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by Stockwatch Business Reporter
West Texas Intermediate crude for May delivery lost 29 cents to $63.76 on the New York Merc, while Brent for June lost 10 cents to $71.62 (all figures in this para U.S.). Western Canadian Select traded at a discount of $10.35 to WTI, down from a discount of $8.47. Natural gas for May lost five cents to $2.52. The TSX energy index added 2.25 points to close at 165.88.
Conservatives have retaken Alberta. Following one term under NDP Leader Rachel Notley, Albertans chose Jason Kenney as the next premier in yesterday's election, giving his United Conservative Party a comfortable majority government. Mr. Kenney ran on a platform of steadfast support for the province's energy industry. Among other things, he plans to scrap the carbon tax adopted by Ms. Notley's government, challenge Ottawa's carbon tax, cut corporate taxes, reduce regulatory red tape, and even create a "war room" to defend and bolster the industry's reputation.
Mr. Kenney's election as premier was generally welcomed by energy executives. "We look forward to working with the incoming government and believe this could be a fruitful partnership going forward," said Tim McMillan, president and chief executive officer of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, during a press conference this morning. Others sounded a note of caution: Mr. Kenney's election is a positive, but not a panacea, and much more change is needed to restore investor confidence. Myles Bosman, chief operating officer of Alberta Montney producer Birchcliff Energy Ltd. (BIR: $3.66), told The Globe and Mail yesterday (before the polls closed) that he was recently promoting Birchcliff in Europe and heard concerns not just about the Alberta NDP government, but also the federal Liberal government. Both governments "sent bad signals out to the world," said Mr. Bosman, adding, "They [the Europeans] said you need to change your governments as a signal to us to re-engage and invest in Canada." If that is the case, then Mr. Bosman now has a new opening line for his next European jaunt: one down, one to go. The 2019 federal election is scheduled for Monday, Oct. 21.
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