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by Stockwatch Business Reporter
West Texas Intermediate crude for February delivery added 12 cents to $61.18 on the New York Merc, while Brent for March added 25 cents to $66.25 (all figures in this para U.S.). Western Canadian Select traded at a discount of $22.75 to WTI, down from a discount of $22.30. Natural gas for February lost seven cents to $2.12. The TSX energy index lost a fraction to close at 145.15.
The energy sector kicked off the new year with news of a pleasing legal victory. Coastal GasLink, which is building a $6.6-billion pipeline in Northern British Columbia to serve the LNG Canada project, has been granted an interlocutory injunction from the B.C. Supreme Court against blockading pipeline opponents. The opponents comprise a smattering of members of the Wet'suwet'en Nation and their supporters, who have set up a camp near a construction access point and sometimes like to block the road. Hereditary (non-elected) chiefs of the Wet'suwet'en claim that Coastal GasLink has no authority to build a pipeline without their consent. Coastal GasLink counters that it has support agreements with all 20 of the elected band councils along the route, including all five of the councils that belong to the Wet'suwet'en.(To explain this, it is important to note that internal Wet'suwet'en strife has been on the rise for years. The conflicts stem from the perceived role of hereditary chiefs in governing unceded territories, as passed down through oral traditions, versus the leadership of elected band councillors on reserves, as codified by federal law. Not even the hereditary chiefs are always aligned. Last year, after three chiefs came out in support of Coastal GasLink, they were ostracized and stripped of their titles by the other chiefs -- certainly one way of achieving unity.)
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