National Newswatch

PM’s envoy listens to fears of West, as Encana OK’s moving HQ south

Jan 15 2020 — Chris Varcoe — On the same bitterly cold morning that shareholders in one of the country’s largest petroleum producers officially voted to shift its headquarters to the United States, the prime minister’s special representative for the Prairies stopped in Calgary. It comes after the federal Liberal government was shut out of Alberta and Saskatchewan in October’s election. If […]

Rising tide isn’t lifting all boats in Canada’s oilpatch in 2019

Aug 8 2019 — Chris Varcoe — Many of Canada’s largest petroleum producers are pumping out higher second-quarter profits and improved cash flow levels, yet more money isn’t coursing through the veins of the entire oilpatch. Canada’s oilfield service firms witnessed a significant drop in activity during the first six months of 2019, and are tempering expectations for the back half of […]

Canadians believe a pipeline ‘crisis’ has arrived and say Ottawa needs to do more: poll

Jan 16 2019 — Chris Varcoe — Premier Rachel Notley regularly needles Ottawa these days to “step up” and improve oil transportation in Canada, turning the Trudeau government into Alberta’s pipeline pincushion. There’s a reason for the frequent digs. Albertans overwhelmingly believe the federal government isn’t doing enough to ensure pipelines get built — along with half of all Canadians — even […]

Great stakes and low expectations ahead of Sunday’s pipeline summit

Apr 14 2018 — Chris Varcoe — No compromise. No surrender. It’s unlikely a quick settlement in the Trans Mountain imbroglio will happen Sunday when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sits down with Premiers Rachel Notley and John Horgan to discuss the pipeline deadlock. Expectations are low a resolution will result from the three-way talks in Ottawa. Not low like one-in-a-million odds — […]

Oilsands renaissance seen as sector hits middle age

Feb 23 2017 — Chris Varcoe — At the ripe old age of 50, have the Canadian oilsands finally peaked, progressing into middle age and the slow toboggan ride down the hill? Don’t count Cenovus Energy chief executive Brian Ferguson in this camp. He believes the oilsands are entering a “renaissance” that will see costs come down and production go up as […]

Growing signs of a thaw for Canada’s oilpatch in 2017

Dec 13 2016 — Chris Varcoe — Slowly, surely, there are signs of a thaw — in Canada’s ice-cold oilpatch. On Monday, Baytex Energy Corp. announced it will boost its 2017 capital budget to about $325 million, up $100 million from this year’s levels. It follows several other producers, including Cenovus Energy Inc. and Crescent Point Energy Corp., strengthening their spending plans […]

Pivotal time for Alberta as OPEC meets and pipeline decisions loom

Nov 29 2016 — Chris Varcoe — This is a pivotal time for Alberta’s beleaguered economy in more ways than one. Ottawa is expected to announce decisions in the coming days on two pipeline projects — Enbridge’s Line 3 development and the contentious Northern Gateway venture — while a final cabinet call on the Trans Mountain expansion is anticipated before mid-December. Federal […]