National Newswatch

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 […]

Trump victory holds uncertain future for energy trade and NAFTA

Nov 10 2016 — Chris Varcoe — A former U.S. ambassador to Canada doesn’t think the election of Donald Trump means it’s time to sound the death knell on the North American Free Trade Agreement. In fact, David Wilkins insists trade — particularly that tied to energy — will grow between Canada and the United States, despite Trump’s broadside attacks against the […]

One Alberta, two realities on jobless front

Nov 8 2016 — Chris Varcoe — There’s two versions of reality going on in Alberta today. In one reality, jobs are being created, the unemployment rate is falling in cities like Edmonton and the economy is slowly getting better — or has stopped getting worse. That was the picture painted by Economic Development Minister Deron Bilous on Monday when he updated […]

Notley preaches stability, but job losses keep coming

Oct 20 2016 — Chris Varcoe — Moments before Premier Rachel Notley hit the stage Wednesday in downtown Calgary to deliver her “state of the province” address came news about the state of the economy. Calgary-based pipeline giant Enbridge Inc. said it will cut more than 500 jobs, including 370 in Canada, eliminating about five per cent of its workforce. The timing […]

NDP to move ahead with oil and gas incentive programs

Jul 11 2016 — Chris Varcoe — The provincial government will announce Monday it is revamping drilling incentive programs for the hard-hit oilpatch, as Alberta continues to overhaul its royalty system. The moves, part of the NDP’s review of oil and gas royalty rates that began last year, will see the province introduce two new programs to encourage exploration and investment, replacing […]

T. Boone Pickens talks Canada-U.S. energy, Keystone and Trump

Jun 23 2016 — Chris Varcoe — Winding his way through downtown Calgary in the back of a limousine, legendary oilman T. Boone Pickens muses about crude prices, the Keystone pipeline, the future of the energy industry — and Donald Trump. The larger-than-life U.S. tycoon points out he’s seen the sector endure at least five major downturns since the 1980s with the […]

Leaked forecast suggests climate plan could cost Alberta billions, but NDP say analysis is invalid

Jun 17 2016 — Chris Varcoe — Alberta’s climate plan could lead to 15,000 fewer jobs, a $4-billion drop in household income, as well as lower corporate profits, oil exports and overall economic activity. That’s what Alberta Treasury Board and Finance officials initially projected last November in an internal analysis conducted for the NDP government — data the province doesn’t deny, but […]