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by Stockwatch Business Reporter
West Texas Intermediate crude for February delivery added $1.13 to $46.54 on the New York Merc, while Brent for March added $1.11 to $54.91 (all figures in this para U.S.). Western Canadian Select traded at a discount of $15.65 to WTI, unchanged. Natural gas for February added two cents to $2.96. The TSX energy index added 2.55 points to close at 140.43.
It is the first trading day of 2019. In Alberta, mandatory oil production cuts affecting about 325,000 barrels a day have gone into effect, in accordance with the restrictions announced by Premier Rachel Notley on Dec. 2. Her announcement came in the wake of record low prices for Canadian crude and had a clear aim: "to clear the current glut and improve prices." Although the cuts did not take effect until yesterday, their mere announcement had a dramatic effect; within just two weeks, the spot price for WCS had surged more than 70 per cent. The discount of WCS to WTI, which had been around $50 (U.S.) in October, is now more a typical $15 (U.S.).
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In my opinion, oil and gas producers should not be seeking help from governments. Get on with running your businesses. Government does not ever give any more than it expects to get back and asking them for help will usually just cost investors more in the end.