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by Stockwatch Business Reporter
West Texas Intermediate crude for February delivery added 85 cents to $80.33 on the New York Merc, while Brent for March added $1.18 to $86.16 (all figures in this para U.S.). Western Canadian Select traded at a discount of $23.50 to WTI, unchanged. Natural gas for February lost three cents to $3.28. The TSX energy index added 3.65 points to close at 248.08.
B.C. Montney producers were in a watchful mood as the province and an indigenous group touted a "historic" agreement on land development. Premier David Eby and Chief Judy Desjarlais of the Blueberry River First Nations announced the agreement late yesterday, vowing to promote "responsible resource development" while "healing and restoring the land." Among other things, the agreement includes over $280-million in compensation and reparations, various land and wildlife protections, and a commitment to "sit together to discuss, design and agree to [oil and gas] development plans."
The agreement comes about a year and a half after the B.C. Supreme Court ruled in June, 2021, that the province had breached its treaty obligations to Blueberry and "may not continue to authorize activities ... that unjustifiably infringe Blueberry's treaty rights." Considering that the Blueberry land claims span a massive 38,000-kilometre swath of the northern part of the province, including its oil and gas heartland, the effect of the ruling was a lengthy permitting freeze on oil and gas development. Numerous Montney producers found themselves stuck in licensing limbo. Today's announcement, they hope, will begin to lift the fog.
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