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by Stockwatch Business Reporter
West Texas Intermediate crude for January delivery added 40 cents to $58.41 on the New York Merc, while Brent for January added 62 cents to $64.27 (all figures in this para U.S.). Western Canadian Select traded at a discount of $19.15 to WTI, unchanged. Natural gas for December lost six cents to $2.47. The TSX energy index lost 1.78 points to close at 132.47.
A week after being announced, the CN Rail strike is almost over. Teamsters Canada announced today that it has reached a tentative deal to renew a collective agreement for more than 3,000 conductors and other railway employees. Normal operations at CN are set to resume tomorrow morning, which will end an eight-day-long strike that disrupted industries across Canada, in some cases causing layoffs and millions of dollars worth of backlogged shipments. The agricultural and mining sectors have been particularly affected by the strike. Concerned eyebrows were also raised in the oil patch, due to the industry's increasing reliance on crude-by-rail shipments. While the full economic damage has not been calculated, the strike is already having one measurable effect on the oil industry, at least in Alberta: Today, the Alberta government, which has been gradually easing its mandated curtailments on crude production on a month-by-month basis, cited the strike as one of the reasons why there will be no easing in January. The provincial limit will remain 3.81 million barrels a day, same as December.
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