation and dependence on fossil fuels could bring disaster

Time for oil-rich provinces to sell off their assetsLack of diversification is a risky invitation to investment disaster. Very few institutional, corporate or individual investors would put their total net worth into one sector. Yet that’s just what Alberta, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Saskatchewan have done. The economies of these provinces are heavily dependent on the fortunes of the petroleum industry. Corporate and…

Is the crude oil market rally just a mirage?

Is the crude oil market rally just a mirage?Crude oil markets firmed up in the last week to levels not seen in almost a year. Does that indicate a real change in direction or is it just a passing phase? In sharp contrast to its January meeting, the virtual ministerial meeting of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies in OPEC+…

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…

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…

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…
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