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by Stockwatch Business Reporter
West Texas Intermediate crude for May delivery added 24 cents to $64.00 on the New York Merc, while Brent for June added 35 cents to $71.97 (all figures in this para U.S.). Western Canadian Select traded at a discount of $10.35 to WTI, unchanged. Natural gas for May lost three cents to $2.49. The TSX energy index added a fraction to close at 165.97.
The results of Tuesday's provincial election in Alberta continued to dominate headlines as premier-designate Jason Kenney vowed to pull the oil patch out of its economic funk. Energy executives were in a celebratory mood. "Today is a great day for Alberta, [and] it's a great day for Canada," cheered Jeff Tonken, president and chief executive officer of Alberta Montney producer Birchcliff Energy Ltd. (BIR), down five cents to $3.61 on 1.24 million shares. Mr. Tonken made the comment while on BNN yesterday to sing Mr. Kenney's praises and bid a not-so-fond farewell to outgoing premier Rachel Notley. Under Ms. Notley's leadership, said Mr. Tonken, the costs of business in Alberta became unreasonably high and damaged the sector's competitiveness. He waved around one of his recent natural gas bills as proof, pointing out that the carbon tax worked out to $1.53 per unit of gas. Birchcliff has been selling its gas for just $1.35 a unit. "How can you have a tax that's worth more than the value of your product?" demanded an indignant Mr. Tonken.
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