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by Stockwatch Business Reporter
West Texas Intermediate crude for April delivery added eight cents to $56.87 on the New York Merc, while Brent for May added nine cents to $66.67 (all figures in this para U.S.). Western Canadian Select traded at a discount of $10.85 to WTI, up from a discount of $10.91. Natural gas for April added one cent to $2.78. The TSX energy index added a fraction to close at 154.37.
"The outlook for Canadian oil production has significantly deteriorated." Such is the glum assessment of the International Energy Agency (IEA), which has released its latest annual oil forecast. The organization was previously expecting Canada's crude output to rise in 2019. Now that idea is "in question" as the country grapples with a lack of pipeline capacity, mandatory production cuts in Alberta and the inability of crude-by-rail exports to keep pace. This in turn has caused planned investments in new projects to be deferred or simply vanish. As a result, the IEA expects Canadian crude production to increase by just 300,000 barrels a day by 2024, an amount equivalent to the increase in 2018 alone. In the United States, by stark contrast, the shale oil boom has put the country in a position to overtake Russia and challenge Saudi Arabia as the largest crude exporter by 2024.
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