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by Stockwatch Business Reporter
West Texas Intermediate crude for November delivery lost six cents to $52.75 on the New York Merc, while Brent for December lost two cents to $58.35 (all figures in this para U.S.). Western Canadian Select traded at a discount of $13.57 to WTI, down from a discount of $13.45. Natural gas for November lost five cents to $2.30. The TSX energy index lost a fraction to close at 128.94.
During a quiet Monday in the oil patch, headlines continued to be dominated by the scandal that broke on Friday, when a provincial investigation found that the former head of the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) grossly mismanaged millions of dollars in public funds. The damning findings were announced by Alberta's auditor-general, public interest commissioner and ethics commissioner. They found that the AER's chief executive officer from 2017 to early 2019, Jim Ellis, displayed "reckless and willful disregard" for the proper management of public funds, most notably by using AER money to create a now-defunct non-profit called the International Centre for Regulatory Excellence (ICORE). ICORE was ostensibly set up to provide training to regulators around the world. In reality, said the investigators, the "primary motivation behind ICORE ... was to provide future employment for Mr. Ellis [ICORE's president]" and his associates. Not only were ICORE's activities outside the AER's mandate, but they potentially hurt domestic oil companies -- the very ones the AER was supposed to be overseeing -- by distracting employees and diverting resources, said the investigators. They added that Mr. Ellis and his associates spent lavishly and inappropriately during travel activities in support of ICORE, on the AER's dime.
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