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by Stockwatch Business Reporter
On the last day of the year, West Texas Intermediate crude for February delivery lost $1.78 to $75.21 on the New York Merc, while Brent for February lost $1.75 to $77.78 (all figures in this para U.S.). Today's decreases aside, both benchmarks ended 2021 with their biggest annual gain since 2009, rising over 50 per cent since the start of the year. Western Canadian Select traded at a discount of $13.60 to WTI, up from a discount of $13.65. Natural gas for February added 17 cents to $3.73. The TSX energy index added a fraction to close at 163.79.
The oil patch bade farewell to another dramatic year. This time last year, all of the stocks in the TSX energy index were ending 2020 at a lower price than they began it, with just one exception. Now, with no exceptions, every single one of the 22 stocks in the index is ending 2021 higher. The gains ranged from 25 per cent to 467 per cent and averaged 157 per cent.
The big winner in the index was Baytex Energy Corp. (BTE), which entered the year at 69 cents and has since more than quintupled to today's close of $3.91. Baytex produces light oil in Texas and Saskatchewan and heavy oil in Alberta. All of its core plays benefited from rising oil prices.
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