Here we go again… Oil Price Speculation or Real? this morning has an article that I wasn’t expecting until at least August this year. But here it is all the same. The topic? Oil Prices Resist the World’s Recession Trend

Their main point:

The resilience shown by the oil markets is not because of any improvement in the global economy or rise in oil consumption. Global demand remains on course for its steepest drop since the early 1980s, and oil inventories are at their highest levels in 19 years.

Instead, analysts said, oil is once again being sought by investors as a refuge against a slumping dollar and rising inflation.

Lets stop right there. Slumping Dollar? The US Dollar has gained over 20% over the Canadian dollar since July and the same can be said for the Euro and Yen. INFLATION? Last month, the US officially experienced DEFLATION (negative inflation)… so I’m really not sure what planet CNBC is on!

But then, the very next sentence, they take a different tone:

Stabilization of the oil price is also a victory for the OPEC cartel, which has succeeded in cutting output sharply to match lower demand.

and so, once again, it’s all evil OPECs fault. Because, you know, it has nothing to do with plummeting oil production in Mexico (World #3 Super Giant field Cantarell is now producing less than other Mexican fields).

Oh.. but wait…

The perception remains well ingrained in the market that oil supplies, while plentiful today, may prove insufficient once demand picks up again.

Huh. So you mean investors don’t buy the “drill drill drill” mantra? You mean investors have looked abroad and seen conventional production in Mexico, Canada, the UK, Russia and Norway declining even while prices skyrocketed over the past 5 years? You mean investors have seen Saudi Arabia hit a wall, unable to pump more oil without damaging it’s fields.

Investors know this.

The OECD knows this.

So why the “speculation” talk? We have been given a great opportunity during this recession… depression, the first shrinking of the world economy since WWII (OECD), demand is knocked down. The pressure is off… people are LOOKING for work. We need to put them to work creating a new economy… low energy, high efficiency, low carbon.

If we wait until “recovery” happens, then we are doomed to be right back here within 2 years.

The NDP should Axe the Tobacco Tax.

Carole James

Yes, they should. It adds $37 to a carton of cigarettes. Canadians have pumped $138 Billion into government coffers since Louis St. Laurent levied the first tobacco tax in 1950.

And where has that gotten us? Censorship. Certain companies can’t advertise in certain places… or at all? Discrimination. Folks, stuck outside, 5 metres from everything, trying to lite up in the cold Canadian wind.

Is this the Canada we want to live in? Where habit is treated like a threat rather than a comfort? Where businesses are sued instead of embraced? Where hospitals are filled with the sick and needy… rather than the terminally happy?

In 1965, 60% of Canadians were loving life in Marlboro country, now only 25% enjoy that priviledge.

Carole James, thousands of British Columbians are counting on you to keep fighting against these repressive regimes. Not since “Colonel” Drew stood in the House against another giant taxgrab in 1950 has there been someone to fight against these grave injustices. Good Luck.

George Alexander Drew


Peak Oil and Gas biting hard in Alberta – Have-Not soon.

While both the Liberals and Conservatives in Parliament talk up the potential of the Tar Sands to keep votes in Alberta… the reality on the ground is starting to really hurt the revenues of Canadas’ richest province.

As far back as August last year, at the apex of the oil price shock, there have been major warning signs that peak oil and gas production was starting to hurt Albertas revenue/royalty stream.

From the article last year:

Natural gas provides about $6 billion of the province’s $10 billion oil and gas resource revenue and accounts for most of the roughly $27 billion spent each year to explore for conventional hydrocarbons – which, incidentally, dwarfs high-profile oilsands spending.

In 2008, Canada’s natural gas output and drilling have both been in decline, while south of the border the natural gas drilling business is going flat out and gas output is up. Provincially, gas production is up markedly in British Columbia – but given Alberta’s 90 per cent weight in Canadian production, Wild Rose Country’s performance is pulling Canada’s national figures sharply lower.

This is the definition of Peak Oil my friends… pouring more and more money into exploration/wells just to offset the production lost due to a peaked resource… and because Natural Gas tends to decline much more sharply than Oil, the reliance on Gas royalties puts Alberta in an even worse position.

And now that oil prices are “low” at $50, oil companies don’t want to invest in a futile effort… here is yesterdays article:

Natural gas makes up two-thirds of all activity in the oilpatch and production has fallen almost 15 per cent over the past two years, taking the biggest contributor to the government’s revenue stream down with it. From a peak of about 14 billion cubic feet a day in 2001, Alberta’s gas production has steadily slid to a little more than 12 billion cubic feet at present.

So what? you might say… we have the Tar Sands. Well, without Natural Gas, you have no tar sands as it is required to melt or steam the oil out of the sand.

The implications of Peak Oil and Gas in Alberta?

  • Alberta will likely be a “have-not” province within 5 years, and stay that way indefinitely, much like the maritime provinces
  • Natural Gas prices in North America will rise sharply over the next few years as US production starts to fall and increased demand from a recovering economy and rejection of foreign oil takes hold.
  • A nuclear energy plant will be built somewhere near Fort Mac in order to replace the energy lost to declining Natural Gas.
  • LNG imports into North America will increase putting more upward momentum on Natural Gas prices.
  • NAFTA will be center stage once more, as the clause requiring Canada to export its fossil fuels to the US starts to worry citizens and politicians alike.