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Energy Summary for Dec. 18, 2019

2019-12-18 19:26 ET - Market Summary

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by Stockwatch Business Reporter

West Texas Intermediate crude for January delivery lost one cent to $60.93 on the New York Merc, while Brent for February added seven cents to $66.17 (all figures in this para U.S.). Western Canadian Select traded at a discount of $21.10 to WTI, down from a discount of $20.55. Natural gas for January lost three cents to $2.29. The TSX energy index lost a fraction to close at 142.01.

The oil patch is about to "put its recent poor performance in the rearview mirror," cheered an optimistic (for a change) report on the Canadian energy sector from the Conference Board of Canada. The board predicted that oil sands production will rise by an average of 4.2 per cent annually from 2020 to 2024. This will partly reflect long-awaited increases in pipeline capacity, such as the Enbridge Line 3 expansion that should add about 370,000 barrels a day of capacity in 2021, followed by the Trans Mountain expansion that should add another 590,000 barrels a day by 2023. As well, existing infrastructure is being used more efficiently. For example, Enbridge and TC Energy are working on optimization programs to increase pipeline flow, which could add up to 150,000 barrels a day of extra capacity as early as January. "The outlook for production out of Alberta has brightened significantly," concluded the report.

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